In this article, we’ll be talking about what exactly ISO 14001 is, and how it can benefit your organisations. Whether you’re looking to improve your organisation’s environmental credentials, or need ISO 14001 certification to be eligible to bid on certain tenders, it’s one of the most important and topical certifications your organisation can acquire.
With customer demands changing rapidly, it’s important to ensure your organisation is operating in-line with the environmentally sustainable means of service and production that is becoming commonplace in the 21st century.
An environmental management system shows to your customers, as well as your stakeholders and regulators that your organisation not only recognises potential environmental improvements in its operations, it’s committed to addressing them.
ISO 14001 and its systematic environmental improvements will help you inspire confidence in your customers, and give you internationally-recognised accreditation in your organisation and its commitment to more environmentally sustainables means of operating.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is an internationally-recognised environmental standard that provides organisations with the framework they need to implement an effective environmental management system. The official definition states that ISO 14001 is a “part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations and address risks and opportunities” across your operations.
What are the main parts of ISO 14001?
ISO 14001’s framework asks an organisation to consider four key aspects: planning of environmental policies, implementation and operation of these policies, checks and corrective actions and finally a management review to determine the effectiveness of your environmental management system.
What are the requirements?
ISO 14001 asks organisations to develop an environmental policy, in line with the organisation’s operations and strategic vision for the future. A member of your staff should be appointed as the coordinator of the environmental management system, and should identify any and all relevant issues regarding the organisation and its interaction with the environment. These issues should be noted and addressed, with objectives, targets and programs implemented to mitigate environmentally damaging aspects of your operations.
These objectives and strategies should be monitored and reviewed – in line with the plan-do-check-act cycle – while retaining any policies you’ve found effective.
What are the Benefits an Environmental Management System?
The most obvious benefit of getting certified to ISO 14001 is that it shows your organisation has made a commitment to improve its environmental management practices, which can inspire confidence in your customers and assure regulators of your organisation’s proactiveness. Large scale project tenders will often require certification to either ISO 14001, ISO 9001 or a combination of both, to show external stakeholders that the organisation is organised, aware of its environmental impact and shows a commitment to reducing it as it moves into the future.
Furthermore, ISO 14001 can be used in combination with any of the ISO standards to strengthen your organisation’s vision, and give you tools to implement new strategies in your operations.