A new environmental standard from ISO (International Organization for Standardization) looks set to prove a useful and timely tool for business and financial managers.
The need to assess the environmental consequences of business activities is increasingly frequent in a variety of situations including compliance with legislation, reducing pollution, improving environmental performance, risk assessment, obtaining loans and insurance, property evaluations and during acquisitions and mergers. The new standard ISO 14015, Environmental assessment of sites and organizations, will therefore facilitate a whole range of business transactions, while supporting due care of the environment.
ISO 14015 costs 86 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).The new standard is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management.
The environmental assessment of sites and organizations (EASO) may be one of an organization's operational activities, carried out on the acquisition or divestiture of assets, or conducted as part of a broader business assessment often referred to as "due diligence". Increasingly, environmental assessments are also being conducted in connection with the granting of credit facilities, or prior to contracting insurance, or as part of a property evaluation.
The basic aim of an EASO is to establish the relationship between the environmental aspects of an enterprise or location, and the environmental issues (risks/opportunities) and their ensuing business consequences (financial or other) as part of the preparations for a proposed business transaction.
ISO 14015 includes various tools and references to information sources to assist in the identification of environmental issues connected to, for example, waste water discharges, gas emissions and waste generation.