What is ISO 14001?
- is an international standard for designing and implementing an environmental management system (EMS)
- creates environmental management system so that you do not miss important elements needed for a successful EMS to be implemented.
What is an environmental management system?
EMS is comprised of the policies, processes, plans, practices and records that define the rules governing how your company interacts with the environment.
- This system needs to be tailored to your particular company, because only your company will have the exact legal requirements and environmental interactions that match your specific business processes.
Why ISO 14001 is important?
- It takes care of environment,
- prevents our companies from causing negative impacts on the environment
There, you will be among businesses that care enough to reduce environmental footprint and promises better relationships with the
- community at large,
- save money through EMS implementation by
- reduction of incidents that can result in liability costs,
- being able to obtain insurance at a more reasonable cost,
- conserving input materials and energy through reduction efforts
What does ISO 14001 actually look like?
Out of its ten sections, the last seven contain the requirements for EMS as below:
Section 4: Context of the organization
- It includes the requirements for identifying
- internal and external issues,
- interested parties and their expectations,
- the scope of the EMS,
- the processes required for the EMS
Section 5: Leadership
Top management needs to demonstrate commitment to the EMS by
- ensuring environmental commitment,
- defining and communicating the environmental policy,
- assigning roles and responsibilities throughout the organization
Section 6: Planning
Risks and opportunities of the EMS in the organization
- need to be assessed,
- environmental objectives for improvement need to be identified,
- plans made to accomplish these objectives,
- assess all the ways processes interact and affect the environment
- assess all the legal and other commitments that are required for the organization
Section 7: Support
deals with management of all resources for the EMS, and also includes requirements around competence, awareness, communication and controlling documented information (the documents and records required for your processes).
Section 8: Operation
deals with all aspects of
- the environmental controls needed by the organizational processes,
- the need to identify potential emergency situations,
- plan responses in cases of an emergency
Section 9: Performance evaluation
This section includes the requirements needed to make sure that you can monitor whether your EMS is functioning well. It includes
- monitoring and measuring your processes,
- assessing environmental compliance,
- internal audits,
- ongoing management review of the EMS
Section 10: Improvement – This last section includes the requirements needed to make your EMS better over time. This includes the need to assess process nonconformity and taking corrective actions for processes.
These sections are based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, which uses these elements to implement change within the processes of the organization in order to drive and maintain improvements within the processes.
Why should you implement ISO 14001 in your organization?
Improve your image and credibility
Improve cost control
Use evidence-based decision making – By using this data to track your progress you can correct these improvement initiatives before they have gone “off the rails,” which can save costs and time.
Create a culture of continual improvement
Engage your people – Given a choice between working for a company that shows care and concern for the environment around it and one that does not, most people would prefer the first company. By engaging your employees in a group effort to reduce your environmental footprint you can increase employee focus and retention.
Mandatory steps to finish implementation and get your company certified
After finishing all your documentation and implementing it, your organization also needs to perform these steps to ensure a successful certification:
Internal audit – to check your EMS processes. The goal is to ensure that records are in place to confirm compliance of the processes and to find problems and weaknesses that would otherwise stay hidden.
Management review – to evaluate the relevant facts about the management system processes in order to make appropriate decisions and assign resources.
Corrective actions – to correct the root cause of any identified problems and document how they were resolved.
The company certification process is divided into two stages:
Stage One (documentation review) – The auditors from your chosen certification body will check to ensure your documentation meets the requirements of ISO 14001.
Stage Two (main audit) – Here, the certification body auditors will check whether your actual activities are compliant with both ISO 14001 and your own documentation by reviewing documents, records, and company practices.