Understanding ISO 14000 and Small Business

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Understanding ISO 14000 and Small Business ‘
By Scott Butner, Environment and .focie~ Group, Batte//e Seattle Research (enter _—— —.— I --

SO 14000 is an emerging set of international environmental standards. The cornerstone of the ISO 14000 is ISO 14001, which specifies the structure and contents of a company’s Environmental Management System (EMS). Whether a company pursues third party registration, or elec declare, the 1S0’ establishes the criteria which will be used to detefine if the company’s EMSime3~ures up. ISO 14001 and 14004i,were finalized September l-~~996. The remaining standard~%are

Companies can elect to apply the 1S0 14001 standard at the corporate. facility, or business unit level. In essence, the ISO 14001 standard requires several criteria: + A clear commitment and written pol~~ regarding --environmeri~l-rn.nagement ~u@&%lf$1! al?ewhfie

+ Plan implementation should include designation of roles and responsibilities throughout the organization, establishment of necessary budgets and authorities, and a schedule of plan milestones. + Company must have a performance evaluation for

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environmental performance evaluation, environmental labeling and lifecycle assessment practices. The full listing of documents (which changes occasionally as documents are initiated, combined and completed) can be found at several web sites, or can be obtained through ASTM (610-832-9500), which serves as the US coordinator for the standards setting process.

definition:~~’t~~ev~ntion of pollution’’%cludeshff-site ~ recycling and :t+atfient. .’. ,. l:; .>..: + Company ‘“must ~have a ,, process fo~ putting policy into actionY inclhdmg the establishment ~f \ -,~ environmeht~l~goals and perforrnan~e ‘~~as~res, and the identifi~a~~on ~~f signifi~-1’ ~ i’ e tai -f d%;” .’-” ** operations. Environmental aspects are those company controlled actions, products or services, that have an impact on the environment. I


movement, full compliance with the standard requires on-going goal setting, planning and measurement, with provisions for continually improving the process of environmental management. Note that the 1S0 14001 standard does not specify environmental performance requirements nor the use of
S EE ISO 1 4 0 0 0 , P G. 3







vention Center Completes Study
bl Business Pollution Prevention (en(e)

Positives were evaluated Disposal for adequacy of .. densitometer readings *. ~. Fe-press operation found ~ and overall crispness of ,uality is the main motivator for ; half-tones. A survey of w over 300 companies me move to digital technologies and that low cost technology provides complemented the technical portion of the study, illuminating The study had two main goals: industry practice of 1. To evaluate two of the most silver-based techniques reasonably priced digital currently used, degree of technologies and determine the digitalization, pre-press relative waste generation tradeperformance needs offs between digital and silverconcerning formatting, based prepress operations. dots per inch, lines per inch, and 2. To survey industry practices in { half-tone usage. Iowa and throughout the Midwest Findings indicate that while in regard to the adaptation of eliminating silver bearing wastes is a digital prepress technologies. concern to some screen printers, process modification has more often SBPPC staff cooperated with the resulted from quality, performance, University of Northern Iowa’s and enhanced productivity concerns. Graphic Arts Department to evaluate Further, silver disposal costs may be both laser printer and plotter type secondary concerns to many screen positives generation processes. printers Positives generation technology used, by swvey respondents depending on location, availability of recycling options, and restrictiveness of local and regional waste water discharge regulations.

Costs for Positives Generation

experimenting with new positives generation technologies for about one-quarter to one-third of their positives generation work. The technology evaluated performed adequately for line copy and mechanical color, a large part of most screen printers work. This equipment is available for $15,000 or less and will perform in a density range that will provide an adequate positive. Slightly more expensive equipment, which was not evaluated in this study, is available to produce crisp halftones for process color.

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The industry survey indicated that many screen printers are considering implementing digital pre-press processes. Approximately 20-25 percent of current screen printers are

A full report is available from the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. The report provides valuable information for screen printers considering the implementation of digital prepress technologies and for technical service providers who may work with screen printers. To request a copy call 319/273-2079 and ask for Eliminating The Screen Printing Photographic Prepress: A Case Smdy in Pollution Prevention and Industry Readiness. This project was conducted by the Small Business Pollution Prevention Center, which was created by a cooperative agreement between the IWRC and the U.S. EPA. ~

Point Source. Vol 3.4

I SO 14000.


best available technologies. Rather, ‘ the standards are designed to guarantee that procedures and policies insure clear environmental goals, clearly articulated environmental policy, and measurement systems to evaluate progress against the goals. It is adherence to these practices that will determine ISO 14000 conformance, with the expectation that these practices will lead to improved environmental performance.

customers will require 1S0 14001 registration in the near-term (3-5 years). Nonetheless, corporate environmental management practices are under increased scrutiny by a wide variety of stakeholders, including customers, shareholders, insurance agents, neighboring communities and regulatory agencies. Certification of an EMS to external standards such as 1S0 14001 is an effective way of building credibility with many of these stakeholder groups. + A review of existing EMS may lead to significant savings or improvements. Irrespective of standards, many companies find significant benefit from an occasional review and update of environmental management programs. These advantages can include efllciency improvements, new opportunities for waste reduction and reduced wasterelated liabilities, and improved relations with regulatory agencies. For companies considering an environmental management program review, the guidance in 1S0 14000 provides a welldesigned framework for approaching the review.

— — + Prior experience with the 1S0

9000 registration process is not necessarily a sufficient reason to pursue 1S0 14001 registration, but it is expected to significantly reduce the effort required by a facility in achieving compliance with the standard. If any of these conditions exist, it’s _ probably worth the effort to do a preliminary assessment of ISO 14000 registration to better define the expected costs and benefits, and complete the analysis of the business case. In general, industry estimates for moderate-sized manufacturing facilities range from more than $350,000 (for first time registration of large facilities) to less than $25,000 (for registration of small, 1S0 9000 certified facilities). If industry experience with ISO 9000 is any indicator, these costs can be expected to drop by 20-30 percent over the next several years.

ISO 14001 Registration
If registration to the 1S0 14001 standard is not required for eve~ business, the question remains: how should a business decide what to do? This depends on a number of factors, including customer and other stakeholder expectations; the size, cost and extent of the existing environmental management system; and prior experience with other international standardization processes (such as ISO 9000). Lacking a complete analysis of costs and benefits, businesses should look at key factors supporting participation in 1S0 14000: + One or more key stakeholders require it. It is unlikely that

Additional Resources ” .
A variety of resources are available for learning more about 1S0 14000, and for keeping track of the various guidance documents still in development. Some good on-line resources include:





+ EPA Participation in 1S0 14000 ~~ S t a n d a r d s Developmenttid “,’ Implementation :-U: .“. ;,2 . s ‘, i http://es.inel. gov/p&-tners/iso/iso. html :- ‘~ , ,.. + National Institute of Stm”dards and T e c h n o l o g y @ST) ~. . http: // 10/ ,< environ .html:i~. ..!. .~.e . -, .”,, . + 1S0 Home P~ge’ : ~ -“ ~ . --’ - ~ :ek.<$ , , + Managemen~lliances, kc. 1S0 14000 Web Site ‘.p..~- ‘,’ “ http: //www.rngrnt 14k.corn

. Point Source. Vol 3.4

Fluid Management for Slnall Machining Operations . - . . reviews cutting tluld characteristics and functions in small facilities, including oil-based and chemical cutting fluids. It includes an overview of fluid properties such as corrosion protection, stability/ rancidity control. transparency and viscosity, and health and safety considerations. This manual details fluid management for pollution prevention incorporating fluid monitoring and maintenance measures such as fluid preparation, concentration, pH and microbial contamination. The manual also addresses recycling issues and the environments, regulations surrounding waste disposa It is available from the IWRC for $10.


D~ Cleaning i~l [he 90s: Environmental Requirements provides dry cleaners , ~ ~ . , with multiDr~clcatilU~f”~ 905: media compliance / L ticJ information. “ % This manual ~ @l@<s G contains check a lists and record ~ keeping forms for compliance i ‘ ‘ with the NESHAP for Perchloroethylene Dry Cleaning in addition to other Clean Air, RCRA and Clean Water Act requirements. It addresses specific waste issues such as separator water disposal and includes a Small Quantity Generator compliance checklist. This manual is available from the IWRC for $10. To request manuals or a full publications list, call the IWRC 3 19/273-2079. ~

Fall 1996
~’e l%;flt fOwce is a quarterly newsletter published by the $mall Business Pollution Prevention Center at the University of Northern Iowa. This program uses applied research to help small businesses reduce costs, focus on pollution prevention, and help enhance the environment:

If you would like additional information about this publication, ot_her $BPP[ projects, or would like to submit articles ., to The Point’ source, please call

800/422-3109 : , ‘ ‘ ,’ “-- :’: . . ., ..,.,, -., ‘, .John Cathy Konefes ‘ Director ‘ ‘‘ ‘“ ~ ~ ,.

Zeman ‘ Program ~ Manager .’ - Kathleen Gordon ~ . Editor Steven Nofziger ~ Designer

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Somnath” Dasgupta Air Assistance ‘ Manager

Iowa Waste Reduction Center 75 Biology Research Complex University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, 1A 50614-0185

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