Climate change is one of the biggest challenges for businesses as they are trying to improve their products and services to reduce their environmental impact. But, being able to enhance your environmental performance and adapt to climate change is beneficial for the business in and of itself too as it helps it become more aware of its risks and vulnerabilities. According to the World Economic Forum, climate change has been named one of the major concerns of your century.
One effective way of assessing your impact and achieving your environmental objectives is by becoming ISO certified.
In this article, we will tell you all about the ISO 14001 standard, who can benefit from it, and why it would be a great idea to get certified.
So, What Is the ISO 14001 Standard?
Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO,) ISO 14001:2015, which is the latest version, is an international standard that offers organisations a framework for developing an environmental management system (EMS.) It’s part of the ISO 1400 family together with ISO 14004 Environmental Management Systems standards. It states the principles and criteria that would enable organisations to control their environmental aspects and work towards continuous improvement.
Who Can Benefit from ISO 14001 Certification?
Almost any organisation, regardless of its size, location, or industry can benefit from obtaining its ISO 14001 certification. The standard is broad enough to benefit businesses from a wide range of sectors while still providing a specific framework that can help you better control how your company interacts with the environment.
Keep in mind that while the standard offers the principles, processes, and criteria for defining your Environmental Management System, it doesn’t provide a set of specific instructions that you must follow to achieve improved environmental management and planning. Instead, you need to tailor the system to your organisation and the exact legal requirements and environmental interactions that are specific to your practices.
This standard can benefit your organisation in various ways. It can help you save costs by reducing energy consumption and waste, for example. It can also give you a competitive advantage as most customers nowadays want to purchase products and services from companies with a social mission.
But, beyond the business benefits that the ISO 14001 standard can provide, taking care of the world we live in and reducing our negative environmental impacts should be a goal for any company.
How to Implement ISO 14001
If you are considering implementing the ISO 14001 standard, then the process of achieving the certification can feel a bit overwhelming. Here’s a quick look at the process and what it entails:
- Define the Scope of Your EMS: Define the environmental aspects so that you know which operations you need to focus on.
- Define and Implement the EMS Procedures: Determine the procedures necessary for reducing your environmental impact and implement them.
- Train Your Employees: Train your employees regarding any changes in the processes that they are involved in.
- Measure and Record the Data: Record any data that will help you determine if your processes meet your environmental objectives.
- Perform a Thorough Internal Audit: Hire a certification body to perform a detailed internal audit and ensure that your EMS is working as planned.
- Management Review: Having the support of top management is essential for the success of the EMS. That’s why management needs to be up to date with the most relevant data to ensure that the system has the necessary resources to ensure its optimal performance.
- Implement Corrective Actions: The EMS is like a living organism that will change and evolve as your organisation grows. To ensure that you are still meeting your goals, use corrective actions to fix any potential issues.
How Best Practice Can Help
Whether we’re talking about an EMS or a Quality Management System (QMS,) certifying your organisation the highest international standards can give you a competitive advantage, attract more customers, and ensure your organization is growing and improving continuously.
Best Practice is a JAS-ANZ accredited ISO Certification body that can help you get your ISO certification.