For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
3.1 Terms related to organization and leadership
3.1.1 management system set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization (3.1.4) to establish policies and objectives (3.2.5) and processes (3.3.5) to achieve those objectives
Note 1 to entry: A management system can address a single discipline or several disciplines (e.g. quality, environment, occupational health and safety, energy, financial management).
Note 2 to entry: The system elements include the organization’s structure, roles and responsibilities, planning and operation, performance evaluation and improvement.
Note 3 to entry: The scope of a management system can include the whole of the organization, specific and identified functions of the organization, specific and identified sections of the organization, or one or more functions across a group of organizations.
3.1.2 environmental management system part of the management system (3.1.1) used to manage environmental aspects (3.2.2), fulfill compliance obligation (3.2.9) and address risks and opportunities (3.2.1)
3.1.3 environmental policy intentions and direction of an organization (3.1.4) related to environmental performance (3.4.11), as formally expressed by its top management (3.1.5)
3.1.4 organization person or group of people that has its own functions with responsibilities, authorities and relationships to achieve its objective’s (3.2.5)
Note 1 to entry: The concept of organization includes, but is not limited to sole-trader, company, corporation, firm, enterprise, authority, partnership, charity or institution, or part or combination thereof, whether incorporated or not, public or private.
3.1.5 top management person or group of people who directs and controls an organization (3.1.4) at the highest level
Note 1 to entry: Top management has the power to delegate authority and provide resources within the organization.
Note 2 to entry: If the scope of the management system (3.1.1) covers only part of an organization, then top management refers to those who direct and control that part of the organization.
3.1.6 interested party person or organization (3.1.4) that can affect, be affected by, or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or activity
Note 1 to entry: To “perceive itself to be affected” means the perception has been made known to the organization. EXAMPLE Customers, communities, suppliers, regulators, non-governmental organizations, investors and employees.
3.2 Terms related to planning
3.2.1 environment surroundings in which an organization (3.1.4) operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans and their interrelationships
Note 1 to entry: Surroundings can extend from within an organization to the local, regional and global system.
Note 2 to entry: Surroundings can be described in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems, climate or other characteristics.
3.2.2 environmental aspect element of an organization’s (3.1.4) activities or products or services that interacts or can interact with the environment (3.2.1)
Note 1 to entry: An environmental aspect can cause (an) environmental impact(s) (3.2.4). A significant Environmental aspect is one that has or can have one or more significant environmental impact(s). Note 2 to entry: Significant environmental aspects are determined by the organization applying one or more criteria
3.2.3 environmental condition state or characteristic of the environment (3.2.1) as determined at a certain point in time
3.2.4 environmental impact change to the environment (3.2.1), whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s (3.1.4) environmental aspects (3.2.2)
3.2.5 objective result to be achieved
Note 1 to entry: An objective can be strategic, tactical, or operational.
Note 2 to entry: Objectives can relate to different disciplines (such as financial, health and safety, and environmental goals) and can apply at different levels (such as strategic, organization-wide, project, product, service and process (3.3.5).
Note 3 to entry: An objective can be expressed in other ways, e.g. as an intended outcome, a purpose, an operational criterion, as an environmental objective (3.2.6), or by the use of other words with similar meaning (e.g. aim, goal, or target).
3.2.6 environmental objective objective (3.2.5) set by the organization (3.1.4) consistent with its environmental policy (3.1.3)
3.2.7 prevention of pollution use of processes (3.3.5), practices, techniques, materials, products, services or energy to avoid, reduce or control (separately or in combination) the creation, emission or discharge of any type of pollutant or waste, in order to reduce adverse environmental impacts (3.2.4)
Note 1 to entry: Prevention of pollution can include source reduction or elimination; process, product or service changes; efficient use of resources; material and energy substitution; reuse; recovery; recycling, reclamation; or treatment.
3.2.8 requirement need or expectation that is stated, generally implied or obligatory
Note 1 to entry: “Generally implied” means that it is custom or common practice for the organization (3.1.4) and interested parties (3.1.6) that the need or expectation under consideration is implied.
Note 2 to entry: A specified requirement is one that is stated, for example in documented information (3.3.2).
Note 3 to entry: Requirements other than legal requirements become obligatory when the organization decides to comply with them.
3.2.9 compliance obligations (preferred term) legal requirements and other requirements (admitted term) legal requirements (3.2.8) that an organization (3.1.4) has to comply with and other requirements that an organization has to or chooses to comply with
Note 1 to entry: Compliance obligations are related to the environmental management system (3.1. 2).
Note 2 to entry: Compliance obligations can arise from mandatory requirements, such as applicable laws and regulations, or voluntary commitments, such as organizational and industry standards, contractual relationships, codes of practice and agreements with community groups or non-governmental organizations.
3.2.10 risk effect of uncertainty
Note 1 to entry: An effect is a deviation from the expected — positive or negative.
Note 2 to entry: Uncertainty is the state, even partial, of deficiency of information related to, understanding or knowledge of, an event, its consequence, or likelihood.
Note 3 to entry: Risk is often characterized by reference to potential “events” (as defined in ISO Guide 73:2009, 188.8.131.52) and “consequences” (as defined in ISO Guide 73:2009, 184.108.40.206), or a combination of these.
Note 4 to entry: Risk is often expressed in terms of a combination of the consequences of an event (including changes in circumstances) and the associated “likelihood” (as defined in ISO Guide 73:2009, 220.127.116.11) of occurrence.
3.2.11 risks and opportunities potential adverse effects (threats) and potential beneficial effects (opportunities)
3.3 Terms related to support and operation
3.3.1 competence ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve intended results
3.3.2 documented information information required to be controlled and maintained by an organization (3.1.4) and the medium on which it is contained
Note 1 to entry: Documented information can be in any format and media, and from any source.
Note 2 to entry: Documented information can refer to:
the environmental management system (3.1. 2)
including related processes (3.3.5)
information created in order for the organization to operate (can be referred to as documentation);
evidence of results achieved (can be referred to a s records).
3.3.3 life cycle consecutive and interlinked stages of a product (or service) system, from raw material acquisition or generation from natural resources to final disposal
Note 1 to entry: The life cycle stages include acquisition of raw materials, design, production, transportation/delivery, use, end-of-life treatment and final disposal.
[SOURCE: ISO 14044:2006, 3.1, modified The words “(or service)” have been added to the definition and Note 1 to entry has been added.]
3.3.4 outsource (verb) make an arrangement where an external organization (3.1 .4) performs part of an organization’s function or process (3.3.5)
Note 1 to entry: An external organization is outside the scope of the management system (3.1.1 ), although the outsourced function or process is within the scope.
3.3.5 process set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs
Note 1 to entry: A process can be documented or not.
3.4 Terms related to performance evaluation and improvement
3.4.1 audit systematic, independent and documented process (3.3.5) for obtaining audit evidence and evaluating it objectively to determine the extent to which the audit criteria are fulfilled
Note 1 to entry: An internal audit is conducted by the organization (3.1.4) itself, or by an external party on its behalf.
Note 2 to entry: An audit can be a combined audit (combining two or more disciplines).
Note 3 to entry: Independence can be demonstrated by the freedom from responsibility for the activity being audited or freedom from bias and conflict of interest.
Note 4 to entry: “Audit evidence” consists of records, statements of fact or other information which are relevant to the audit criteria and are verifiable; and “audit criteria” are the set of policies, procedures or requirements (3.2.8) used as a reference against which audit evidence is compared, as defined in ISO 19011:2011, 3.3 and 3.2 respectively.
3.4.2 conformity fulfillment of a requirement (3.2.8)
3.4.3 nonconformity non-fulfillment of a requirement (3.2.8)
Note 1 to entry: Nonconformity relates to requirements in this International Standard and additional environmental management system (3.1.2) requirements that an organization (3.1.4) establishes for itself.
3.4.4 corrective action action to eliminate the cause of a nonconformity (3.4.3) and to prevent recurrence
Note 1 to entry: There can be more than one cause for a nonconformity.
3.4.5 continual improvement recurring activity to enhance performance (3.4.10)
Note 1 to entry: Enhancing performance relates to the use of the environmental management system (3.1.2) to enhance environmental performance (3.4.11) consistent with the organization’s (3.1.4) environmental policy (3.1.3).
Note 2 to entry: The activity need not take place in all areas simultaneously, or without interruption.
3.4.6 effectiveness extent to which planned activities are realized and planned results achieved
3.4.7 indicator measurable representation of the condition or status of operations, management or conditions [SOURCE: ISO 14031:2013, 3.15]
3.4.8 monitoring determining the status of a system, a process (3.3.5) or an activity
Note 1 to entry: To determine the status, there might be a need to check, supervise or critically observe.
3.4.9 measurement process (3.3.5) to determine a value
3.4.10 performance measurable result
Note 1 to entry: Performance can relate either to quantitative or qualitative findings. Note 2 to entry: Performance can relate to the management of activities, processes (3.3.5), products (including services), systems or organizations (3.1.4).
3.4.11 environmental performance performance (3.4.10) related to the management of environmental aspects (3.2.2)
Note 1 to entry: For an environmental management system (3.1.2), results can be measured against the organization’s (3.1.4) environmental policy (3.1.3), environmental objectives (3.2.6) or other criteria, using indicators (3.4.7)
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