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What is an environmental aspect and examples

Do you wonder what an environmental aspect is? It is an element that interacts with the environment and this interaction can occur in different ways. In addition, there are those that are of a significant type and there are indirect ones.

You want to know more? Then continue reading because in AgroCorrn we have a clear vocation for the conservation of the environment and, therefore, we invite you to understand some basic concepts about environmental sciences, through our articles and, on this occasion, we explain what an aspect is environmental and some clear examples , as well as what are the ISO 14000 standards.

You may also be interested in: What is environmental management
  1. What is an environmental aspect
  2. Environmental aspect: examples
  3. What are ISO 14000 standards

What is an environmental aspect

According to the ISO organization ( International Stardard Organization , or international standardization organization) environmental aspect is defined as:

“Element of the activities, products or services of an organization that interacts or may interact with the environment”.

In simple words, an environmental aspect is any facet of a company, NGO, association, public entity, etc., that is related to the environment.

Environmental aspects can cause one or more environmental impacts , or modifications to the environment. In addition, they are classified as significant or not significant. That it is significant implies that the modification is noticeable enough to generate a significant change in the environment.

Another classification of environmental aspects is whether they are direct or indirect. In direct environmental aspects, the organization exercises direct control of its management, while in indirect environmental aspects “it influences to a reasonable degree”, probably through third parties over whom it has some type of authority.

The environmental impacts, a priori, can be both beneficial and detrimental to the environment. However, depending on the prevailing social and economic dynamics, the outcome is often detrimental. Here you can learn more about What is a negative and positive environmental impact with examples .

These are the environmental aspects that an organization has to emphasize, determining if they are significant, direct, etc:

Environmental aspect: examples

Next, we will see some examples of environmental aspects , of different types and for different types of companies or industries:

Significant environmental aspects: examples

Whether an environmental aspect is significant or not depends largely on the organization’s activity and where it is located. Ultimately, each company must carry out a thorough evaluation of environmental aspects. In this section we are going to see some examples of common environmental aspects:

  • Energy consumption for the entire industry.
  • Soil uses and contamination for agriculture.
  • CO2 emissions for a logistics company.
  • Water pollution in the livestock industry.
  • Noise pollution in a factory near a natural park.

Indirect environmental aspects: examples

Likewise, whether an environmental aspect is direct or indirect depends largely on the activity of the organization.

  • Examples in an administration: an administrative entity, in principle, does not carry out direct CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. However, it will consume electrical energy, which may have been produced by renewable energy or in a thermal power plant. Likewise, it does not directly discharge into water, but it will consume a huge amount of paper, the paper industry being one of the most polluting.
  • Examples in the food industry: the food industry has a direct influence on the consumption of water, energy and living beings. But it can also affect indirect environmental aspects such as soil degradation, if its products come from extensive agriculture and monoculture crops that are not respectful of the environment. Likewise, it can generate water pollution if the packaging of your products is not managed correctly.

What are ISO 14000 standards

The ISO 14000 standards are a set of regulations related to the environment that are used by organizations to implement management systems that allow them to reduce their environmental impacts , present or potential.

The best known of this set is ISO 14001 “Environmental management systems. Requirements with guidance for their use”, which defines the minimum criteria for having a competent Environmental Management System . Among the principles that govern this regulation are:

  • The “continuous improvement” (that is, the system cannot be implemented and forgotten, but must be constantly looking for new opportunities for improvement, and fulfill them).
  • An action plan in four steps: plan, do, check, act , or plan, do, evaluate and act. It means that you have to plan new actions, carry them out, evaluate their impact and, depending on the result, make new action decisions.
  • Indicators and goals: the organization must set annual objectives, which must be achievable, have a defined period of time for their achievement, and be measurable. An example of a well-planned objective could be “reduce electricity consumption by 5% within 6 months”.

Other regulations within the so-called ISO 14000 group are:

  • ISO 14006 “Environmental management systems. Guidelines for the incorporation of ecodesign”.
  • ISO 14020 “Ecolabels and environmental declarations. General principles”.
  • ISO 14046 “Environmental management. Water footprint. Principles, requirements and guidelines”.

These regulations are updated periodically every 5 years (usually). Finding out if a company complies with any of these regulations should help us assess its degree of commitment to the environment .

If you want to read more articles similar to What is an environmental aspect and examples , we recommend that you enter our category of Other environment .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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