Support

7.1 Resources
The organization shall determine and provide the resources needed for the establishment, implementation, maintenance and continual improvement of the environmental management system.

7.2 Competence
The organization shall:

a) determine the necessary competence of person(s) doing work under its control that affects its environmental performance and its ability to fulfil its compliance obligations;
b) ensure that these persons are competent on the basis of appropriate education, training or experience;
c) determine training needs associated with its environmental aspects and its environmental management system;
d) where applicable, take actions to acquire the necessary competence, and evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken.

NOTE Applicable actions can include, for example, the provision of training to, the mentoring of, or the reassignment of currently employed persons; or the hiring or contracting of competent persons.

The organization shall retain appropriate documented information as evidence of competence.

7.3 Awareness
The organization shall ensure that persons doing work under the organization’s control are aware of:

a) the environmental policy;
b) the significant environmental aspects and related actual or potential environmental impacts associated with their work;
c) their contribution to the effectiveness of the environmental management system, including the benefits of enhanced environmental performance;
d) the implications of not conforming with the environmental management system requirements, including not fulfilling the organization’s compliance obligations.

7.4 Communication
7.4.1 General
The organization shall establish, implement and maintain the process(es) needed for internal and external communications relevant to the environmental management system, including:

a) on what it will communicate;
b) when to communicate;
c) with whom to communicate;
d) how to communicate.

When establishing its communication process(es), the organization shall:
— take into account its compliance obligations;
— ensure that environmental information communicated is consistent with information generated within the environmental management system, and is reliable.

The organization shall respond to relevant communications on its environmental management system.

The organization shall retain documented information as evidence of its communications, as appropriate.

7.4.2 Internal communication
The organization shall:

a) internally communicate information relevant to the environmental management system among the various levels and functions of the organization, including changes to the environmental management system, as appropriate;
b) ensure its communication process(es) enable(s) persons doing work under the organization’s control to contribute to continual improvement.

7.4.3 External communication
The organization shall externally communicate information relevant to the environmental management system, as established by the organization’s communication process(es) and as required by its compliance obligations.

7.5 Documented information
7.5.1 General
The organization’s environmental management system shall include:

a) documented information required by this International Standard;
b) documented information determined by the organization as being necessary for the effectiveness of the environmental management system. NOTE The extent of documented information for an environmental management system can differ from one organization to another due to:
— the size of organization and its type of activities, processes, products and services;
— the need to demonstrate fulfilment of its compliance obligations;
— the complexity of processes and their interactions;
— the competence of persons doing work under the organization’s control.

7.5.2 Creating and updating
When creating and updating documented information, the organization shall ensure appropriate:
a) identification and description (e.g. a title, date, author, or reference number);
b) format (e.g. language, software version, graphics) and media (e.g. paper, electronic);
c) review and approval for suitability and adequacy.

7.5.3 Control of documented information
Documented information required by the environmental management system and by this International Standard shall be controlled to ensure:

a) it is available and suitable for use, where and when it is needed;
b) it is adequately protected (e.g. from loss of confidentiality, improper use, or loss of integrity).

For the control of documented information, the organization shall address the following activities as applicable:
— distribution, access, retrieval and use;
— storage and preservation, including preservation of legibility;
— control of changes (e.g. version control);
— retention and disposition.

Documented information of external origin determined by the organization to be necessary for the planning and operation of the environmental management system shall be identified, as appropriate, and controlled.

NOTE Access can imply a decision regarding the permission to view the documented information only, or
the permission and authority to view and change the documented information.

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