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Environmental management systems guide revised, aiding organisations with reducing environmental impact of growth

Published: 16 February 2017 - Sarah Mead

BSI, the business standards company, has revised BS 8555 Environmental management systems – Phased implementation guide. The standard has been updated to reflect the recent revisions to ISO 14001:2015Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for use. BS 8555 provides guidance for organisations on implementing an environmental management system, irrespective of the nature of the business activity, its location, or level of maturity.

BS 8555 allows organisations to implement and maintain an environmental management system using a step-by-step approach, with the option to stop at any of the five stages, driving positive cultural change. The step-by-step approach enables adopters of the standard to eventually attain a level suitable for ISO 14001 certification.

BS 8555 helps organisations adhere to regulatory requirements and to demonstrate to customers, investors and peers that they are giving consideration to environmental impacts, whilst helping them to manage resources and changes in circumstances.

The phased approach allows an organisation to choose the pace of their EMS, decide what phase they want to reach and when, and identify and maximise the areas of potential greatest return on investment. The revised standard was reformatted and the language made clearer so that each phase follows a clear structure.

BS 8555 has brought environmental management up to date in line with the requirements in ISO 14001: It recognises the changes in the activities of environmental management since publication in 2003, including ensuring that environmental management processes are integrated into business processes, consideration of the value chain, and continual performance improvement.

David Fatscher, Head of Market Development for Sustainability and Services at BSI, said: 
“A successful Environmental Management System helps organizations remain commercially successful without compromising their environmental responsibilities. However, such projects can sometimes seem daunting and management may be unable to commit the required resources. By phasing implementation with BS 8555, all organisations – whatever the nature or scale of business – can improve their environmental performance.”

BS 8555 will help organisations attract new clients develop their business whilst reducing the environmental impact of growth, decreasing waste and saving energy. The standard  will help businesses become more innovative, and improve their management system processes. Ultimately, BS 8555 will help users stay abreast of the changes in the environmental arena, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.

Fatscher adds: “BS 8555 has been updated to ensure that it continues to help organisations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges.”

Panel members involved in the development of BS 8555 include representatives from IEMA, CIRIA, UKAS, the UK Environment Agency, and environmental consultants, some of whom took part in the recent major revision of ISO 14001.

To learn more, please visit www.bsigroup.com



 
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