ISO 14001:2015

Environmental Management

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ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

ABOUT ISO 14000 family - Environmental management

The ISO 14000 family of standards provides practical tools for companies and organizations of all kinds looking to manage their environmental responsibilities. ISO 14001:2015 and its supporting standards such as ISO 14006:2011 focus on environmental systems to achieve this. The other standards in the family focus on specific approaches such as audits, communications, labelling and life cycle analysis, as well as environmental challenges such as climate change.

WHAT IS ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more e cient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantageand the trust of stakeholders.
Organizations using ISO 14001 have found success across a range of areas, including reduced energy and water con- sumption, a more systematic approach to legal compliance and an improved overall environmental performance.
ISO 14001:2015 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system and can be certified to. It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system. It can be used by any organization regardless of its activity or sector.

Using ISO 14001:2015 can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

There are more than 300,000 certifications to ISO 14001 in 171 countries around the world.

Get an overview of ISO 14001:2015 and its benefits in this handy PowerPoint presentation.

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BENEFITS

There are many reasons why an organization should take a strategic approach to improving its environmental performance. Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001 helps :

  • Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements
  • Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees
  • Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication
  • Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management
  • Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved e ciencies and reduced costs
  • Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business systems.

REQUIREMENTS

An environmental management system helps organizations identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a “ holistic ” manner.

Other ISO standards that look at different types of management systems, such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety, all use a High- Level Structure. This means that ISO 14001 can be integrated easily into any existing ISO management system.

ISO 14001 is suitable for organizations of all types and sizes, be they private, not-for-pro t or governmental. It requires that an organization considers all environmental issues rel- evant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency.

MORE ABOUT ISO 14001

Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement of an organization’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.

ISO 14001 defines criteria for an EMS. It does not state requirements for environmental performance but rather maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective EMS. It can be used by any organization that wants to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste, and reduce costs. ISO 14001 can also be integrated with other management functions and assists companies in meeting their environmental and economic goals.

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF ISO 14001:2015

 

The basic principles of ISO 14001 are based on the well-known Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle.

PLAN: establish Objectives and Process Requirement:

Prior to implementing ISO 14001, an initial review or gap analysis of the organization's processes and products is recommended, to assist in identifying all elements of the current operation and, if possible, future operations, that may interact with the environment, termed "environmental aspects."Environmental aspects can include both direct, such as those used during manufacturing, and indirect, such as raw materials. This review assists the organization in establishing their environmental objectives, goals, and targets (which should ideally be measurable); helps with the development of control and management procedures and processes; and serves to highlight any relevant legal requirement, which can then be built into the policy.

Do: Implement the Process:

During this stage, the organization identifies the resources required and works out those members of the organization responsible for the EMS' implementation and control. This includes establishing procedures and processes, although only one documented procedure is specifically related to operational control. Other procedures are required to foster better management control over elements such as documentation control, emergency preparedness and response, and the education of employees, to ensure that they can competently implement the necessary processes and record results. Communication and participation across all levels of the organization, especially top management, is a vital part of the implementation phase, with the effectiveness of the EMS being dependent on active involvement from all employees.

Check: Measure and Monitor the Processes and report Results:

During the "check" stage, performance is monitored and periodically measured to ensure that the organization's environmental targets and objectives are being met. In addition, internal audits are conducted at planned intervals to ascertain whether the EMS meets the user's expectations and whether the processes and procedures are being adequately maintained and monitored.

Act: Take action to improve Performance based on Results:

After the checking stage, a management review is conducted to ensure that the objectives of the EMS are being met, the extent to which they are being met, and that communications are being appropriately managed. Additionally, the review evaluates changing circumstances, such as legal requirements, in order to make recommendations for further improvement of the system. These recommendations are incorporated through continual improvement: plans are renewed or new plans are made, and the EMS moves forward.

Continual Improvement of Processes(CI):

ISO 14001 encourages a company to continually improve its environmental performance. Apart from the obvious – the reduction in actual and possible negative environmental impacts – this is achieved in three ways[14]:

  • Expansion: Business areas increasingly get covered by the implemented EMS.
  • Enrichment: Activities, products, processes, emissions, resources, etc. increasingly get managed by the implemented EMS.
  • Upgrading: The structural and organizational framework of the EMS, as well as an accumulation of knowledge in dealing with business-environmental issues, is improved.

Overall, the CI concept expects the organization to gradually move away from merely operational environmental measures towards a more strategic approach on how to deal with environmental challenges.

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