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Accreditation - Procedure by which an authoritative body formally recognizes that a body or person is competent to carry out specific tasks.

Audit Cycle - The period of time in which all activities in a given site are audited.

Audit team - Group of auditors, or a single auditor, designated to perform a given audit; the audit team may also include technical experts and auditors-in-training. Note-One of the auditors on the audit team performs the function of lead auditor.



Certification - The EMS of a company, location, or plant is certified for conformance with ISO 14001 after it has demonstrated such conformance through the audit process. When used to indicated EMS certification, it means the same thing as registration.

Certification body - A third party that assesses and certifies/registers the EMS of Organizations with respect to published EMS standards and any supplementary documentation required under the system.

Compliance - An affirmative indication or judgment that the supplier of a product or service has met the requirements of the relevant specifications, contract, or regulation; also, the state of meeting the requirements. In ISO terms, compliance to regulations.Compare with Conformance.

Conformance / Conformity - Action in accordance with customs, rules, prevailing opinion. In terms of ISO, conformance to ISO 14001. Compare with compliance. An affirmative indication or judgment that a product or service has met the requirements of the relevant specifications, contract, or regulation; also the state of meeting the requirements.

Continual Improvement - Enshrined in the published Standards for EMS is the principle of continual improvement, which is intended to ensure that an organization does not simply adopt an EMS for cosmetic purposes and thereby remain static, without commitment to reduce its impact on the environment. Continual improvement is the process of enhancing the environmental management system to achieve the improvement in overall environmental performance in line with the organizations environmental policy.

Controlled document - Documents controlled by the EMS so as to be current, authorized, available, and accessible. Document control provides a tracking system to ensure these properties are maintained.



Emergency response plan - A detailed plan that describes the logistics and reporting requirements in the event of fire, erosion or spills.

Environment - Surroundings in which an organization operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans and their interrelation.

Environmental Aspect - Element of an organization's activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.

Environmental Impact - Any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization's activities, products or services.

Environmental Management Representative - The clearly identified EMS team leader who has responsibility for the EMS from start to finish and has the designated authority of senior manager to get the job done.

Environmental Management System (EMS) - A management approach, which enables an organization to identify, monitor and control its environmental aspects. An EMS is part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy.

Environmental Management System Audit -A systematic documentation verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating evidence to determine whether an organization's environmental management system conforms to the environmental management system audit criteria set by the organization, and for communication of the results of this process to management.

Environmental Objective -Overall environmental goal, arising from the environmental policy, that an organization sets itself to achieve, and which is quantified where practicable.

Environmental Performance - Measurable results of the environmental management system related to an organization's control of its environmental aspects, based on its environmental policy, objectives and targets.

Environmental Policy - Statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance, which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets.

Environmental Target - Detailed performance requirement, quantified where practicable, that arises from the environmental objectives and that needs to be set and met in order to achieve those objectives.

EMS Team - The Environmental Management System (EMS) Team consisting of the Environmental Manager and representatives of relevant areas/departments. The EMS Team is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the Environmental Management System.

External Communication - Communication, through written or verbal means, with entities external to the organization.



Fenceline - The area in which an organization chooses to implement its EMS - a department, division or specific operation.

Form - A document developed for the purpose of facilitating the collection, storage, and/ or interpretation of information. Note: A blank form is not a record.



Hazard - A source of potential harm or damage, or a situation with potential for harm or damage.



Influenced Environmental Aspect - Element of an activity, product, or service that is not under the direct management control of the organization, however, the environmental performance can be influenced by the organization. (e.g., Pesticides used by the contracted grounds keepers can be influenced by procurement conditions and specifications.)

Interested Party - Individual or group concerned with or affected by the environmental performance of an organization.

Internal Communication - Communication, relayed by written or verbal means, within the organization and its internal entities.

Internal Environmental Audit - A systematic, documented, periodic and objective review of an organizations operations that relate to meeting the environmental requirements.

ISO - The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries, one from each country. ISO is responsible for the development of ISO 14001.

ISO14001 - An international voluntary standard for environmental management systems. This is one standard in the ISO 14000 series of International Standards on environmental management.



Lead auditor - Person qualified to manage and perform EMS audits.

Long Term Corrective Action - The best permanent action that when implemented with appropriate controls, assures that the root cause of the non-conformance finding is eliminated.



Non-conformity - The non-fulfillment of a specific requirement. Any or all of the following: a) one or more EMS requirements have not been addressed; or b) one or more EMS requirements have not been implemented; or c) several nonconformities exist that, taken together, lead a reasonable auditor to conclude that one or more EMS requirements have not been addressed or implemented.



Objective Evidence - Verifiable evidence based on qualitative or quantitative information, records, or statements of fact.

Observation - A practice, while not in strict violation of EMS requirements, may constitute a poor practice that can lead to a nonconformance 



Prevention of Pollution - Use of processes, practices, materials or products that avoid, reduce or control pollution, which may include recycling, treatment, process changes, control mechanisms, efficient use of resources and material substitution.

Preventive Action - If it is determined that similar, non-conformance findings can occur in other areas, preventive actions are taken to arrest their recurrence.

Pollution Prevention - Any activity that reduces or eliminated pollutants prior to recycling, treatment, control or disposal.



Record - Objective evidence generated as a result of an activity, product or service. This includes training records, environmental performance date, audit results, and management review results. A completed form such as a log of disposed hazardous drums is considered an environmental record. The blank form is a controlled document.

Registrar - Third party, which audits and registers the environmental management system of an organization with respect to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard.



Senior Management Staff - (This needs to define top management within your organization.) Senior or top management may include the group responsible for facility operations. This group may include, but is not limited to, Management Representative, and all senior staff managers.

Short-Term Corrective Action - Actions taken to immediately contain and isolate that effect of the problem created by a non-conformance finding. Short-term corrective action is to be implemented within 48 hours/ 2 business days. Short-term corrective action may not be warranted in all situations.

Significant Aspect - An aspect that has or can have a significant environmental impact; an aspect with a score of 20 or higher in ED-4.3. 1-2, Appendix A Environmental Aspects and Impacts & Aspect Criteria Definitions.

Stakeholders - Those groups and organizations having an interest or stake in a organization's EMS program (e.g., regulators, shareholders, customers, suppliers, special interest groups, residents, competitors, investors, bankers, media, lawyers, geologists, insurance companies, trade groups, unions, ecosystems and cultural heritage.)



Verification - The act of reviewing, inspecting, testing, checking, auditing, or otherwise establishing and documenting whether items, processes, services, or documents conform to specified requirements.

Visual Aid - A document developed for the purposes of facilitating the collection, storage, and / or interpretation of information.



Waste Minimization - Simple strategic reduction of waste at source, through improved manufacturing methodologies, more careful work procedures, revised, usually improved product specifications, is capable of releasing massive cash returns, either for use in the business, returning to stakeholders or rewarding workers, thus upgrading their ability to become consumers of the goods being produced.