Environmental management—environmental legal registers
Produced in partnership with Colleen Theron of Ardea International
Environmental management—environmental legal registers

The following Environment practice note produced in partnership with Colleen Theron of Ardea International provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental management—environmental legal registers
  • What is a legal register?
  • Why should lawyers be aware of legal registers?
  • Who should develop the legal register?
  • Setting the scope of a compliance process
  • Setting the scope under management systems
  • Steps to developing a legal register
  • Identifying environmental impacts
  • Identify relevant legislation
  • Assessing compliance
  • More...

What is a legal register?

A legal register is the documented output from a process where an organisation aims to demonstrate compliance with applicable legislation. The quality of legal registers varies, in terms of the compliance processes used and the:

  1. rationale

  2. scope (ie types of issues, types of requirements, etc)

  3. input from those with a required level of technical expertise

  4. documentation to demonstrate compliance

It can also vary from being a simple list of legislation, through to more detailed spreadsheets with information about:

  1. the scope of the legal obligations imposed

  2. how the obligations apply to the organisation

  3. details of the relevant ‘aspects’ affected, eg cardboard, flooding, treatment plant etc

  4. the relevant regulator

  5. who within the organisation has responsibility for demonstrating compliance

  6. any specific controls that have been put in place

  7. compliance, eg any relevant authorisations and records

  8. details of the revision history

Organisations develop legal registers as part of a compliance process. The drivers for adopting this process are generally either:

  1. a requirement by a management system standard (such as ISO 14001 Environmental Management, the Eco-management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), and ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System), or

  2. a risk management exercise by the organisation

Even where an organisation does not seek to achieve a management standard (such as ISO 14001 or EMAS), these requirements can provide useful considerations for an organisation wishing to develop an environmental legal

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