ISO 14001:2015 What a robust, credible and reliable EMS enables
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March 28th, 2018 11 AM

Boon or Boondoggle: Can Voluntary Standards Improve Public Policy (and if so, how)?

Join us on Wednesday, March 28th at 11 am (EDT) to explore the universe of voluntary standards and how they can improve the regulatory landscape; including a look at standards for Environmental Management (like ISO 14001)

According to research conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), the annual cost of all regulations on businesses in Canada is estimated at $36.2 billion per year. One-third of that, approximately $10 billion, is considered to be Red Tape. Red Tape is a turn of phrase that expresses the cost of excessive or inefficient regulation.

Regulations wrapped in Red Tape do not add value to society, they cause numerous problems such as undermining productivity and impeding innovation in any sized organization. In the environmental field, these regulations do not help to improve the environment; they add cost and take up precious time. Time is money whether you are in Tuktoyaktuk, or Toronto. Research on Red Tape has not provided any insight on the environmental impact that emanates from this inefficiency or how it undermines Canada‛s ability to meet other national policy commitments or international agreements such as the Paris Agreement.

Can you imagine what a boon this would be to the Canadian economy if this amount of waste could be eliminated and the funds redirected to innovating a greener economy? Unquestionably, the opportunity to reduce the cost of inefficient regulation while maintaining regulations that meet their intended purpose is worthy of significant effort from all stakeholders, including citizens.

On November 14, 2017, Ontario passed Reducing Regulatory Costs for Business Act, 2017, S.O. 2017, c. 20, Sched. 4. The section of specific interest in our context relates to Section 5 on Standards.

“Recognized standards

5 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council and any other prescribed entity that makes or approves a regulation governed by this Act that imposes requirements on businesses shall ensure that the regulation, where appropriate, adopts recognized standards.


(2) Every Minister responsible for the administration of a regulation governed by this Act shall ensure that when the regulation is reviewed for any reason, a determination is made as to whether the regulation imposes requirements on businesses and, where appropriate, steps are taken to amend or replace the regulation in order to adopt recognized standards.”

The devil is always in the detail. As noted by the Organization for Economic Development (OECD), “if regulations are poorly designed or applied, inefficient, or outdated, they can impede innovation, entry, investment, and create unnecessary barriers to trade, investment, and economic efficiency. The result of poor regulation and formalities is that national economies become less able to grow, compete, adjust, and create jobs”.

In this 60-minute webinar, the Ontario government is going to address its initiative to align standards and regulations by sharing insight on:

  • Regulatory Centre of Excellence Orientation
  • Reducing Regulatory Costs for Business Act, 2017 (RRCBA) Requirements
  • International or national standards alignment

We are going to explore this opportunity by addressing questions such as:

  • What qualifies as a ‘recognized‛ standard? Who decides? How are these decisions made? Will ISO 14001 be considered? What about other standards such as Responsible Care™? Towards Sustainable Mining (TMS)?
  • What does this review and renew of regulations mean in terms of better environmental management? Climate change? Biodiversity? Habitat protection? Chemical management? Air and water quality?
  • Will voluntary standards simply become de facto mandatory standards?
  • Will the way in which governments reference them in regulation simply shift the burden of cost onto business, without cutting costs? Will it add more cost to businesses?
  • Do any or all the stakeholders understand how critical innovation at this moment in time to evolve towards a sustainable environment and a vibrant, healthy economy?
  • Can this rebalance of regulations and standards drive faster adoption of ‘green‛ innovation?
  • If Ontario moves forward assertively to incorporate standards with regulation, will this put Ontario companies ahead in a competitive and growing green market? Or will it have no affect at all?
  • Do governments at all levels really understand how the universe of standards operates?
  • Do they understand the various conformity assessment options?
  • And perhaps the most important, how can we all work together to make Canada a leader in ‘doing right things right‛?

The webinar will be moderated by Lynn Johannson, Project Lead of the Collaboration, with invited guests including:

James Boyden, Senior Policy Advisor | Open for Business Division
Ministry of Economic Development and Growth

Stepan Wood, Canada Research Chair in Law, Society and Sustainability
Director, Centre for Law and the Environment
Peter A Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia (TBC)

Jenny Hillard, Director, Consumer Interest Alliance Inc. (CIAI)

Who should attend this webinar? Anyone who is interested in the regulatory and standards landscape, and addressing the Red Tape Challenge, including:

  • EMS Managers interested in robust, credible and reliable environmental management systems and standards such as ISO 14001
  • Academics
  • Lawyers
  • Environmental Management Consultants
  • Regulators
  • Policy Makers and Shapers
  • Standards Developers
  • Association Managers
  • Business Owners
  • Experts in Sustainable Development, CSR and ESG
  • Green innovators
  • Accountants interested in the green economy
  • Trade Commissioners
  • Journalists
  • Representatives of Consumer Interests

Attendees will receive a report after the webinar that will include additional insight on the opportunity that the Red Tape Challenge has enabled, with key points presented by the panel. It will share insights on the challenges ahead, tools from other jurisdictions and a systems look at potential unintended consequences.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you have specific questions you want addressed during the webinar or addressed in the report, send them in advance for consideration to the Project Lead, Lynn Johannson at

Registration is now closed.

Those wanting more information on the webinars being offered by the Collaboration in 2018, or wishing to be added to the mailing list for advance notice of updates and other learning opportunities, should email the Project Lead, Lynn Johannson at

Webinar Leader:

Lynn Johannson B.E.S. (Hons), M.Sc., FRSA
E2 Management Corporation
Co-Founder, EnviroReady Report

Collaboration Team Members:

Stepan Wood BA, LLB, SJD Professor,
Canada Research Chair in Law,
Society and Sustainability
Director, Centre for Law and the Environment
Peter A Allard School of Law
University of British Columbia

Kelly Deeton, P.Eng.
Program Manager, Environmental Sustainability
Corporate Real Estate
BMO Financial Group

Natalie Gadsden, P. Eng.
Environmental Group Manager
Environmental Compliance & Sustainability
General Motors of Canada Ltd.

Dr. Lisa Greenwood, ISSP-SA
Rochester Institute of Technology
Lecturer in Environmental Sustainability,
Health and Safety

Ed Matthews
B.A., B.Sc., M. Sc.
Lead Certification Assessor

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DOWNLOAD our Schedule for 2018 webinars here.