ISO 9001 – 14001 Integrated Certification – EMAS II Registration

With an ambitious and innovative project, Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park obtained on 10th July 2003 the integrated certification for the environmental management system ISO 14001 and for the quality management system ISO 9001 (Vision 2000), something completely new for a protected area. As a matter of fact, it has been the first Park in Europe to achieve this goal.
The process to obtain the certification has enabled a thorough verification of the effectiveness of the Park Authority and of its planning activity, in the frame of mind of a continuous improvement. The achievement of the certification represents a further guarantee of the correct environmental management of the Park for a sustainable development of the territory.
The principles of sustainable development are globally accepted, but the efficient implementation of the programs depends on the local commitment: here it is possible and it is necessary to enhance the environmental resources and the resources of the Local Communities.
According to the Agenda 21 principles, the shared values must be periodically checked in an impartial and transparent manner.
The parameters regarding the environmental programs – explicitly required by Agenda 21- are also the foundations for the continuous improvement required by ISO 9001 (Vision 2000) and ISO 14001.

The Park has an instrument enabling the effective and efficient implementation of significant programs that will bring practical benefits to the territory of Dolomiti Bellunesi and, at the same time, will be a reference example for the whole group of Italian protected areas.

The elements characterizing the creation process of an Environmental Management and Quality Management System, the declaration of commitment to the safeguard of the environment and the quality (Environmental and Quality Policy), the system of procedures and processes to implement it, the verification stage entrusted to a third party to guarantee it, the transparency towards the citizens and the holdings benefiting from the quality services respecting the environment are the winning factors of these experiences.
Another expected considerable benefit deriving from the certification – having a world recognition and promotion – is a greater visibility of the Park and its territory.
This visibility, combined with the recently implemented action for the promotion of accommodation structures scattered throughout the Park Municipalities and the “Carta di Qualità” project, will be able to meet the increasing demand in sustainable ecotourism.

In order to obtain the certification, an integrated Environment-Quality system planned considering the specific features of the Park has been implemented. Thanks to this system, we have reconsidered all the activities of the Park Authority, checking their congruity both with the rules regulating the sector and the rules of the field of competence (ISO 9000 and ISO 14000).

The most significant results have been:

Results towards the outside

  • Having the officially recognized certifications ISO 9001: 2000 and ISO 14001:1996, as well as a competitive advantage as far as credibility and reliability in front of a more qualified international tourism.
  • Acquiring a common communication language, accepted and recognized worldwide.
  • Offering to all the involved actors the guarantee that the Park governs with competence and with all the instruments necessary for its activity respecting the environment, complying with rules and laws, with the aim to pursue a non-stop improvement both in the environmental field and in the managerial field.

Results towards the inside

  • Reduction of the management costs deriving from the reduction of the costs linked to the lack of managerial and environmental quality
  • Improvement of the Park Authority self-esteem.

The essential steps we have complied with are:

  • conducting a detailed initial Environmental Review, based on the mission of the Park and the consequent institutional activities
  • drawing up an Integrated Environmental and Management Quality Manual
  • drawing up integrated system procedures for the optimal management of the environmental and managerial Quality
  • “mapping” the processes on which the Park activity focuses on for the optimal management of the environmental and management Quality through dedicated flow-charts. Such flow-charts offer a global vision of the single processes and consequently enable their optimization, besides representing a valid document for the positive exchange with the involved parties, in particular with the other Authorities the Park interacts with.

This process also involved the staff of the Park Authority, participating in various specific moments of training.
The project, started at the beginning of 2002, has been entrusted to Eng. Pietro Lafratta, teaching Quality Systems at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice and Lead Auditor working for primary International Certification Authorities.
With this project the Park, besides giving the local communities proof of its commitment to pursue the sustainable development of the territory, demonstrates the feasibility of this route.
In the most developed countries, management methodologies based on ISO 9000 and 14000 gaining ground both at a private and collective level have demonstrated to enable a successful monitoring by third parties, not self-referential and aiming at a continuous improvement.
In Europe there is a gradually increasing correspondence between sensitivity towards the environment and EMAS registration.
The most advanced and sensitive local administrations abandoned years ago the “command and control” approach linked to the obsolete concept of giving binding orders and punish the offenders to promote a voluntary and conscious policy of attention towards the environment. The validity of the latter has been demonstrated by the high number of ISO 14000 certifications and EMAS registrations in the European Countries that are more sensitive to environmental issues and that have better welcomed this approach.

EMAS Registration

EMAS is a voluntary system (codified by the European Union Regulations no. 761 of 2001) aiming at rationalizing the environmental management qualities of the organizations, focusing not only on the respect of the environmental legislation (that remains an obligation), but also continually improving their environmental performance, creating a new and fiduciary relationship with the institutions and the public, and promoting the active participation of the personnel.

The organization joining the EMAS Regulations must conduct an initial environmental review, adopt its own environmental policy (containing commitment both to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and to achieve continuous improvements in environmental performance), and implement it through an environmental program, whose application is periodically assessed by the environmental audit procedure. Afterwards, the organization provides a statement of its environmental performance made publicly available: the statement lays down the results achieved against the environmental objectives and the future steps to be undertaken in order to continuously improve the organization’s environmental performance.

The statement must be approved by an independent and accredited EMAS verifier. At this point, the organization is registered and included in a special European EMAS register.

The EMAS Registration obtained by Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is the natural result of the policies for innovation and quality implemented by the protected area, and follows the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification obtained by the Park.

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