An environmental aspect is an evaluation of an organisation’s activities, products, and services that can interact with the environment. These can include discharges to water, emissions to air, waste and use of natural resources and materials.
Aspects of an organisation’s activities, products or services that may change the environment (either for better or worse) are referred to as environmental impacts. The relationship between aspect and impact is simply “cause and effect”.
Managing environmental aspects and impacts is arguably the most important component of an EMS. The first part of this process is an aspects and impacts assessment which is a form of environmental risk assessment. Such an assessment allows an organisation to determine the severity of the actual and potential threats its activities and processes can have on the environment.
Analysis and assessment allow the organisation to determine significance of its aspects and impacts and set priorities for reducing environmental risks accordingly. This also provides an opportunity for improvements and cost savings.
Aegis can assist organisations to carry out an environmental impacts and aspects assessment as part of documenting and implementing an effective EMS.