There is an axiom which states that unless we measure and monitor a process, we can neither understand nor control the process. Environmental measurements are useful for identifying and determining environmental impacts associated with aspects, particularly regulated processes.

Industrial-process operators, for example, often have permits and consents, which in turn specify limits for allowable releases. This topic looks at how, in order to demonstrate compliance with such limits, operators must measure the specified determinants and describes how regulators also perform a variety of measurements, such as check monitoring to determine if operators are meeting permit conditions, and environmental monitoring to determine if the management of the environment is meeting quality objectives.

Industrial-process operators, for example, often have permits and consents, which in turn specify limits for allowable releases. This topic looks at how, in order to demonstrate compliance with such limits, operators must measure the specified determinants and describes how regulators also perform a variety of measurements, such as check monitoring to determine if operators are meeting permit conditions, and environmental monitoring to determine if the management of the environment is meeting quality objectives.

Monitoring and measuring is a key requirement of EMS implementation, particularly for tracking an organisation’s environmental performance. Three key standards where monitoring and measuring apply include:

  • ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems

  • ISO 14031 Environmental Management — Environmental Performance Evaluation

  • ISO 14051 Environmental Management — Material Flow Cost Accounting

While monitoring and measuring have their own definitions, the term “monitoring” is often used to cover both of these activities.

Quick Facts

Key points you need to know on this topic.

In-depth

Detailed information on all matters in this topic.