The Record Control Procedure ISO 14001 is based on continual improvement. It provides framework organizations can use to develop and implement an effective environmental management system. The standard applies to any organization, regardless of size or sector. Implementing the Record Control Procedure ISO 14001 can help organizations improve their environmental performance and reduce environmental impact. A Record Control Procedure aims to ensure that all records required by the ISO 14001 standard are appropriately controlled and regularly updated. This Procedure covers all records related to the environmental management system, including those needed by other procedures in this manual.
What Are Environmental Records?
Environmental records are documents or data relating to an organization's environmental management system. This includes policies and procedures, measurements, and data collected from environmental monitoring programs. Organizations must keep certain environmental records to demonstrate compliance with ISO 14001 and other environmental regulations. These records can be used to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and provide evidence in the event of an audit.
Types of Environmental records
Environmental records are the source materials that organizations use to determine their environmental impact. They can be used to understand an organization's compliance with environmental regulations, evaluate the effectiveness of green initiatives, or track progress over time. There are many types of environmental records, emissions records, waste records, water records, and energy records.
- Emission records- Emissions records track the release of pollutants into the air. This data can be used to determine an organization's compliance with air quality regulations or to evaluate the effectiveness of emissions-reduction initiatives.
- Waste records- Waste records track the generation and disposition of waste materials. This data can be used to determine an organization's compliance with waste disposal regulations or to evaluate the effectiveness of recycling and other waste-reduction initiatives.
- Water records- Water records track the use and discharge of water. This data can be used to determine an organization's compliance with water quality regulations or evaluate water conservation initiatives' effectiveness.
- Energy records- Energy records track the use of energy resources. This data can be used to understand an organization's energy consumption or to evaluate the effectiveness of energy efficiency initiatives.
Why Are Environmental Records Important?
Environmental records are essential because they provide a snapshot of an organization's environmental performance at a given time. They can be used to measure progress, identify trends, and assess the effectiveness of the EMS. Records can also be used as documentary evidence during audits or investigations. In some circumstances, they might be mandated by legislation. For example, many countries have reporting requirements for emissions of certain pollutants.
Benefits of implementing Record control procedure
There are many benefits to implementing a record control procedure in your ISO 14001 system. Some of the essential benefits are outlined below.
- Improved communication- ISO 14001 record control procedures improve communication between employees and managers. This is because records have been created that document all aspects of the system, including policies, procedures, and results.
- Greater accountability- Another benefit of implementing a record control procedure in your ISO 14001 system is greater accountability. When records are maintained, tracking progress and identifying areas where improvements need to be made is more accessible.
- Reduced costs- Implementing a record control procedure can also help to reduce costs. This is because it can help avoid duplication of effort and make it easier to find information when needed. It can also save time by allowing employees to access information more quickly.
- Improved quality- The final benefit of implementing a record control procedure in your ISO 14001 system is improved quality. This is because accurate records make it easier to identify problems and make changes to improve product quality or service.
How to control environmental records
- Keep track of where each record is located
- Assign responsibility for each record to a specific individual or department
- You need to establish an environmental management system (EMS). This system should include processes and procedures that will help you control your environmental impacts and improve your environmental performance.
- Develop a retention policy for how long each record type should be kept. When environmental records are well-organized and easily accessible, it is easier for organizations to track their progress and identify areas where improvements can be made.
- Additionally, you will need to ensure that all your employees are trained on the EMS to use it properly.
- Lastly, you should audit your EMS regularly to ensure that it is effective and compliant with the standard.
Steps to implement Record control procedure
- Establish a system for identifying and classifying records- The first step is to determine which records your organization needs to keep to comply with the standard. You should then organize these records according to their importance and sensitivity.
- Develop a process for creating and updating records- Once you've identified and classified the records your organization needs to keep, you should develop a process for creating and correcting them. This process should ensure that all relevant information is captured accurately and consistently.
- Implement a system for storing and retrieving records- Your system for storing and retrieving records should be fit for purpose and meet your organization's specific needs. In addition, it should be easy to use and allow authorized personnel to access the information they need quickly and easily.
- Develop a procedure for disposing of records- When disposed of properly, records can provide valuable information for historical research or future planning. However, they can become a liability if they are not managed correctly. Therefore, it's essential to develop a procedure for disposing of records that aligns with your organization's legal and regulatory requirements.
Instructions to use the template
All yellow indicated numbers in the record control procedure need action to be taken. Below are the details:
1. Provide the Revision History of the document
- Revision Number: in the order of 00,01,02, etc.
- Date: Revision Date of Document in dd-mmm-yyyy
- Prepared By: Name of the person who prepared the document
- Reviewed By: Name of the person who reviewed the document after revision
- Approved By: Name of the person who approved the document after revision
- Description: Describe the revision
3. Type either of the below as applicable
- IMS – Integrated Management system i.e ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015, 45001:2018 all
- QMS – Quality Management system i.e. ISO 9001:2015
- EMS – Environmental Management system i.e. ISO 14001:2015
- OHSMS – Occupational Health and Safety Management system i.e, ISO 45001:2018