What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies the requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS).
Part of the ISO 14000 family of environmental management standards, ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that organizations can seek certification for. Its integration with other management system standards, most commonly ISO 9001, can further help achieve organizational goals.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines an environmental management system as "part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations, and manage risks and opportunities". The ISO 14001 framework can be used as part of a Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) approach to continuous improvement.
Who should use ISO 14001:2015?
ISO 14001:2015 should be used by any organization wishing to establish, improve or maintain an environmental management system to comply with its established environmental policy and requirements. The standard's requirements can be incorporated into any environmental management system, the extent of which is determined by several factors, including the organization's industry, environmental policy, product and service offerings, and location.
ISO 14001:2015 is relevant for all organisations, regardless of size, location, sector or industry.
What are the benefits of ISO 14001:2015 ?
- Improve resource efficiency
- Reduce waste
- Lower the costs
- Provide assurance that environmental impact is measured
- Gain a Competitive Advantage in Supply Chain Design
- Increase new business opportunities
- Meet legal obligations
- Increase stakeholder and customer confidence
- Improve overall environmental impact
- Coherently manage environmental obligations
How to get the ISO 14001 certification?
- Learn: You will need to understand ISO 14001 to help you know what you need to do in your business to meet the requirements of the standard.
- Perform environmental analysis and gap analysis to determine where you need to modify your existing EMS.
- Plan and create a project plan to determine your tasks, schedule and resources.
- Train your organization: All of your employees will need to be trained to work with ISO 14001.
- Design and document your ISO 14001 environmental manual and procedures. The biggest part of the project is to review your current processes and redesign them to meet all the requirements of the standard.
- Use and improve your EMS: Once your system is developed and documented, employees will follow procedures, collect records, and make improvements to the system.
- Audit EMS performance through internal audits to see how your system is performing and find ways to improve it. This prepares you for the certification audit
- Obtain certification by selecting an accredited certification body to perform your certification audit and regular surveillance audits thereafter. During these audits, the auditor will review your EMS to ensure that it meets the requirements of the standard. If they find that parts of your EMS do not meet the requirements, they will document a "non-conformity". Obtaining the certificate will depend on your correction of the nonconformities found.