Three specific tasks must be addressed under the EMS Documentation section of the regulation:
- Description of the core elements of the environmental management system
- The description must demonstrate the interaction of these core elements
- The description must reference the related documents
Extent of EMS documentation
- Environmental policy statement
- Objectives and targets
- Structure and responsibility
- EMS core elements and their interaction
- Documented procedures, where their absence could lead to deviations from the environmental policy and objectives and targets
- Documented procedures to monitor and measure key characteristics of operations and activities that can have a significant impact on the environment
- Changes in documented procedures resulting from corrective and preventive action environmental records
- Management review
- Environmental statements
However, there is some more documentation implied by EMAS sections. For example, when you identify the environmental aspects of your activities, you should document them. Or identifying the legal requirements that are applicable to your activities would make no sense without documenting them.
Formally, you find a distinction in the regulation between 'documented procedure' and 'procedure', but for most organisations it may be useful to write down the 'procedures', too (see the Introduction to implementing an environmental management system for a discussion of this issue).
Other documents related to the environmental management system are all the documents and records required by environmental regulations and legislation. This begins with authorizations or licenses for the activities and goes on to any records required by regulations and environmental legislation.
Operating Procedures and Work Instructions
One very common form of documenting procedures is that of written Operational Procedures.
Work Instructions state in detail how a particular job is to be carried out.
Work instructions prevent Operational Procedures from becoming overloaded with details. They can even help to keep the documentation up-to-date, as it is easier to change a one-page Work Instruction than a multi-page procedure.
Work Instructions can support Operational Procedures. For example, the Operational Procedure 'Waste segregation and handling' may be backed up by notices on the wall at each place where waste is created.