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Story Highlights

  • The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has launched Jamaican Standard (JS) ISO 14005:2017 – Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Guidelines.
  • This international standard provides guidance for all organisations, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), on the phased development, implementation and maintenance of an EMS within their entities.
  • Importantly, it will assist organisations in adequately observing the ban imposed on plastics and styrofoam.

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has launched Jamaican Standard (JS) ISO 14005:2017 – Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Guidelines.

This international standard provides guidance for all organisations, particularly micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), on the phased development, implementation and maintenance of an EMS within their entities.

Importantly, it will assist organisations in adequately observing the ban imposed on plastics and styrofoam.

Speaking at the launch on Wednesday (March 27) at the BSJ’s Winchester Road offices, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, said that the standard is in keeping with measures to inculcate a culture of sound environmental stewardship.

He noted that the national standard is applicable to any organisation, regardless of its level of development, the nature of the activities undertaken or the location at which they occur.

He added that standards are a proven way of ensuring that entities and individuals implement and practise environmentally friendly behaviours to reduce waste and pollution in the society.

The JS ISO 14005, in particular, is a global benchmark for environmental management best practice that can be applied to businesses of any size.

“The real benefit of ISO 14005 is that it can significantly improve an organisation’s environmental performance while greatly improving its bottom line at the same time. To enjoy the benefits of the standard, it is vital that each member of an organisation, regardless of position or role, be aware of and take responsibility for environmental management,” Mr. Shaw said.

He noted that the launch not only brings attention to the standard, but also seeks to energise activities around its use as a tool to achieve the government’s mandate to reduce the impact of plastics on the environment.

“This will be facilitated through the combined efforts of the BSJ and identified partners,” he said.

Meanwhile, Executive Director BSJ, Hopeton Heron, noted that the agency continues to align its activities to the national strategy.

“The BSJ is not only supporting the ban on the use of single-use plastics, but we are publicly endorsing the importance of taking all the necessary measures in order to protect the environment,” he said.

“Every organisation, in some way, affects the environment, which eventually affects public health,” Mr Heron said.

Benefits of an EMS include ultimate cost savings by implementing measures in product design to avoid or minimise environmental impacts; optimisation of manufacturing operations to reduce the quantity and quality of waste generated, including opportunities for recycling; and optimal water and energy use or energy and water consumption.