ISO 14001 Environmental management system (EMS) refers to the management of an organization’s environmental programs in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. It includes the organizational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining policy for environmental protection.
Benefits of ISO 14001
Environmental management system helps to:
- Improved environmental management.
- Legal compliance.
- Reduced operating costs.
- Improved stakeholder relationships.
- Proven business credentials.
- Ability to win more business
Who Needs ISO 14001?
ISO 14001:2004 is applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, to assure itself of conformity with its stated environmental policy, and to demonstrate conformity with ISO 14001:2004 by.
- Making a self-determination and self-declaration, or
- Seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers,
- Seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organization, or
- Seeking certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization.
ISO 14001:2015 EMS
The new version includes a requirement to understand the organization’s context in order to better manage risk, with more emphasis made on leaders within organizations to promote environmental management. In addition, there is a shift towards improving environmental performance as well as improving the management system.
- enhancement of environmental performance
- fulfillment of compliance obligations
- achievement of environmental objectives
The 2015 revision of 14001 has been written using the new high level structure, Annex SL, which is shared by all new ISO management systems standards. This will simplify integration when implementing more than one management system.
The revision of ISO 14001 aims to integrate the organization’s EMS into the core organizational strategy. To this end the following changes have been made:
- Increased accountability of leadership.
- Life cycle approach.
- Rethinking impact
- Risks and opportunities.
- Pro-active reporting.
- Strengthened compliance.
- Continual improvement.
1. Scope 2. Normative reference 3. Terms and definitions 4. Context of the organization 5. Leadership 6. Planning 7. Support 8. Operation 9. Performance evaluation 10. Improvement.
- What are the major requirements? The standard’s first requirement is that your company have a publicly available environmental policy articulated by top management. It should be appropriate to the nature of the organization and include commitments toward pollution prevention and continual improvement of the EMS. Along with the policy, you shall establish and maintain procedures to identify significant environmental aspects and their associated impacts. Procedures to ensure compliance should be consistent with the environmental policy and include legal and other requirements. Objectives and targets will also be documented and must be consistent with the goals of the environmental policy, including continual improvement and pollution prevention. Each employee’s role and position must be clearly defined, and all employees must be aware of the impact of their work on the environment. Your company is responsible for ensuring that all employees are adequately trained. The EMS should be set up to facilitate internal communication. To that end, all relevant documentation should be easily available and usable, in either print or electronic form. Organizations must continually monitor and document their environmental effects and periodically review them to ensure continual improvement and the effectiveness of the EMS. Management is responsible for an internal review of the EMS on a regular basis.
- ISO 14001:2015 will have the following 3 introductory clauses, followed by 7 clauses with requirements:
How do I get Certified with ISO 14001:2015?
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Organizations and individuals that use ISO 14001 are encouraged to transition to the 2015 revision as soon as possible. However, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the ISO Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) have agreed to a three-year transition period from the publication date of ISO 14001:2015.
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