Incidental to the recent deadline for the submission of Compliance Audit reports, in terms of Regulation 34 of the 2017 amended EIA regulations to Regulators, a number of organisations discovered old or unknown environmental authorisations in possession of the organisation. These included water use licences, various EMPr’s and Environmental Authorisations. Many of these were discovered during the actual compliance audit undertaking. This was also a surprise to some regulators in receiving results of compliance audits completed on authorisations which was also not known to them. Various reasons for the unknown authorisations can be speculated with the number one reason possibly the rapid and regular change in persons responsible for ensuring and regulating compliance on these in organisation and state departments.
This poses a risk not only to organisations and state departments, but to the receiving environment and communities through a potential lack of regulated and voluntary compliance applied to activities with potential detrimental impacts on the environment.
A solution for organisations, is to adopt and implement the ISO 14001 International Standard. ISO 14001 sets an Environmental Management System (EMS) framework that organisations can implement to ensure effective environmental management, communication and the documenting thereof. The standard as applied to an organisation results in an organisation specific, tailored solution that responds to not only regulated compliance commitments but to self and industry related commitments of excellence. The implementation of an EMS also solves the risks that a high employee turnover and information loss poses, as the framework then stipulates compliance commitments in a documented manner.
The implementation of an EMS can ensure alignment between compliance commitments and a framework of actionable and implementable steps towards reaching compliance, be it Regulatory or voluntary compliance. Various organisations have already realised that the implementation and integration of an EMS provides potential benefit in effective management, data availability, internal and external communication and retention of documentation, specific to the benefit of compliance obligations and commitments set by the organisation itself.
Contact ENVASS today for free advice or a quote on how to incorporate and gain continuity in projects through the implementation and maintenance of a certified ISO 14001 management system. Contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephonically: 012 460 9768