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Implementing the New Environmental Management System with its Risk-Based Thinking

January 31, 2015

February 25, 2015  2 PM EDT

This fall we will be introduced to the completely renovated ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system – the one with that “risk-based thinking.” The new approach to environmental management will facilitate the move from compliance and process improvement to a new focus on meeting organizational objectives over the long term (sounds a little like “sustainability”). The international standard on risk management (ISO 31000) defines risk as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives.” In plain English this means that organizations should focus on meeting their objectives as it operates in an uncertain world. This “uncertainty” creates negative effects (threats) and positive effects (opportunities). Those of us working in P2 and energy conservation (P2E2) will continue to contribute to this risk-based thinking by developing the “opportunities” that can help offset the threats. This will help an organization meet its objectives. The focus is on meeting organizational objectives – not on conserving energy and reducing waste. Think more about how the organizations you deal with can use your services to help them meet the overarching objectives often stated in the mission statement.

There are eleven principles of risk management that help organizations create a great environmental MANAGEMENT system. You can take a look at these principles on the website: This website is called “Risk Management in Plain English.” There is also a framework and a process for risk management that is now embedded in the new ISO 14001:2015. Stakeholders, governance, environmental aspects, employees, operations, performance measurement and continual improvement continue to have a strong presence in the new standard. But the focus will be on the minimizing the threats and developing the opportunities that help the organization meet its objectives. P2E2 must create value, be part of ALL processes (no more silos), and be part of how decisions are made at all levels in the organization. This will take a little getting used to!

Who should pay attention to this new world of ISO management system standards? If a facility is part of a publicly traded company, this new approach will help the environmental, health and safety manager participate in the company’s enterprise risk management system (Sarbanes Oxley Section 404). Small and medium-sized companies are often tied to their customers through supplier codes of conduct that now contain risk-based thinking. There’s no escape. Everyone in operations (activities, products and services) should be interested in this topic. People involved in P2E2 and management system standards (quality, health & safety, assets management, information security, environment, business continuity, and ethical trading initiatives) will also find this webinar helpful since all of these management systems are now on the same high level numbering system. We guarantee that the topic will not be “risky” since we will be focused on the opportunities. We will also have a little fun along the way.

Robert B. Pojasek, Ph.D.
Principal Analyst
Verdantix, Inc.

Dr. Pojasek is a market analyst who covers developments in the areas of environmental, health and safety as well as sustainability. Verdantix is an independent analyst firm that provides authoritative data, analysis and advice to help clients succeed with their energy, EH&S and sustainability strategies. Bob is an internationally recognized expert in sustainability and risk management. He has worked with a diverse range of clients in the manufacturing and services sectors both at the corporate and facility level in 25 countries.

Dr. Pojasek has been awarded the “Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award” by the National
Pollution Prevention Roundtable and recognition for “Outstanding Dedication to Pollution
Prevention” by the Canadian Pollution Prevention Roundtable. He served as the Chairman of the
(former) American Institute for Pollution Prevention.

He has published more than 100 papers. His book, “Making the Business Case for EHS,” was
recognized by APEX as the best “how to” book published in 2005. Dr. Pojasek and Cam
Metcalf authored the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) publication, “An
Organizational Guide to Pollution Prevention.” Dr. Pojasek has served on the Science
Advisory Boards of the US EPA and the US Air Force. Dr. Pojasek has held leadership and Board positions in a number of professional associations.

Dr. Pojasek is an Adjunct Faculty Lecturer at Harvard University Extension School where he
teaches a popular distance-learning course, “Strategies for Sustainability Management.” Dr. Pojasek was recognized for his distinguished service to his students by receiving the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Pojasek received his Ph.D from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his B.S. from Rutgers University.


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2014 Great Lakes Green Chemistry Conference Presentations

July 21, 2014

Mechanisms From Nature in Materials Design (John Warner, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry)
Green Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, and Design (Julie Zimmerman, Yale Center for Green Chemistry & Engineering)
Two Big Challenges for Green Chemistry Innovation: From an Industry Perspective (Dennis McGavis, Goodyear)

Panel 1: The Imperative of Green Chemistry for the Great Lakes
Chemical Challenges for the Great Lakes: Past, Present, and Future (Alison Spongberg, University of Toledo)
Commercialization of Three Bio-derived Materials at PolyOne: Case Studies (Jason Zhu, PolyOne Corporation)
Green Chemistry and Engineering Education Priorities (Glenn Lipscomb, University of Toledo)

Panel 2: How Policy Drives Green Chemistry Innovations: A Business Perspective
The US Automotive Industry’s Response to the Green Chemistry Challenge (AJ Guikemo, Tetra Tech)
Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering at Dow (Pamela Spencer, Dow Chemical Co.)
Advancing Green Chemistry in Public Policy (Bryan McGannon, American Sustainable Business Council)

Panel 3: Green Chemistry Innovations in Business
Innovative Concretes Based on Innovative Green Chemistry (David Green, BASF Corporation)
Low VOC/HAP Options in Printing (Nicholas Liefeld, Serigraph Inc.)
Coatings Innovation from Green Chemistry (Steve Revnew, The Sherwin-Williams Company)

Panel 4: Getting Started on Alternatives Assessments
Transitioning to Safer Chemicals: OSHA’s Toolkit for Employers and Workers (Jessica Schifano, Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Alternatives Assessment (AA) Basics: An Overview of the HESI AA Subcommittee Activities and What it Means for Industry (Pamela Spencer, Dow Chemical Co.)
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Tool Selector (Jonathan Rivin, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point)
The Core of Alternatives Assessments (Eric Harrington, Green Advantage Consultants

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