The basic objective of environmental regulation for businesses and other organisations is to look after human health and the environment from any sort of damage in the perspective of sustainable growth. A environmental legal register is intended to record all environmental legislation’s that can be related to an organisation’s operations and activities directly or indirectly. It offers those sources by which a business entity can show compliance with environmental laws and satisfies the conditions of an environmental management system as well. Environmental management system (EMS) implies the management of a company’s environmental initiatives in a broad, organized, strategic and documented approach. It consists of the organisational planning, structure and assets in order to create implement and keep a policy for environmental protection. In a nutshell, Environmental Management System (EMS) is a structured method to make sure that your environmental activities are properly managed and improving on continuous basis.
There is no doubt that as a business, it is necessary and our legal obligation to be aware of your lawful responsibilities in order to confirm that we are compliant always. It reduces the risks of being charged with fines and prosecution. When it comes to an environmental compliance register than it is important to know that it is not limited to legal responsibilities only, as it covers all compliance obligations. An environmental legal register does not only classify new sections of legislation for an organisation but it supports it to understand how each section of new and present legislation is related to our organisation. It is used to validate and confirm compliance with environmental laws and is a fundamental component of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems as well as ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems.
It is important to consider that even if an organisation does not run a formal EMS, still a compliance register is worthwhile to make certain that they are completely responsive of their obligations. The initial step in order to ensure compliance is recognizing all those requirements that are applicable to your organisation and confirming that company systems are ready to fulfil those obligations. There have been lots of environmental legal registers and most of them are likely to list the legislations at a top level which are related to the environmental features of the organisation being considered. However, these “top level” registers regarding environmental legislation don’t play much of a role to facilitate or improve environmental management in a business entity.
Although you have to develop an environmental legal register for ISO 14001, but there are a number of reasons to produce a comprehensive register of environmental legislation that gives an adequate amount of information that can be used. Let us consider an example, instead of just stating “Water Resources Act 1991” on our environmental legal register, we must mention where does it affect (approve discharge from a package overflow plant to an organized channel), what are the limits. Moreover it must be stating what does conformity means to our organisation that is do we have to act in accordance with these restrictions for 95% or 100% of the time recognized as percentile in the jargon of Environment Agency compliance. Obviously a few legislations are more “long-winded” for instance waste management where a company has to have a delivery service license for permitted contractors and waste transmit notes. However, an organisation must establish what the legislation means and how it really affects the business.
In addition to that, an organisation’s compliance register must be analysed on regular basis to make certain that it stays appropriate persistently. It must be documented in our company procedure with what frequency it should be reviewed, generally every 6 or 12 months for new or altered requirements that need to be updated. Besides, in case of any kind of transformations to our business products, services, activities, or controlling systems, than this register must be reviewed because that may influence new obligations and requirements. A review of the environmental legal register may also be needed following an accident, incident or close call or if in case of any legal action or an inquiry. Your environmental legal register must be detailed and evaluated on a regular basis to make sure you have the right controls in position to fulfil your requirements.
If you are looking for support with your legal register or implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management system, then contact us for a free no obligation consultation with one of our ISO 14001 Consultants.
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