ISO 14001 Environment Management System Implementation
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is an environmental management system, often called an EMS, is comprised of various working documents like policies, processes, plans, best practices, and records that describes how your company interacts with the environment. This system will vary from on company to another company based on applicable legal requirements, products and/or services, processes, size etc. hence the system can be customized according to company requirements. However, the ISO 14001 requirements provide a framework and guidelines for creating your environmental management system so that you do not miss important elements needed for an EMS to be successful.
ISO 14001 is an international standard for designing and implementing an environmental management system. The most recent version of the environmental management system requirements was published in 2015 and is referred to as “ISO 14001:2015.”
What is the importance of ISO 14001?
Every day we all (either individually or jointly as an organization) intentionally or unintentionally damaging our environment by various day to day activities. Taking care of environment and preventing the companies from causing negative impacts on the environment, are two of the most important challenges facing businesses today.
Implementing an EMS means the recognition that comes with being among those businesses that care enough to reduce their environmental footprint. This can bring better relationships with customers, the public, and the community at large for your company, but it also brings other benefits.
Along with the good public image, companies can save money through the implementation of an environmental management system. This can be achieved through reducing incidents that can result in liability costs, being able to obtain insurance at a more reasonable cost, and conserving input materials and energy through reduction efforts. This improvement in cost control is a benefit that cannot be overlooked when making the decision to implement an environmental management system.
Benefits of Implementing ISO 14001.
The companies (large and small) have used ISO 14001 standard to great effect. The benefits of EMS cannot be overstated, following are the few of these benefits:
Improve brand image and credibility – You can assure your customers that you have a commitment to demonstrable management of your environmental impacts, you can enhance your brand image and market share through maintaining a good public image and improved community relations.
Engage your people – By engaging your employees in a group effort to reduce your environmental footprint you can increase employee focus and retention. Employee will love to work for a company that really cares the environment around it resulting in contribution to a better environment for themselves.
Use fact based decision making – By ensuring that you are using real time and accurate data to make your decisions on what to improve, you can greatly increase the chances that your improvements will be successful the first time rather than having several unsuccessful attempts.
Improve cost control – All companies are looking for is reduction of costs. The EMS can help with this by conserving energy and input materials, while reducing incidents for which a company can incur liability costs and improved environmental controls can help to obtain insurance at reduced costs to the company.
Create a culture of continual improvement – With continual improvement, you can work toward better processes and reduced environmental impacts in a systematic way to improve your public image and potentially reduce your costs, as identified above. When a culture of improvement is created, people are always looking for ways to make their processes better, which makes maintaining the EMS easier.
Steps to Implement ISO 14001.
It is always recommended to start any system implementation only after getting its working knowledge/ Familiarization with it. Please contact HM Consulting team for more details and support related to ISO 14001 awareness training.
Prepare documentation – After finishing all applicable documentation and implementing it, HM consulting recommend an organization should also perform following steps to ensure a successful certification:
Internal audit – The internal audit is the only activity to check your EMS implementation. The goal is to ensure that records are in place to confirm compliance of the processes and to find problems and weaknesses that would otherwise stay hidden. Please contact HM Consulting team for support on Internal audit.
Management review – A formal review by your management to evaluate the relevant facts about the management system processes to make appropriate decisions and assign resources.
Corrective actions – Following the internal audit and management review, you need to correct the root cause of any identified problems and document how they were resolved.
Certification Audit: The company certification process is divided into two stages:
I. Stage One (documentation review) – The auditors from your chosen certification body will check to ensure your documentation meets the requirements of ISO 14001.
II. Stage Two (Final Assessment) – At this stage, the certification body auditors will check whether your actual activities are compliant with both ISO 14001 and your own documentation by reviewing documents, records, and company practices. Defiantly this audit will be harder than the previous one. Best wishes! You may take HM Consulting’s Extended Network Support.