ISO 14001 - Lean EMS® Curriculum

Understanding ISO 14001 requirements, needs, and implementation methods can be a difficult task. Organizations spend a great deal of time and money in simply trying to understand what they need to do. This time and money is better-spent improving the business, providing products or services to the customer, and reducing then environmental footprint. In order to eliminate the time and expense of discovery, mistakes, and trial and error Pinnacle Enterprise Group (Pinnacle) has created the Lean EMS® Curriculum. The Lean EMS® Curriculum is a comprehensive approach that provides your organization with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively develop, implement, and maintain of a lean and advanced EMS.

Pinnacle's approach is more than a simple ISO 14001 certification program. Simply addressing generic requirements and passing a Certification Audit just buys you an expensive certificate to hang on a wall. To bring long-term value the EMS must be rational, practical, and efficient. It must continually define, describe, and control all business processes (including technical and regulatory processes) than can contribute to the amount of environmental impact. Furthermore, maintaining registration (certification) mandates a sustained mind set and proficiency. Simply put, your staff must have the skills and knowledge needed to take ownership of the EMS and have the ability to maintain and improve it into the future.

To foster this organizational commitment, Pinnacle employs and assigns only seasoned professionals that will transfer the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve certification and support the continual improvement philosophy.

As part of the Lean EMS® Curriculum, a Pinnacle Project Director is assigned to your organization to serve as your teacher, coach, and mentor through each element of the project. He or she transfers the knowledge and skills to your staff by working hands-on with them at your facility(ies). Each element of the Lean EMS® Curriculum and each visit by the Project Director are customized to ensure that your organization can effectively develop, implement, manage, use, and improve your EMS while maintaining certification. One of the objectives is to eliminate the dependence on additional outside assistance.

The Lean EMS® Curriculum can include the following elements. Each element is custom tailored to fit your organization's specific needs:

The world's top Registrars have certified Pinnacle's clients with a 100% success rate. This is why Pinnacle can guarantee that you will get certified the first time.

Furthermore, each custom tailored Lean EMS® Curriculum is delivered at a fixed cost and is typically completed within 2-4 months.

Contact Pinnacle to discuss your Lean EMS® Curriculum

Schedule a Lean EMS® demo and see for yourself

Lean EMS Documentation - Overview

ISO 14001 requires that, at a minimum, your EMS be rationalized and articulated by:

"One important lesson I've taken away from Pinnacle's innovative approach to [Environmental] Management System is that [EMS] documentation doesn't need to be cumbersome, overwhelming and boring."

Nick Tousi, Sr. Vice President
Nova Analytics Corporation

  1. An EMS Scope statement
  2. An Environmental Policy
  3. A description of the main elements of the EMS including their interaction and related documents
  4. 11 Documented Procedures (Pinnacle refers to these as Support Processes)
  5. At least 14 Record types.

Unfortunately, these requirements are traditionally misunderstood resulting in the following false paradigm being applied to an EMS:

While this paradigm may be appropriate for describing a documentation structure, companies rarely operate in this way. In fact, this paradigm is typically the cause of over documentation. The resulting paperwork glut quickly becomes "shelf-ware" and a burden to the EMS.

Pinnacle developed a realistic and practical process-based model than consists of three major components:

  1. Management Policies or Processes (MP) - Policies or processes that set the mission, vision, and direction of the organization.
  2. Support Processes (SP) - Processes that facilitate, monitor, control, and improve the EMS, but do not directly impact the product/service or the environment.
  3. Core Processes (CP) - A set of processes defining and controlling all product/service realization activities that can directly impact the environment.

The figure below illustrates the model and the relationship of these components:

In turn, these three components are supported by:

  1. Work Instructions (WI) -Specific or individual task level instructions that support the fulfillment of Core or Support Processes.
  2. Forms/Records (F) - Standardized forms that, when completed, collect information that is retained as records. A form becomes a record when it is written on or completed. When forms contain enough task level instructions they can replace Work Instructions.

This process model is the foundation for Pinnacle's Lean EMS® methodology. The resulting EMS documentation exceeds the requirements of ISO 14001 (link to ISO 14001 Requirements Simplified Page) while laying the foundation for a rational, practical, and Lean EMS®.

Lean EMS Documentation - EMS Map

ISO 14001 requires an organization to describe "the main elements of the environmental management system and their interaction, and reference to related documents" at the highest level. This is the role of the traditional "Environmental Policy Manual." However, ISO 14001 does not require an "Environmental Policy Manual." The intent is to articulate and demonstrate that you view your business as a set of interrelated processes (vertical and lateral process integration).

Pinnacle's advanced methodology includes the replacement of the traditional "Environmental Policy Manual" with Pinnacle's excusive EMS Map. The EMS Map functions as an interactive interface for your EMS. The EMS Map:

  1. describes the scope your EMS,
  2. identifies how the ISO 14001 is applied in your organization using a "smart number" system,
  3. identifies what processes make up your EMS, and
  4. describes the rational interaction between your EMS processes.

This unique approach eliminates the non-value-added traditional "Environmental Policy Manual" and the time organizations spend creating, editing, and maintaining it.

Below is Pinnacle's model of an interactive EMS/QMS Map that replaces a traditional "Environmental Policy Manual" (and "Quality Manual"):

Schedule a Lean EMS® demo and see for yourself

Lean EMS Documentation - Process Mapping

ISO 14001 requires an organization to follow a process approach when managing its EMS. Process Maps are ideal for this purpose.

A Process Map is a graphical representation of a process. It represents the entire process from start to finish, including:

  • process inputs and outputs,
  • activities and responsibility,
  • pathways, parallel processes, and process loops,
  • decision points,
  • key measures, metrics, objectives, and targets, and
  • interaction with other processes.

Depending on your objectives, a Process Map can represent the entire process at a high or detailed level, allowing detailed analysis and process optimization. Furthermore, a Process Map is an ideal instructional tool for assuring effective training and process consistency. Once Process Maps are established, an organization can work towards ensuring its processes are effective (the right process is followed the every time), and efficient (continually improved to ensure processes use the least amount of resources).

Process Mapping is the fundamental EMS documentation methodology used of the Lean EMS® Curriculum. (Read "Process Mapping & Process Redesign" article.)

Traditional text procedures do not serve your EMS well. In general, they are long, confusing, unable to show parallel processes, unavailable (in binders), and require strong reading comprehension and retention skills. These issues are magnified in companies that must also contend with language and cultural differences.

Process Maps on the other hand can be 1/5 the length, show a greater amount of detail and complexity, are easy to follow, and are readily available (posted on walls, accessed via intranet, etc.). Process Maps play on the strength of the brain to recognize and recall patterns. They take a very complex system and make it a simple step-by-step operation that is visually intuitive. Inconsistencies and open loop processes are easily identified when placed in a graphical model. The Process Maps are then easily modified and used to train people quickly. Consequently, improvements are introduced in a matter of minutes. Having the ability to develop and maintain process mapped documentation as your organization evolves is a key component of the Lean EMS® methodology.

Contact Pinnacle to discuss your Lean EMS® Curriculum

Schedule a Lean EMS® demo and see for yourself