Complying with Environmental Laws and Regulations
One of the most commonly cited reasons for implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management system is that it helps an organization comply with environmental laws and regulations.
ISO 14001 registration will provide additional assurance to City Council, senior management, regulators and key stakeholders that appropriate procedures have been implemented to identify, track, and communicate environmental laws and regulations. ISO 14001 registration will also provide assurance that our Administration is controlling, monitoring, and improving performance, relative to these laws/regulations.
A strong environmental management system, aimed at legal/regulatory compliance, will serve the City of Edmonton by increasing the likelihood of avoiding convictions, fines and judgments; avoiding internal legal costs; and promoting positive relations with regulators.
Avoiding Charges or Conviction
If an organization commits an environmental offence, it can be liable, even if the accident is unintentional. Moreover, the Crown does not have to prove that the conduct was intentional in order to succeed with prosecution.
However, "due diligence" can be used as a defence in such situations. Organizations can avoid conviction by showing they have taken all reasonable steps to avoid the type of harm that happened. This is important not only to the City as a corporate body, but also to its employees and even elected officials in their personal capacity.
Avoiding Internal Legal Costs
If the City is charged with an environmental offence, there are associated costs. Either outside legal counsel would have to be retained or, if handled internally, resources would need to be assigned to the project that would otherwise have been used elsewhere. In either case, there may also be the need to retain scientific or other experts for advice. The cost of such experts will vary depending on the amount of work required and the area of expertise.
Better Relationships with Regulators
Organizations that implement an ISO 14001 environmental management system often report improved relations with government regulatory agencies, find that regulators are quicker to provide technical support and find that regulators are much more supportive in general. ISO 14001 registration will send a strong signal to regulators that the City of Edmonton is committed to minimize its impact on the natural environment.