Difference between Impact and Environmental Aspects

Environmental impact is the effect produced by human activity on the environment. While the environmental aspect, according to ISO 14001, is an element of the activities, services or products of an organization that can generate an impact on the environment.

Environmental impact

It is the effect produced by human activity on the environment. This concept also extends to the effects produced by catastrophic natural phenomena on the environment. The science that is responsible for measuring the environmental impact and minimizing it is ecology.

The actions of human beings on the environment always cause effects. The concern about the environmental impact includes radioactive energy waste, noise pollution, the expulsion of harmful gases, the loss of natural habitats, pollution of the seas, among others.

The environmental impact can be classified into four groups according to the effect it has over time:

Irreversible: It is one that has such a magnitude that it cannot be reversed.

Temporary: It does not generate major consequences and the environment can be recovered.

Reversible: The medium can be recovered in the short, medium or long term.

Persistent: Actions against the environment result from a long-term influence.

Environmental aspect

It is considered as any element of the activities, services or products of an organization that can interact with the environment. The environmental aspect is identified and evaluated by the UNE-EN ISO 14001:2004 standard on “Requirements for the implementation of Environmental Management Systems” The environmental aspect is the way in which an activity, service or product of a company has an impact on environment.

Difference between impact and environmental aspect

The relationship between aspect and environmental impact is one of cause and effect and therein lies its main difference.

  • The environmental aspects are the cause of the environmental impact, they are everything that can interact with the environment.
  • The environmental impact is the effect of the interaction of the aspects with the environment.

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