Certification - Environmental
Environmental Management System
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) is a systematic framework to manage the immediate and long term environmental impacts of an organisation’s products, services and processes. By completing ISO 14001 certification your organisation can assure stakeholders that your environmental management system meets international industry specific environmental standards.
ISO 14001 or 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.
The ISO 14001 requirements provide a framework and guidelines for creating your environmental management system so that you do not miss important elements needed for an EMS to be successful which includes
- Minimising your environmental footprint
- Diminish the risk of pollution incidents
- Provide operational improvements
- Ensure compliance with relevant environmental legislation, and
- Develop your business in a sustainable manner
- Benefits of ISO 14001
- Current version of the ISO 14001
Benefits of ISO 14001
- Identify cost savings with greater emphasis on resource, waste and energy management
- Develop corporate image and credibility
- Quantify, monitor and control the impact of operations on the environment, now and in the future
- Ensure legislative awareness and compliance
- Improve environmental performance of supply chain
- Protect the company, assets, shareholders and directors
- Potentially decrease public liability insurance costs for your organisation
- Grow your access to business partners and potential customers
Current version of the ISO 14001
The current version of the Environmental Management System Is the ISO 14001:2015 which was published on September 2015. The ISO 14001 structure is split into ten sections. The first three are introductory, with the last seven containing the requirements for the environmental management system. Here is what the seven main sections are about:
Section 4: Context of the organization – This section talks about requirements for understanding your organization in order to implement an EMS. It includes the requirements for identifying internal and external issues, identifying interested parties and their expectations, defining the scope of the EMS and identifying the processes required for the EMS.
Section 5: Leadership – The leadership requirements cover the need for top management to be instrumental in the implementation of the EMS. Top management needs to demonstrate commitment to the EMS by ensuring environmental commitment, defining and communicating the environmental policy and assigning roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.
Section 6: Planning – Top management must also plan for the ongoing function of the EMS. Risks and opportunities of the EMS in the organization need to be assessed, and environmental objectives for improvement need to be identified and plans made to accomplish these objectives. Additionally, it is necessary for the organization to assess all the ways in which the organizational processes interact and affect the environment as well as the legal and other commitments that are required fo the organization.
Section 7: Support – The support section 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 – The operation requirements deal with all aspects of the environmental controls needed by the organizational processes, as well as the need to identify potential emergency situations and plan responses so that you are prepared to respond should an emergency occur.
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, and 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 cycle, which uses these elements to implement change within the processes of the organization in order to drive and maintain improvements within the processes.