Nowadays every living and Non-Living thing is affected by pollution. Pollution has become a cause of disease in Human beings. We have experienced that the number of critical illnesses % has increased in each age group of humans. Because due to pollution – Air Quality, Water Quality, and Natural resources like Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Fruits, vegetables, Meat, Milk, etc are contaminated with pollution. When humans consumed Food, which causes health issues, and over a period of time it becomes a critical illness, and Life of humans is at Risk. Life has become uncertain due to pollution. Pollution may be Air Pollution, Water pollution, Environmental Pollution, Noise Pollution Land Pollution, Depletion of Natural Resources, etc.
About Environmental Pollution
Pollution is something introduced into the environment that is dirty, unclean, or has a harmful effect. For a world continuing to face environmental challenges with issues such as natural disasters, deforestation, overpopulation, climate mitigation and adaptation, resource depletion, biodiversity, etc., a change in any component of the environment may cause discomfort and affect normal life – that is pollution.
In today’s industry scenario still, there is conventional technology used that may impose pollution or become the source of it.
Source of pollution – here talking about the organization, any activity, process, product, or service causing pollution, is the source of pollution. Some examples of sources of pollution are Chimneys, Process dust/odor in the air, machine noise, paper / plastic use, scrap/waste disposal/dumping to the ground/water, etc.
Companies are continuing to recognize the need to manage their environmental challenges and contribute towards finding solutions to the issues facing us all.
Prevention of Pollution
Pollution prevention is an action taken to reduce, eliminate, or prevent pollution at its source. It is also known as an approach to waste management. Reducing the amount of pollution produced means less waste to control, treat, or dispose of. Less pollution means fewer hazards posed to public health and the environment
Pollution prevention approaches can be applied to all potential and actual pollution-generating activities, including those found in the energy, agriculture, federal, consumer, and industrial sectors. Prevention practices are essential for preserving wetlands, groundwater sources, and other critical ecosystems – areas in which we especially want to stop pollution before it begins.
There are two ways of pollution prevention – one is waste reduction at the source which may call in-process recycling and the second is Technology improvement which imposes changes in the production process/design that reduce output waste.
Environmental Aspects and Impact
It is an element of an organization’s activities or products or services that can interact with the environment causing an Impact on it or any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s environmental aspects.
Need for Environmental Management System to prevent pollution
ISO 14001 standard is an Environment Management System that provides organizations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with social and economic needs.
Compliance to the EMS standard requirements can help an organization for contributing to sustainable development by preventing environmental impacts, assisting to fulfill the compliance obligations, minimizing or controlling the potential adverse effects of environmental conditions on the organization, controlling the product or services considering the life cycle perspective to prevent environmental impact from being shifted to life cycle stage. It assures interested parties that an effective environmental management system is in place
Application of this Standard may differ from one organization to another due to the context of the organization. Two organizations can carry out similar activities but can have different compliance obligations, and commitments in their environmental policy, Environmental
Technologies and environmental performance goals, yet both can conform to the requirements of this EMS Standard
This standard can be applied to any kind of organization to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
It helps the organization to achieve the intended outcome for Societal expectations for sustainable development, transparency, and accountability with increasingly stringent legislation, growing pressures on the environment from pollution, inefficient use of resources, improper waste management, climate change, degradation of ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity.
How to implement Environmental Management System in the organization to prevent pollution
For effective implementation of 14001, organizations need to identify the environmental aspects within the organization that may have a direct or indirect impact on the environment.
Below are some examples of Environmental aspects and their Impact
- Use of Electrical energy (plant and machinery operation)
- That may impose a burden on power generation creating depletion of limited resources (which is operated by Hydropower plants using water resources, Thermal power plants using Coal, Atomic energy, or thermal combustion) by using excessive/unnecessary electricity for plant operation/machinery usage/infrastructure.
- Impose greenhouse gas emission through heat dissipation from plant machinery operation,
- impose ozone layer depletion promoting global warming
- Water usage (for processing/consumption/cooling)
- that may impose water resource depletion, water degradation, or contamination that may impact aqua life, reduced BOD content
- Oil usage (for transportation/lubrication)
- that impose the use of natural resources i.e. oil
- Land contamination through oil spillage
- Air pollution through carbon emission to the air by transportation equipment leaves an odor surrounding the Environment
- Imposing fire/explosion hazards that may cause life threats to living things, biodiversity
- Machinery/equipment/vehicle operations –
- creating noise thus noise pollution to the environment creating health hazards to the living things
- Waste disposal
- Landfill create/release gases to the environment that may harmful
- Landfill (in the form of oil spillage, chemical discharge, combustion of multiple wastes) that may contaminate the soil that refusing plant life to grow further / Nourish
- Water discharge in the form of industrial effluents drains water – that will impact the aquaculture life imposing biological imbalance
- Air discharge through the chimney, gas release, contributing air pollution which is hazardous to living things and pose warming the surroundings, or fog forming, etc.
- Plastic Usage in industrial applications imposes soil contamination, toxic gas released into the air when burnt and does not decompose hence posing a threat to living things and environmental life.
- Paper usage leads to deforestation creating drowning soil, deserts, etc.
To address the environmental issues organization should identify the issues / environmental aspects and their impact, their control, and application within their process to ensure the prevention of pollution.
There are two ways of pollution prevention – one is waste reduction at source or may call in-process recycling and the second is Technology improvement that imposes changes in production process/design that reduce output waste
Recycling is very profitable due to its ease of process. By applying recycling practices, industries may cut down the amount of material discarded as environmentally purchased -hazardous waste, but they also increase profitability by reducing the amount of raw material.
However, technology improvement implies changes to the production process that reduce the amount of output waste, such as an improved recycling process.
How to control the Aspects and its Impact on the Environment
Below are the examples as applicable to the industries, operations or processes (but not limited)
- Water Pollution can be controlled by treating it, then discharging it to the mainstream such as ETP, or WTP (Ref CPCB or State PCB guidelines for details)
- Energy conservation can be done by applying procedures to monitor the usage/consumption and limiting / prompt use of energy / electrical apparatus
- Noise pollution can be controlled by applying acoustic enclosure to the source / frequent maintenance of the plant/machinery/monitoring noise level as defined by the CPCB / State PCB to control its impact if it exceeds the limitations.
By applying effective controls on identified aspects, an organization can comply with the obligatory requirements. Below are the examples (but not limited) of obligatory requirements as applicable as per the processes defined by the organization such as
- The Environment (Protection) Act & Rules
- The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act,
- The Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act
- Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules
- Indian Electricity Act and Rules
- Factories Act and Factories Rules (as applicable)
- Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules
- Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules
- Recycled Plastics (Manufacture & Usage) Rules
The organization has to identify the obligatory requirement that is applicable to the organizational activities/processes/products/services. Define the criteria for its assessment. Assess the organizational activities/processes/products/services as defined and apply controls and monitor the same to verify its (Control) effectiveness.
Compliance with the obligatory requirement as applicable (but not limited) such as
- Air consent
- Water Consent
- Power Consent
- Water Discharge Consent
- Solid Waste Consent
- Use of Battery Consent
- Use of D.G. Set Consent
- Fire NOC
- Record of Waste Generated
ISO 14001 certification will help the organizations to understand and implement the EMS standard that is required to be maintained along with the new technology
Key requirements of ISO 14001 Certification documentation
- Identifying / Determining the environmental aspects associated with the organizational activities and their impact on the environment
- Applying controls to identified significant aspects.
- Determining product life cycle perspective
- Establishing Environmental Policy, EMS Manual, and Procedures
- Determining and complying with obligatory requirements
- Determining emergency response and preparedness for identified emergency situations
- Monitoring and measuring environmental performance
- Conducting Internal audit and management review meetings
- Determining and implementing a plan for continual improvement of environmental performance