Explain the basic elements

Explain the basic elements of an ems audit process

QUESTION Case study (Read the case study and answer the short structured questions that follow) Sustainability and sustainable development have become very popular terms. They are the subjects of conferences, books and articles, and an underlying principle of many organizations that are active in development projects throughout the world. Sustainability has become the rallying call of environmentalists and a goal of corporations. The most popular definition of sustainable development is from the World Commission on Environment and Development, or the Brundtland Commission, in 1987. This definition has been expanded and debated, but its essential purpose of caring for future generations remains the same The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, or Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992, was convened to address global environmental issues and recommend solutions. Two important results of this conference were Agenda 21 and ISO 14000. Agenda 21 is a comprehensive set of guidelines for achieving sustainability. It was adopted by 172 nations at the conference. ISO 14000 is a group of standards. It includes ISO 14001 which addresses environmental management and pollution prevention. Prior to the conference, representatives approached the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), asking them to participate and create international environmental standards. ISO announced at the conference that they would undertake this effort. Thus, ISO 14001 was conceived to help achieve sustainable development. This raises the question: how does ISO 14001 help create environmental sustainability? The Brazilian case An analysis of the state of the Brazilian chemical industry in 1998 revealed that the actually used technologies were transferred in a period where industrial waste generation, treatment and disposal represented a significant part of total production costs. A not too strict legislation at that time allowed dis-consideration of externalities and poor environmental concern. Environmental management was restricted to the monitoring of the cost and volume of waste disposed in the observance of sanitary inspection rules, without any regard to inadequate process performance On the micro-environment scale, action was limited to programs of accident prevention and use of individual protection equipment, without adequate monitoring of occupational health and programs for minimizing inherent process risk. However, rising concern with the environmental impact of processes have led to stricter rules and monitoring parameters with regard to working conditions and waste disposal. In response, industries started to rethink their production processes with an eye to eliminate or minimize industrial process failures. As such, new and easily established parameters were needed to subsidize the decision makers choice of the best way to allocate resources for improving the environmental performance of the process (a) Prior to the Earth Summit in Brazil in 1992, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), were asked to participate and create international environmental standards. Discuss briefly the need environmental standards? (b) According to ISO 14001, there is a continual improvement of five specific phases based on the methodology known as Plan-Do-Check-Act. Provide short notes on each specific phase as per ISO 14001 (c) Discuss how ISO14001can be used by the Brazilian chemical industries to improve their environmental performances, hence achieving to some extent environmental sustainability (d) Explain the basic elements of an EMS audit process that can be applied to the Brazilian chemical industries. Suggest any improvements in the process for better auditing

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