There are changes in the new 14001:2015, including the risk and opportunity in the Environmental Management System (EMS).
In relation, assessing and managing risk had replaced preventive action within the workings of the EMS.
Similarly, there are essential benefits to the environment if risk and opportunity were identified and handled correctly.
Consequently, this means that risk and opportunity is one of the most crucial elements of an EMS’ performance.
This leads us to the following questions:
- Should you write a procedure to define this process?
- What should be covered to guarantee optimal effectiveness?
- What formats could ensure the fulfillment of the standard’s terms and give optimum rewards?
In this post, QSE Academy is going to answer these questions and help your organisation decide whether you should need a risk and opportunity procedure.
Is it Compulsory to Document a Risk and Opportunity Procedure?
In reality, there’s no need to document a risk and opportunity procedure. However, there are advantages to developing one.
The ISO 14001:2015 standard specifies that organisations must keep documented information of the risk and opportunity to guarantee the essential confidence that issues have been addressed properly.
Likewise, an organisation must preserve documented evidence of risks and opportunities that must be tackled.
Furthermore, particular information should be documented about the exact nature of risks and opportunities, as well as actions taken to address them.
What Should Your Organisation Include in the Risk and Opportunity Procedure?
Risk and opportunity come in various forms.
For instance, production staff may view a problem in the production process to be a great risk, a manager may see issues about resources to be the highest risk, while the top management may consider a competitor’s movements as the biggest risk.
Hence, it is important to share information and opinions at all levels of an organisation.
Consider the following when documenting a risk and opportunity procedure:
- Risk and Opportunity Information
Organisations can use risk forums, risk meetings, risk discussions, and risk logs.
In this way, an organisation can conduct monthly quality and environmental meetings or board and management meetings.
As a result, you can combine and evaluate outputs and ideas. This then develops actions that can alleviate risk and take advantage of opportunity.
Note that the Environmental Management System should clearly record this information.
Many amalgamations of these methods can achieve the terms of ISO 14001:2015.
Therefore, a risk and opportunity procedure will benefit your organization if you can find the appropriate process, and document it accordingly.
- A Review or Monitoring Method into Your Process
Sometimes it could only take days to resolve risk and opportunities. But sometimes, it could take months.
Usually, it takes a long period of time before organisations realise opportunities.
Thus, your organisation’s documentation or form facilitates a regular review process, whereby a check can be made against the progress.
Additionally, your organisation should take further actions if the circumstances of the risk or opportunity have changed.
- Actions and Responsibilities
It is ideal to develop documented information to provide assurance about the details of responsibility, as well as specific actions that must be recorded.
If not done, your organisation will face an increased possibility of failure.
- Risks Coming from Compliance Obligations
Meeting compliance obligations typically creates risks and opportunities.
It is important that your organisation identifies and maintains records of actions taken against risk and opportunities.
QSE Academy suggests producing documented information to ensure that crucial records can help your organisation in the future.
Use the documented information to help your employees learn from what your organisation experienced.
Consequently, it will aid your organisation when there’s a periodic review of risk and opportunity.
Align Risk and Opportunity Process with Your Organisation’s Needs
Documenting risk and opportunity process, along with its results, is obligatory under ISO 14001:2015.
Nevertheless, it is vital that your organisation becomes aware of any procedures that could assist you in detecting and mitigating risk.
Your organisation should also be capable of pinpointing opportunities to improve the Environmental Management System.
To encourage your employees to think in a particular way, generate a good risk and opportunity procedure. Subsequently, your organisation will see improvement in its environmental performance.
QSE Academy suggests visiting our previous blog posts to aid your organisation in further understanding matters associated with ISO 14001:2015.