Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
It is important to decide what level of EMS is appropriate for your business; there are three main options:
There are a number of environmental standards to which you can be certified:
BS 8555 is a British standard that provides guidance for implementing an EMS on a phase-by-phase basis. It can be a good way of working towards either ISO 14001 or the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). You can gain independent recognition for your efforts to follow BS 8555 by using one of the following UKAS accredited schemes:
The Green Ticks scheme, run by Bright Green Business
ISO 14001 is the internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems. Holding ISO 14001 can provide customers and suppliers with a respected assurance that you are managing your environmental responsibilities.
EMAS is a voluntary European scheme that provides external recognition for businesses that prove that they go further than just meeting regulatory requirements for environmental issues. To gain EMAS verification you must be able to prove that you have identified and are working with all relevant legislation and have systems in place to do so on an ongoing basis. You also have to prove that your system meets the ISO 14001 standard. It is possible to gain and maintain both ISO 14001 certification and EMAS verification at the same time.
Make sure you use an EMS certification body approved by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS). Using a UKAS accredited certification body will ensure that your customers fully recognise your certification.
Certification for standards such as ISO 14001 is typically 3 years, after which time you will need to be externally audited again to maintain your certificate.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.
Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).
Read more on the DAERA website
The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics
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