Get to know PEER: ISO 14001 and PEER
By requiring the development of key performance indicators and a system for tracking and continuously improving them, ISO 14001, the International Organization for Standardization’s voluntary benchmark for environmental management, provides a strong foundation for measuring and analyzing environmental performance. Layering PEER on top of this robust groundwork “turbocharges” a project, ensuring sustainable power system performance and accelerating the transformation of our electricity sector.
With more than 300,000 ISO 14001 certified organizations worldwide, the voluntary standard walks companies through
- reducing the environmental impacts of their operations
- ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations
- continuously improving to reduce pollution and waste
PEER is a rigorous project assessment based on sustainable performance criteria. It provides verification that a project is not just a sustainable improvement over previous projects, but is sustainable compared to other projects. This assurance is both internal (are we doing the best we can?) as well as external (are we doing well compared to others?) PEER’s process also involves the quantification of the value of a sustainable electric system, moving certification beyond marketing to benefitting the bottom line.
ISO 14001 meets PEER’s rigorous requirements for continuous improvement, and PEER satisfies parts of ISO 14001’s continuous improvement obligations. For example, ISO 14001 can help project teams achieve a prerequisite under PEER’s Operational Effectiveness category for creating an improvement plan to “encourage a continuously improving electricity system that serves customers sustainably over the long term and provides an engine for local economic development.” In fact, the PEER rating system is intended to be used in conjunction with a continuous improvement program, which could be any of a myriad of quality process methodologies available, from Six Sigma to Crosby.
ISO 14001 is also the precedent for the Environmental Impacts bonus credit in PEER’s Energy Efficiency and Environment category. To be awarded these bonus points, a project must “supplement or establish design requirements or procedures for addressing land use, tree trimming, animal protection, and other electricity distribution environmental impacts.” Electric utilities and project owners who comply with ISO 14001 will be able to easily achieve these points by having an environmental management system which already addresses the organization’s environmental impacts.