BS 8555:2016 Environmental management systems - Phased implementation - Guide
BS 8555 provides a way for businesses of any size to improve their environmental performance by building an environmental management system (EMS) in five phased stages.
This is a more manageable approach for SMEs. They can stop at any stage, but at the same time it puts them on track to achieve certification to the international environmental management systems standard, BS EN ISO 14001:2015 if that is what they want to do.
The standard is also useful for larger organizations wishing to introduce an EMS across a number of sites at once.
Who is the standard for?
The standard is suitable for any small to medium sized enterprise or multi-site organization, regardless of the nature of its business activity, location or level of maturity.
What does the standard cover?
It provides guidance for the phased implementation of an EMS allowing organizations to implement and maintain an EMS via a staged approach, with the option to stop at any stage, or to continue and attain a level suitable for ISO 14001 certification.
The standard includes advice on the integration and use of environmental performance evaluation (EPE) techniques during the implementation process and on coordinating an EMS with other management systems, where appropriate.
It helps organizations to achieve regulatory requirements and demonstrate to stakeholders that they are giving consideration to environmental impacts while helping them to manage resources and changes in circumstances.
NOTE: The standard is useful to multi-site companies because it provides a framework that all sites can work to in order to implement ISO 14001.
What are the benefits of the standard?
Use of the standard will help organizations develop their business while reducing the environmental impact of growth, decreasing waste and saving energy. It helps businesses become more innovative, improve management system process, meet regulatory requirements and enhance corporate reputation among investors, customers and the public. It will help them stay abreast of the changes in the environmental arena, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.
How is the 2016 version different from the 2003 standard?
The standard has been updated to ensure it continues to help organizations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges. It maintains a phased and robust approach in terms of managing risk and compliance with legislation during phases 2 and 3. However phases and stages have been updated to align with BS EN ISO 14001:2015 and current thinking. This means, for example:
- Understanding the organization’s context
- An increased focus on leadership
- Improvements in environmental performance
- A new focus on risk and opportunity
Phase 6 and associated guidance has also been removed to make the standard simpler and easier to use.