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ISO 14001 - Environmental Management System

Interesting Facts You Need to Know About ISO 14001 Standard

 

ISO 14001 2015 is the latest ISO 14001 standard. It is one of the international standards that set out the criteria for an environmental management system. And in case you don’t know, the ISO 14000 family is there to help you manage your environmental responsibilities.

Intended for any type of company or organization, it offers certainty to a company and its staff, as well as to its stakeholders that their organization is measuring and improving its environmental impact. Rather than creating environmental performance requirements, it offers a structure that a company can follow through.

As part of the ISO 14000 family of standards on the environmental management system, ISO 14001 2015 can be certified by an organization. And if integrated with other management systems such as ISO 9001, it can further enhance the possibility of achieving organizational objectives.

 

What is the purpose of ISO 14001 2015?

 

Just like any other ISO management system, ISO 14001 includes the importance of continuous improvement of a company’s approach to environmental concerns. It also encourages better environment-friendly products and services from suppliers.

What are the benefits of the ISO 14001 standard?

Organizations must adhere to environmental management system standards since it benefits the environment and at the same time, reduce cost and boost efficiency within the organizations. The following are some of the benefits of ISO 14001

Enhances your credibility and overall image

 

If you have contracts that require you an ISO 14001 2015, then obviously, this is one of the great benefits. And in case that it is not a requirement, you can still benefit from it. Most of the time, your community, clients, and neighborhood will be curious enough about how you show your care for the environment and surroundings.

On the other hand, consumers are interested in learning the environmental performance of the businesses or organizations that create the products they consume. If you can assure all these individuals about your commitment to providing a positive environmental impact, then you should be able to show them an effective environmental management system that would identify and empower these impacts. As a result, this action will significantly improve your public image which will eventually lead to the enhancement of your ROI.



Reduce waste

 

Maybe you’ve already seen documentaries showing birds with plastic in its beak, plastic waste found in turtle’s stomach, and other careless actions that affect our wildlife and ocean habitat. The problem is global, and it is hard to begin and figure out where to begin. But it would be a great start if every organization launched an effective environmental management system (EMS) such as waste reduction and waste packaging.

 

Whether a requirement or not, every company and business can support by conveying to their staff the importance of limitation in plastic usage.



Reduction in environmental impact

 

This the main reason why every business must implement management system standards. This will also serve as a reminder that each of us must commit ourselves to protect our environmental aspects by avoiding pollution and continuously enhance the air we breathe, the earth where we live, and the water that we drink. Reducing the impact on the environment also means reducing waste and resource consumption, hence, lowering the operational cost.



Does ISO perform certification?

Although you’ll always hear “ISO Certified”, the truth is, ISO itself does not issue certificates or certify individual businesses. External certification bodies, which are independent of ISO are the ones who perform the certification.

 

ISO certification attests that a management, manufacturing service or process, or documentation procedure has completed the requirements for quality assurance and standardization.

 

Who should use ISO 14001 2015?

Being certified with ISO 14001 standard brings benefits to any organization. Specifically, ISO 14001 2015 applies to any organization, whether small, medium, or large-scale. It typically applies to the environmental aspects of products and services whether a company can empower a life cycle standpoint. ISO 14001 2015 can be utilized to improve environmental management.

 

What are the requirements of ISO 14001?

In reality, there are no requirements on how you should implement ISO 14001 within your company. But an auditor instead will be the one who will look for documented proof that you really have an efficient environmental management system, and it is properly in line with the existing standard.

 

What are the documents needed for ISO 14001 standard?

Although ISO 14001 requires you to keep documented proof that your EMS satisfactorily meets the standard, the way you operate and the way you document your evidence is not prescribed by the standard itself. But bear in mind that the objective of your documentation is to make sure that a tough environmental process is being observed by your organization.

The following documents will help you in manifesting your whole organization’s awareness about your environmental goals, which eventually will help you in reaching your environmental objectives.

 

  • Scope of the Environmental Management System – this document requires the company to fully understand the internal and external concerns that might have a positive or negative impact on the organization’s performance. It includes the company’s structure and culture, market competition, and other external environments that are significant to its performance.

 

The Scope of the Environmental Management System also requires an organization to recognize significant parties, their demands, and expectations.

 

  • Environmental Policy – this is a policy that closely relates our interactions with our surroundings, especially our environment. Its main objective is to reduce pollution and continuous improvement. It must clearly demonstrate your company’s dedication to any actions that will lessen environmental impact.

 

  • Method for Proper Identification of Environmental Aspects– for your environmental performance to effectively work, you must be able to learn which parts of your organization have environmental aspects and what is their environmental impact.

 

Some examples of environmental aspects include, but not limited to:

  • Utilization of natural resources such as water or energy
  • Using recycled materials
  • Proper disposal of waste materials, including wastewater
  • Any potential risk for pollution including spills and leakages, among others.

 

  • Compliance Evaluation Record – One of the best ways to ensure that your organization is successfully complying with its obligation is to record the results. Producing these records will demonstrate that the organization is:
  • Evaluating the compliance
  • Taking the necessary action if required to do so
  • Religiously updating its compliance status record

 

  • Results of Internal Audits– it is often called first-party audits are conducted by the company itself for the purpose of management review and other internal reasons. Internal audits must be conducted to a procedure in accordance with ISO 14001 internal audit.

Barriers to entry

Over time, sustainability has had its greater impact on organizations and consumers across the globe. But acquiring ISO 14001 certification can be costly particularly for small and medium-scale businesses. However proper research about the cost including the annual, external, and internal audits, consulting, and the time and effort to stay in compliance will predict some of the costs you will incur.

 

It is also worth noting that the tasks involved to implement ISO 14001 management system are also one of the barriers to be considered. Internal audits should be carefully considered to confirm that the environmental management system complies with the ISO 14001 standard. The result of the internal audits is then used to make the necessary adjustments to existing products and services, as well as to the environmental performance.

 

When you finally have a realistic estimate of what is all of the costs to be considered annually, you might want to pause for a while and have a second thought of it. Yes, it may not be as cheap as you think, but remember that the costs to obtain and implement ISO 14001 certification is not all that it has to offer; it provides the benefits mentioned earlier.

 

Final words

To ensure that you have an effective environmental management system you must obtain information from the people doing the work. Additionally, you might also need to consult third parties such as consumers, registrars, lending institutions, and the public as a whole, to properly explain to them how your environmental performance operates.

 

Quality management is of utmost importance if you want to stay in compliance. ISO 14001 standard is composed of practical tools that provide assurance to company management in terms of an effective environmental management system.

In response to the growing need for standardization of companies or organizations, the ISO 14000 family was developed. This set of management system standards offers cost-effective and practical tools that can be efficiently used in applying the right knowledge on how to improve environmental impact.

Other international standards for an effective environmental management system emphasize specific approaches such as communications, external and internal auditslife cycle analysis, and climate change. And to improve environmental impact on your organization, there must be an assurance to company management that these practical tools are being adopted to successfully implement management system standards.