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 efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.
What is an environmental management system? 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-profit or governmental. It requires that an organization considers all environmental issues relevant 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. 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.
What benefits will it bring to my business or organization? 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 efficiencies and reduced costs
- Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business systems
What are the key improvements? ISO 14001:2015 now requires:
- Environmental management to be more prominent within the organization’s strategic direction
- A greater commitment from leadership
- The implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
- A focus on life-cycle thinking to ensure consideration of environmental aspects from development to end-of-life
- The addition of a stakeholder-focused communication strategy It also allows for easier integration into other management systems thanks to the same structure, terms and definitions.
How do I get started with ISO 14001:2015?
A number of resources, including The ISO 14001 checklist for small business, provide detailed guidance on how to use the standard, but here are a few tips to get you started:
Tip 1 – Define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this standard ?
Tip 2 – Get the buy-in from senior management. It is essential that the leaders of your organization support the objectives of an effective environmental management system and are committed to the process.
Tip 3 – Get a good overview of existing processes and systems that are relevant to your environmental impact. This will form the basis of your environmental management system and allow you to more easily identify any gaps.
ISO 14001 Accreditation
QACS is an accredited certification body which provides International Organization for Standardization (ISO) management system certification and inspection services to organisations globally. We hold ISO 14001:2015 accreditation with both the Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC) and International Accreditation Services (IAS).
Contact our team today to receive a free no-obligation competitive quotation from our dedicated business development team. We will devise a comprehensive quote which will be in line with your requirements.