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Generic ISO 14001 EMS Templates(ISO 14001:2004 version)User Manual-Chapter II

Generic ISO 14001 EMS Templates
(ISO 14001 : 2004 version)
User Manual


Environmental Management System (EMS) Planning

Chapter II

A. Initial Environmental Review

B. Gap Analysis



The most important elements of setting up a successful EMS are :

gaining full commitment from your company's top management, and

establishing your "EMS Working Team" to develop the system.

The first key task of the EMS Working Team is to undertake your "Baseline Assessment", which helps identify your current strengths and weaknesses in environmental protection. The Baseline Assessment involves an Initial Environmental Review (IER) and Gap Analysis (GA). Both are described with the Generic ISO 14001 EMS Templates and Practical Examples of ISO 14001 EMS in this section.


Although the IER and GA are not an ISO 14001 Standard requirement, the benefits of conducting a baseline assessment are :

to form the basis on which the EMS is built,

to help establish your current level of environmental performance.

to identify the "gaps" needed to be filled to comply with ISO 14001 requirements, and estimate the cost and manpower that will be involved.

The various steps in this Phase are detailed below.

Helpful Tips:

Get top management to visibly support the development of EMS. This could be done by giving an address at a staff meeting or by notice advising all staff.

The EMS Working Team will be responsible for EMS planning, performing initial environmental review, and developing the EMS documentation in Phase II.

The EMS Working Team usually includes a nominated EMS leader (manager / coordinator) and representatives from different functions of the company (e.g. administration, finance, production, etc.)

The EMS leader should be someone in your company who :

has good understanding of how your company works day-to-day

has basic knowledge of environmental issues; and

has sufficient authority to get the necessary support from different departments.

A.   Initial Environmental Review

Download (Template - IER-01 Initial Environmental Review Checklist)

Initial Environmental Review (IER) is a preliminary review of the existing environmental programmes and systems in your company. Understanding your company's approach to environmental concerns will assist you to identify areas for improvement. In addition, you may wish to quantify baseline environmental conditions at your facility for comparison to future conditions.

This review is best conducted through discussions with different functions in your company, especially line managers and line workers. The purpose of the review is to identify the day-to-day working knowledge of your company's operations. Therefore, it is necessary to include personnel who have direct knowledge of as many relevant functions as possible.

The IER consists of 3 steps :

Step 1 : Pre-IER

Create your IER checklist (see IER-01) to collect information

Step 2 : IER

Fill out the checklist through site inspection, document review, interview with responsible personnel, direct labours, machine operators, etc.

Step 3 : Review

Submit the completed checklist and back-up information to the EMS leader / IER Team to review the current environmental performance and practices of your company.


Helpful Tips for using checklist IER-01

The italicised words under Comments are common remarks to the corresponding questions.

Try to complete the checklist as fully as possible, or identify as NA if not applicable.

Potential valuable sources of information:

Equipment manufacturers

Suppliers and vendors (e.g. waste disposal company)

Government agencies


Community groups

Environmental green groups

Consider benchmarking your practices or performance against other organisations or industry associations
B.   Gap Analysis

Download (Template - IER-02 Gap Analysis Report)

A Gap Analysis is a way to use the results of your IER to identify the "gaps" between your existing management practices, and those required by the EMS standard. The Gap Analysis is a very helpful tool for you to identify ways to improve your environmental management practices and set priorities where action is needed. To complete the provided Generic ISO 14001 EMS Templates of gap analysis report (IER-02), you should:

1. List your existing environmental practices and documents corresponding to each ISO 14001 clause in "Remarks".

2. Compare the items in Remarks with the ISO 14001 Standard and rate your company's position on the right column.

Helpful Tips for using checklist IER-02

Some sample guidance questions assisting you to rate your company is provided in Appendix 2.

For example if "The Environmental Policy meets all ISO requirements" put "●●●●● ", if there is no Environmental Policy put "ooooo".

Go to Next Section : EMS Development & Implementation
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