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What Is ISO 14001

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS)

ISO 14001 was introduced in 1996 as an international standard that provides a framework for an organization to follow. It specifies the requirements of an effective system for environmental management. ISO 14001 works to guarantee quality while developing an effective environmental management strategy.

ISO 14000 is a set of standards and rules that have been framed to help organizations reduce industrial waste. It was a near-perfect measure to reduce environmental damage. ISO 14000 certification is optional for companies.

ISO 14001 Meaning

ISO 14001 is a part of the ISO, an independent group of standard organizations, non-governmental, from countries across the world. Some representatives from the member organizations come together and work to establish germane and voluntary standards that back innovations and furnish solutions to all environmental challenges faced by the citizens and organizations across the world. As of 2018, ISO published a total of 22180 standards and all related documents that apply to almost every sector, right from agriculture to technology.

What are the ISO 14001 Requirements

The ISO 14001 environmental policy standard follows the cycle of PLAN DO CHECK ACT. The first phase includes establishing the environmental policy and planning the EMS. The second one encompasses implementing the ISO standard for Environment management. The third one is referred to as checking and reviewing. The last phase is all about assuring the continuous enhancement of the EMS.

Within the ISO 14001 summary, there are several elements encompassed and the organizations must meet them. It further helps them seek formal recognition for the environmental management system. The general requirements for the system include:

  • The appointment of a concerned person who will be responsible for the coordination of EMS.
  • The development of an environmental policy that reflects the commitments of an organization.
  • Identifying all potential and actual environmental impacts.
  • Identifying ways in which an organization interacts with the environment.
  • Identifying the requirements of environmental compliance.
  • Reviewing the entire system and performance of the environment.
  • Establishment of environmental objectives, programs, and targets.
  • Continuous enhancement of the environmental performance of an organization.
  • Measuring and monitoring the progress, to attain objectives.

ISO 14001 has specific requirements. They are as follows-

1.Clear Documentation

  • ISO 14001 needs all the organizations to maintain clear documents to prove that the environmental management meets the required standard. The documentation aims towards keeping the ecological processes in place.
  • The documents also prove that the organization is working towards environmental objectives.

2. Preparing A List Of Legal requirements, Interested Parties, And Other Requirements

  • Any person who impacts the organization’s ability to achieve most of the environmental objectives is known as an interested party.
  • All the individuals will have their requirements that will impact the organization. The provisions of all the parties need to be recorded for considering them when drafting the environment management system.
  • The requirements of the interested candidates should leave a minimum impact on the organization’s environmental objectives as a whole.

Why is ISO 14001 Important

When an organization gains an ISO 14001 certification, it enables to add credibility to an organization, and also indicates that the product or service provided by the organization meets the expectations of environmental protection of the consumers. Also, for a few industries, the certificate is a contractual or legal requirement.

The nature of ISO 14001 Certification is generic and accepted universally. The standard has the potential of impacting the practices of environmental management of almost every organization that manufactures across the world. Voluntary organizations, charities, and trade associations are also using the certification. An organization whose day-to-day operations, products, and services have an impact on the environment whether directly or indirectly needs to have an understanding of EMS ISO 14001.

Why Should Organizations Opt for ISO 14001 Certification

Organizations with fifty employees or lesser may clear ISO 14001 certification within six months. Organizations with a more significant number of employees take longer. Organizations with two hundred employees or more may take a year to clear the ISO 14001 certification latest version. Those with up to ten employees may earn the certification within three months.

An environmental management system that follows the best practices of ISO 14001 needs to be designed and implemented. Any ISO-approved auditor performs the audit of the system.

  • To make significant and tangible reductions in costs incurred with the help of using reduce, reuse and recycle approach.
  • The certificate is physical proof that you, as an organization is satisfying your corporate social responsibility.
  • To reduce the harmful effect of business activities on the environment.
  • The certificate enhances the image of an organization and at the same time boosts green credentials.
  • To reassure your consumers that you are working for an environment-friendly business.
  • To increases environmental awareness amongst the workforce.
  • To reduces environmental risks and also prevent incidents that can take place with the employees.
  • To enhances the motivation of employees who are already environmentally conscious.

ISO 14001 is the first standard in the ISO 14000 series. It provides an organization with the requirements of an environmental management system that is easily integrated into the business management systems of an organization.

What ISO 14001 Certification Do for a Business

  • After your enterprise attains ISO 14001 2015 Standard, it can prove to its stakeholders, staff, and consumers that you are already aware of the environmental obligations, and also wish to reduce the negative impact on the environment. It is significant for businesses to identify the risks associated with business activities in the environment, as it throws up substantial challenges for their operations.
  • The EMS 14001 standard makes sure that firms scope out the risks associated and also take actions to mitigate them. It further depicts that the business is protected. It is also believed to help organizations adhere to the regulatory and legal requirements.
  • When an enterprise has an ISO 14001 certification, an immediate reassurance about the organization is given to the consumers, stating that the organization has taken the necessary steps required to protect the environment. That said, the consumers know that an organization has done its due diligence of minimizing the negative impact of business operations.
  • Doing so is crucial since people are becoming environmentally savvy increasingly. They are also becoming aware of green issues and asking several questions regarding manufacturing processes and eco-friendly packaging. Even the employees have, nowadays, started taking interest in all green things and the workforce enjoys being a part of the organization that is involved in ISO.
  • Right from individuals being responsible to turn off the power when not in use, to enhance the rates of recycling available resources, you will experience a considerable change in staff engagement because of the ISO 14001 certification.
  • This shows that people’s interest in the environment is growing. The bigger a business is, the more they are responsible for the environment and its resources. They are also implementing greener policies to safeguard their reputation in the industry, and SMEs are required to keep pace. However, it is crucial, not to jump on the bandwagon too quickly.
  • If you plan to comply with the ISO environmental standards, choose to implement ISO 14001 adequately. Also, embed commercially achievable activities into your business, even before your competitors do. This way, a business will reap maximum rewards.

Advantages of ISO 14001 Training

An ISO 14001 certification is mandatory for an effective environmental management system. This certification is gradually becoming a standard business norm. An ISO 14001 certification aims to promote an environmental management approach. The advantages of this certification are as follows-

  • Environmental Advantages
  1. ISO 14001 certified organizations need to follow a system of procedures. An ISO 14001 accredited organization doesn’t need to be an ecological one. It implements specific measures to implement environmental strategies.
  2. The system of procedures needs to be respected to manage the environmental impact the organizations leave behind.
  • Economic And Financial Advantages
  1. ISO 14001 standards have several financial and economic advantages. ISO 14001 certification ensures that an effective resource management system is in place. Aresultulte organizations perform better.
  2. The ISO 14001 certification also helps the organizations improve their brand image and comply with international standards. Research shows that ISO 14000 certified organizations have a competitive edge over their non-certified counterparts, reap higher profits, and win more contracts.
  3. ISO 14001 standards have a positive impact on business. So, this certificate helps increase market share. It is an excellent tool to access many markets. Many certified organizations have claimed that their certification has helped them get most contracts. It reduces costs like energy bills, waste management, logistics, and raw materials.
  4. Organizations setting up an environmental system using ISO 14001 standards generally save money on these parameters.

Impact of ISO 14001 Standards

The rules encompassed in ISO 14001 are a series of instinctive guidelines that are formulated especially to decrease pollution and at the same time reduce the production of industrial waste.

  1. ISO 14001 environmental management system is introduced for this purpose. The motive behind the introduction of this system is to enhance the efficiency of the resources available, reduce waste, and in addition to it, curtail costs for the organizations.
  2. ISO 14000 quality standard is related to the quality of the environment. It states that an organization must document and define the scope of its environmental management system. The adopters of this standard are also required to assume risks that are required to be addressed to make sure that the system can attain the planned results.
  3. Organizations should take well-defined and clear actions and adhere to the established environmental management system. At the same time, they must make prompt modifications as and when needed. Even if the standards are impulsive, firms that adopt them can realize advantages beyond the operations are more environmentally friendly. For instance, organizations that conform to the standards of this system, are more likely to conform to the environmental regulations imposed by the government.
  4. In addition to it, adherence to the ISO standards will help to reduce the effect of regulatory fines. Also, the adoption of these standards depicts that the firm is conscious about the health of the environment. It further improves the image of their brand among the public and also leads to an increase in demand for their products.

ISO 14001 Latest Version

One of the major benefits of the system is that the standards are revisited to do the required modifications and enhanced periodically. The enhancement cycle follows the same process required by the environment standards. That said, the latest ISO standard was revisited 6 years ago in 2015 and was published then. Hence, the current ISO standard followed by organizations is the ISO 14001:2015.

The previous version was 14001:2004, and there were several modifications made in the latest set of standards. It expanded the general scope of the environmental management system to a great extent. That said, the requirements of EMS encompassed more leadership engagement, further documentation, heightened interactions with third parties, and increased cost of attaining certification. 

In addition to it, ISO standard 14001:2015 also added a requirement of risk-based planning, if a company wants to be a part of the environment management system.

The latest ISO 14000 Standard depicted a philosophical change for the standard. The 14001:2004 needed organizations to reduce the negative impact on the environment such as emissions, on the contrary, 14001:2015 is asking organizations to actively enhance the condition of the environment around their sites.

Conclusion

ISO 14001 ems aims to enhance the performance of the environment. It helps organizations of all sizes and from all sectors in making their day-to-day operations sustainable. Sustainability further enables organizations to save money, engage employees, enhance brand reputation and establish resilience against uncertainty. Unlock ISO 14001 Certification training offered by Vinsys to empower an individual and organization with the ability to rapidly adapt to change.