ISO 14001:2004 specifies requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and information about significant environmental aspects. It applies to those environmental aspects that the organization identifies as those which it can control and those which it can influence. It does not itself state specific environmental performance criteria.
The Benefits of implementing ISO 14001
• Meet legal and corporate policy requirement.
• Potentially fewer surveillance visits from regulatory agencies.
• Showing your business partners, regulatory agencies, and community that you are environmentally responsible.
• Increase Competitiveness.
• Increase profits through potential process improvements.
• Reducing your environmental liability
• Complying with environmental laws and regulations.
• Improving relationships with regulators – organizations that implement an ISO 14001 EMS often report improved relations with government regulatory agencies, find that regulators are quicker to provide technical support, and find that the regulators are much more supportive in general.
• Capturing institutional knowledge – ISO 14001 ensures this information is properly documented, communicated and retained. The cyclical nature of this management system further ensures all system information is reviewed and updated at least annually.
• Streamlining operations – organizations often realize monetary savings as a result of greater operational efficiency and energy conservation.
• Increased awareness and participation – organizations benefit from better communication about environmental issues inside and outside the organization. ISO 14001 gives people an avenue to raise environmental issues and makes it clear that environmental performance is an important part of the corporate culture.
• Safety benefits – by reviewing the procedures for controlling significant operations, including a review of emergency preparedness and response procedures, organizations are able to identify and implement significant safety improvements.
Why seek certification to ISO 14001?
• It shows that an organisation is committed to environmental issues and is prepared to work towards improving the environment.
• An ISO 14001 certificate enhances company image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders alike.
• It also gives a competitive edge to an organisation’s marketing.
How do you start to implement ISO 14001? What is involved?
• Evaluate your environmental effects and prioritize your responses to them.
• Identify the boundaries of your management system and document your procedures for implementing the requirements of ISO 14001.
• Ensure these procedures are implemented and then audit them.
• Once developed, internal audits are needed to ensure the system carries on working.
Audit to ISO 14001
Having chosen a third party accredited registrar for your audit, it will review your documentation and carry out an initial audit of your site. This looks at the company’s evaluation of environmental effects and ascertains if targets set for the management programme are measurable and achievable. This is followed at a later date by a full audit to ensure that records and working practices demonstrate that the company is working to its procedures.
After a successful audit, a certificate of registration to ISO 14001 will be issued. There will then be continual surveillance visits (usually once or twice a year) to ensure that the system continues to work.
What is the cost of an audit to ISO 14001?
Cost depends on the number of the employees, Scope of certification, Process, factory / office/site actual aspect & impact and other factors related to environment and legal requirements, Number of sites etc.
ISO 14001 – Not and Does Not?
• Is not a Product standard.
• Is not a performance stadard.
• Does not establish levels for Pollutants or Performance.
• Does not establish Test Methods.
• Does not require initial Performance Testing.
• Does not require or establish a Final Performance Goal.
• Does not require the meeting of Zero Emissions.
• Does not mandate Best Practice Technology.
• Does not require the disclosure of Performance Levels.
• Does not require the disclosure of Audit Results.