Infrastructure & Natural Resources Procedure Explained (ISO 14001)

ISO 14001 Clause 7.1 is concerned with natural resources, human resources, exceptional skills, technology, financial resources and infrastructure – including buildings, machinery, drainage systems and underground tanks.

ISO 14001 aims to define precise requirements for the Environmental Management System. This includes a guide on how to implement it successfully. All required resources and infrastructures under clause 7, subclause 7.1, are essential to ensure the effective Environmental Management System. Management has to ensure all necessary resources in its organization are made available.

Contents

Purpose of the Infrastructure & Natural Resources Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to define your organization’s process for ensuring that suitable facilities, infrastructure and working environments are provided and maintained as required to ensure product conformity.

This includes planning, provision and maintenance of employee facilities, workspaces, equipment, software and associated services.

support buoy

ISO 1400 Clause 7 – Support

Under clause 7, you will find the most critical requirement that covers all the needs of the EMS. Under this clause, the company can determine the necessary competence of its personnel, especially those whose work affects environmental performances.

It is the company's responsibility to ensure proper training is afforded to all who work in these sectors and check that compliance obligations are met. This clause requires strict adherence to information control and data capturing.

Under clause 7, there are five sub-clauses, and we are explicitly paying attention to subclause 7.1 Resources.

ISO 1400 Clause 7.1 – Resources

The ISO 14001 standard has an improved and expanded expectation for companies and organizations to consider the resources they might need carefully. The impact those resources will have on the environment, personnel, and the immediate community.

ISO expects to provide clear understandings of the following;

  • A step-by-step guide for the EMS Manager on how to interpret each clause
  • What resources a company may already have in-house and what it might need to require externally, and if it is fit for the purpose
  • To effectively achieve the company business plan
  • To identify any additional resources and support it might require from external suppliers and vendors
  • To provide specialism that is not in their field currently

The company needs to consider the infrastructure system they will need to deliver the product or service to their clients. Under these resources, the company needs to include;

  • Any buildings/plants/
  • Water/electricity/gas for heating
  • Equipment used for internal operations like PC's/laptops/printers/alarm systems/process monitoring equipment
  • Company vehicles for managers/deliveries/engineers/construction/surveying/sales/personnel transport
  • Mobile information technology such as mobile phones, tablets

Special skills resources that are needed like IT specialists, Occupational Health, specialist engineers are better to be an outsourced skill if the company is small to medium. By conducting regular site meetings and identifying a gap in skills resources.

This data will provide you with tools to either use internal resources or to hire a skill from outside sub-contractors or labor companies.

transmission tower resource

The company should be providing the needed resources in order to establish, maintain, implement and continually improve the EMS. These resources are required for;

  • The effective functioning
  • The continuous improvement
  • The performance-enhancing of the EMS

Who Is Responsible For Identifying Resources?

The Environmental Manager will be responsible for identifying the resources needed. They are more familiar with the requirements of the Environmental Management Policy.

7 Steps To Document Your Infrastructure & Natural Resources Procedure


#1 – Identify the Resources Required

  • Identifying the resource needs of each division
  • Identify external suppliers

To identify resources for the availability under the Environmental Management System, the Environmental Manager must ensure the following;

Human Resources

  • Special Skilled Workers
  • Communication
  • Decision-making
  • Training and developmental
  • Finance
  • Organizational
  • Business management
  • Leadership

Natural resources

Natural Resources

  • Oil
  • LPG
  • Gold
  • Plants
  • Oxygen

Infrastructure Resources

  • Transportation
  • Telecommunications Networks
  • Buildings
  • Dams
  • Electrical Systems
  • Machinery

Technology Resources

  • Printers/Scanners
  • Computers
  • Phones
  • Interactive Whiteboards
  • Cameras
  • Drones

Financial Resources

  • Bank Loans
  • Cash
  • Shares
  • Creditors
  • Stock in hand

#2 – Top Management Awareness & Understanding

  • The top management of the company must be aware of the resource need under the EMS.
  • The top management must be made to understand the resource needs of the company.

#3 – Effort

  • Assess the effort level required for your company’s current required tasks
  • Assess the effects of forecasts, current corporate plans, capital expenditure, and production plans

#4 – Business Development & Expansion

  • Assess and consider new business development and business forecasting when you evaluate the resources required. This can have a significant impact on the EMS.
  • Site or infrastructure expansion needs to be considered and planned for in advance.
  • The process expansion will undoubtedly increase the company's regulatory footprint, which has significant implications for the required resources.

#5 – Permits

  • Ensure all required environmental operating permits are in place. These will include wastewater, air permits, hazardous materials.
  • Hazardous chemical handling might require added regulations and permits.

#6 – Budgets & Labour

  • After the required resources are identified, develop a resource-specific budget for each process.
  • Consider any additional personnel, equipment, machinery, special skills, or external consultants.
  • Consider all labor requirements and capital expenditures that will be required for running the EMS.
  • Keep very detailed records on the EMS expenditure for auditing purposes to prove what was spent on EMS-related resources.
  • Consider designing alphanumerical codes for each EMS category and include higher management and auditors.
  • Train employees to track and monitor hours, resources, processes, and tasks and enter the relevant data for processing.

#7 – Monitoring & Improvement

  • Data captured over several years will give you a clear indication of resource allocation, expansion, capital expenditure, and labor/time used.
  • Be prepared to move resources around if possible to cut costs and ensure the smooth running of all processes.
  • Regular audits and reviews will provide a blueprint to show if the EMS is effective and is making a difference.
  • The reviews will indicate whether continuous improvement is in effect under the EMS.

Monitoring calculator budget

How to Ensure Adequate Resources

  • Prepare a budget for each need
  • Present the budget to management for approval
  • Keep track of the EMS resource expenditure
  • Ensure the budget is not exceeded
  • Audit regularly to verify that the current resources continue to reflect the company's current needs.

Author: Richard Keen
Updated: 31th August 2021

Richard Keen

Richard Keen

Richard is our Compliance Director, responsible for content & product development.
But most importantly he is ISO's biggest fanboy and a true evangelist of the standards.
Learn more about Richard

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Infrastructure & Natural Resources Procedure

The purpose of this procedure is to define your organization’s process for ensuring that suitable facilities, infrastructure and working environments are provided and maintained as required to ensure product conformity.

This includes planning, provision and maintenance of employee facilities, workspaces, equipment, software and associated services.

 

Forms & Reports also included:

  • Environmental Aspect & Impact Register
  • Equipment Maintenance & Service Log

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