Environmental management: the next generation also deserves a healthy planet

All human activities have an impact on the environment. Each environmental aspect must therefore be managed properly to minimise the harmful effects on the environment.

 

The international standards committee ISO/TC 207 ‘Environmental management’ develops international standards that provide all stakeholders with tools to meet this challenge. The best-known standard in this field is ISO 14001 ‘Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use’.

 

Through the Belgian NBN/B031 committee, NBN offers an exceptional opportunity to closely follow and contribute to these developments. Do you have expertise in the field of environmental management? Then join this standards committee now.

 

What is environmental management?

Environmental management is a system for summarising, monitoring, reporting, developing and implementing an environmental policy. A sound environmental management system safeguards the healthy state of our planet for future generations.

 

In business, environmental management is defined as a business strategy that develops, implements and monitors an organisation's environmental policy. This systematic approach is gaining recognition as consumers increasingly look for environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious products and services.

 

Why is environmental management so important?

Our planet's ecological balance has been disturbed by the technological revolution, heavy industrialisation and transport growth, urbanisation and resource exploitation. And the stability of ecosystems will remain at risk as long as the relationship between humans and the environment deteriorates. That relationship will only start to improve again if humans encourage the conservation, renewal and protection of nature.

It is therefore necessary for every company to implement an environmental management system to manage environmental risks.

The advantages of a successful environmental management process are:

  • a reduction of carbon emissions
  • safe and effective waste processing
  • an efficient and smart use of energy and resources
  • pollution prevention

Environmental management contributes to many Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs of the United Nations. These include SDG 6 ‘Clean water and sanitation’, SDG 7 ‘Affordable and clean energy’, SDG 11 ‘Sustainable cities and communities’, SDG 12 ‘Responsible consumption and production’, SDG 13 ‘Climate action’, SDG 14 ‘Life below water’ and SDG 15 ‘Life on land’.

Standards and environmental management

The international standards committee for environmental management (ISO/TC 207) develops international standards for environmental management. This is to address environmental and climate effects as well as social and economic aspects, thereby supporting sustainable development.

ISO/TC 207 is currently focusing on the development of standards in these areas:

  • Guidelines for using the ISO 14001 in relationship to climate and water
  • EDD (Environmental Due Diligence) assessments
  • Remote monitoring of environmental management systems
  • Classification of ‘Green Debt’ instruments
  • ETV (Environmental Technology Verification)
  • Green financing
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Management of greenhouse gases
     

The Belgian standards committee for environmental management (NBN/B031) aims to bring together all Belgian stakeholders with expertise in environmental management. The committee closely follows ISO's work and contributes to this. Anyone (any company, any organisation or any individual) in Belgium can join NBN/B031.

 

Contributing to standards development works to your advantage
 

  1. You will be the first to know about future developments and trends that strengthen your organisation's competitiveness. At an international, European and national level. Do you want to be ahead in your field and ahead of your competitors? Then become an expert in our national committee.
     
  1. Early access to such strategic information offers you the opportunity to anticipate future changes.
     
  1. You exert influence during the standards development process. Your organisation can protect its investments in products, research and development. Whatever you do, you ensure that your interests are safeguarded in international, European and national standards.
     
  1. You build a network with everyone who is working towards creating a global and regional framework in your field. A standards committee is the ideal place to make new contacts. And to exchange ideas with people who, like you, are shaping the future of your field.
     
  1. You learn and exchange knowledge. The people who sit on standards committees are experts in their field and have in-depth knowledge. They share this knowledge and learn from each other. What if you are on a committee yourself? Then you gain a great deal of knowledge first hand. And you get a comprehensive overview of all the underlying aspects of a certain field.

Who can become an environmental management expert?

Any Belgian organisation and any individual person can join the Belgian environmental management standards committee. Knowledge of standards or the NBN is not necessary but knowledge of environmental management is required. These include audit and certification companies, large and small manufacturers and service providers, consultants and researchers, consumers, governments and regional or national agencies, NGOs, environmental organisations, financial institutions, the recycling, waste or repair industry, the retail sector, water, gas or electricity companies, etc.

When do the environmental management standards committees meet?
 

  • The Belgian NBN/B031 committee meets a few times a year.
    Next meeting: 19 October 2022
  • The international ISO/TC 207 committee meets once or twice a year.
    Next meeting: To be determined

Will you become an expert?

Are you interested in joining environmental management standards committees?

- Please contact Alexandre della Faille (NBN project manager) at alex.dellafaille@nbn.be.
- Or join the next NBN webinar 'Standardisation – The Basics' where you can find out more about standardisation and how it works (+/- 40 min).
- More information  about ‘becoming an expert in a standards committee’ is also available on this webpage.