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What is an Environmental Aspects, Impacts and Significance Register?

Within the defined scope of the environmental management system, the organisation should determine the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that it can control and those that it can influence, and their associated environmental impacts, considering a life cycle perspective.

Firstly you should understand what is an Environmental Aspect:-

The definition of an Environmental Aspect is 'Any part of an organisations activities, products or services that can interact with the environment, positively or negatively.'

Therefore, initially using above statement you should list all parts of your business that have an effect i.e. waste streams, gas usage, electricity usage, water usage, transportation, oils, chemicals. These can then be split into sub-categories i.e. Electricity - air conditioners, lighting, compressors, equipment etc or waste - general, hazardous, packaging, paper etc.

Once you have compiled your list and sub-categories, you MUST note if any legislation is pertinent to each sub-category and ensure operational controls are in place for each individual aspect..

The next step is to decide a scoring system, which could involve severity, frequency, relevance to Environmental policy, cost or environmental concern.

Total up each sub-category score and those Aspects that have the highest score rating are considered to be significant.

Significant environmental aspects can result in risks and opportunities associated with either adverse environmental impacts (threats) or beneficial environmental impacts (opportunities) and therefore potentially be an environmental objective.

Glossary of Terms go back.