Environmental management systems – Requirements
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is one of the most popular international standards published by the International Organization for Standardization.First published in 1996, today it is in its second edition. The ISO 14001 standard is currently being revised and the next revision is scheduled for end of 2015. As per a survey conducted by ISO in 2016, globally there are total 346,189 organizations certified to ISO 14001, only second to worlds most popular standard – ISO 9001. ISO 14001 prescribes the criteria for an environmental management system that an organization may want to build. Any type of an organization can refer to these criteria and develop its own environmental management system. Once all applicable criteria are addressed, the organization can get this environmental management system certified from a third party certification body.
Most organizations develop a quality management system because –
There is a need to assure their customers that the organization controls the environmental impact of its product and services. A certification to ISO 14001 will provide that confidence to the organization’s customers.
The organizations need to develop a systematic approach to eliminate, reduce or prevent the environmental impacts of its products and services thereby meeting its social and legal obligations. An application of ISO 14001 offers a risk based framework to the organization where continual improvement process is established for controlling the environmental impacts.
ISO 14001 helps the organizations build efficient operational controls in view of the environmental risks that arise due to its routine and non-routine activities within the life cycle of its products and services. Such controls also satisfy the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements (e.g. Environmental Protection Acts) thereby ensuring the required compliance level.
The benefits that an organization may get out of the application of ISO 14001 and its certification are mostly based on the management’s intentions of selecting this standard. However, following examples provide some direction about what the ISO 14001 can give the organizations in terms of its benefits
“It is our practice to understand the benefits that our customers want by applying ISO 14001 and then design the system in a way to help the organization to realize these benefits”.
An ISO 14001 certified organization is considered to be more reliable than the other similar organizations that are not certified. The certification is globally accepted and is gained by large as well as small organizations hence bring an equality in terms its positioning of brand reliability per say. The certification adds up to the brand recognition.
There are many organizations who give preference to ISO 14001 certified suppliers. For example, if your organization operates in a developing country, then your opportunities for exporting your product/ service to customers from developed countries increase since these customers invariably demand such certification. Non-certified organizations lose out on such opportunities. The certification to ISO 14001 gives a competitive advantage.
Interested parties of an organization include its customers, owners, employees, suppliers, bankers, etc. All these have certain expectations in terms of the environmental performance of the organization. Due to the environmental activities of the organization after application of ISO 14001 based environmental management system, the organization environmental performance becomes more and more visible. As a result the trust level and confidence of all these interested parties get a boost.
An organization that establishes environmental controls tend to save on costs, e.g. controls likeless use of paper, efficient use of energy, etc. bring considerable cost savings for the organization
Due to the rational thinking applied to the way the organizations react to the emergency situations such as fire, spillages, explosions, etc. that impacts the environment, the organizations builds effective plans and thus improves its ability to react and recover.
The ISO 14001 standard applies to all types of organizations including commercial organizations, non-profit organizations, Governments, Educational Institutes, NGOs, etc.
Browse through the solutions for different industries based on our experience of some of the types of organizations that we have worked with in the past.
Roadmap to certification
ProcessLOGIX helps the customers from initiation of the environmental management system development till certification to ISO 14001.
Following 12-step process describes the high level approach to implementation and certification