WHAT IS ISO 14001:2015 – ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS?
SO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS). It provides a framework that an organization can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements.
Part of the ISO 14000 family of standards on environmental management, ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that organizations can certify to. Integrating it with other management systems standards, most commonly ISO 9001, can further assist in accomplishing organizational goals.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines an environmental management system as “part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations, and address risks and opportunities.” The framework in the ISO 14001 standard can be used within a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach to continuous improvement.
ISO 14001 is an environmental management system that helps you identify, manage, monitor and control environmental issues holistically. The standard provides practical tools for companies looking to manage their environmental responsibilities and supports improvements in environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and the reduction of waste.
ISO 14001:2015 should be used by any organization that wishes to set up, improve, or maintain an environmental management system to conform with its established environmental policy and requirements. The requirements of the standard can be incorporated into any environmental management system, the extent to which is determined by several factors including the organization’s industry, environmental policy, products and service offerings, and location.
ISO 14001:2015 is relevant to all organizations, regardless of size, location, sector, or industry.
What topics does ISO 14001:2015 cover?
At the highest level, ISO 14001:2015 covers the following topics with regard to environmental management systems:
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
14001:2004 vs. 14001:2015
The 2015 revision of ISO 14001 introduces a number of changes from previous versions. A review of 20 years of research on this standard is available for ASQ member.
As part of the effort to structure all ISO standards in the same way, the ISO 14001:2015 revisions include incorporating a required high-level structure, using mandatory definitions, and incorporating common standards requirements and clauses.
10 major areas of impact of the 2015 revision:
- Expansion in EMS coverage and scope
- Required interactions with external parties
- New requirements for leadership engagement
- Expanded legal compliance requirements
- Need for risk-based planning and controls
- New documentation requirements
- Expanded operational control requirements
- Changes in competence and awareness requirements
- Impacts on the internal audit program
- Increased certification costs
GENERAL GUIDELINES / STEPS OF ISO 14001:2015 CERTIFICATION PROCESS
- Purchase of ISO 14001:2015 standard- This standard can be purchased through some below modes:
- Self review of requirements of Standards: Once purchased, organization must review the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 standard through in-depth review of standards. Clients may get help of ACM freely available online tools for understanding the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 standard & may implement it within their organization
- Get Training of ISO 14001:2015 Standard
ACM provides a wide range of IRCA accredited open training programs at different location on monthly basis. If required, ACM can provide training to suit your needs and budget. Through these programs, you can gain the skills to implement, Internal audit and manage an effective quality management system <ACM never provides any consultancy services specific to need & requirements of any organization>.
- Identify legal requirements – Identification of the legal and other requirements is an highly important step to make sure your implementation succeeds.
- Define EMS scope – To ensure you know the limits of what needs to be done, you need to define the scope of your EMS. This helps prevent the inclusion of areas of your business that might not have an effect on the environment. The key tools to define the scope are the environmental policy and environmental aspects (the interaction you have with the environment); these are the first documents you will need to create for the EMS.
- Define EMS procedures and processes – These will include the processes and procedures you will identify as necessary to ensure consistent and adequate results when preventing negative environmental impacts and to respond to emergency situations.
- Perform Initial Environmental Review & Gap Analysis – You can perform a self gap analysis audit based on ACM Tool “ISO 14001:2015 Gap Analysis” & can identify the gaps between the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 standard & your exist system & thus can determine the likely workload and timescale for implementing a Environmental management system that will help you to achieve ISO 14001 certification. You can use this to plan implementation or brief to your consultant
- Implement EMS procedures and processes – Often, these processes will be linked to the processes that are already in place at your organization, such as the tracking of waste from your facility. Since not all processes need to be documented procedures, it is important to decide which ones must be documented in order to prevent environmental damage..
- Perform Internal training and awareness – All Employees should have training on what ISO 14001 is and why you are doing this, in addition to training for any changes to the processes they are involved in. It is important that everyone in your organization knows what you are doing with your EMS and how they fit into the equation. It is advised that you must provide Internal trainings to your all employees on EMS.
- Operate the EMS; measure and keep records – This is when you will collect the records that will be required during an audit to show that your processes meet the requirements set out for them. The records also show that the processes are effective and that improvements are being made in your EMS as needed. Certification bodies will identify a certain length of time for this to happen in order to ensure that the system is mature enough to show compliance.
- Application to ACM- Application for registration is made by completely updating ACM Application Form & submitting to ACM office. This provides information about your organization to ACM & so ACM can accurately define the scope of assessment.
- Get a Quote – We’ll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.
- Perform internal audits – The certification body will want you to audit each process internally before they come in to do the certification audit. This will give you a chance to make sure that the processes are doing what you had planned, and if not, you will have a chance to fix any problems that you find.
- Perform management review – Just as important as the support that management gives for the implementation of ISO 14001, is the involvement of management in the continued maintenance of the EMS. In order to ensure that the processes have adequate resources to be effective and improve, management needs to review specified data from the activities of the EMS and react to that data appropriately.
- Implement corrective actions – In order to fix problems and improve the system, you need to use corrective actions to find the root cause of any problems found and take action to correct that root cause. These problems can be identified during your measurements, internal audits, and management review.
- Certification audit – Stage 1 – Here the ACM will review your documentation to verify that, on paper, that you have addressed all the necessary requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. ACM auditors will issue a report outlining where you comply and where there are problems, so that you have a chance to implement any corrective actions to address the problems. |
- Certification audit – Stage 2 – During this main audit the ACM auditors will perform the on-site audit where they will review the records you have accumulated by operating your EMS processes, including your records of internal audits, management review, and corrective actions. After this audit, done over several days, they will issue a report detailing their findings and whether they have found your EMS to be effective and in compliance with the ISO 14001 requirements. The auditors will also make a recommendation for certification if you meet all requirements; however, if you have any major non-conformances then you will need to resolve the corrective action for these problems before certification can be recommended.
- Certification to ISO 14001 is issued by ACM and maintained through a program of annual surveillance audits and a three yearly recertification audit.
Benefits of Implementing ISO 9001:2015 in your business?
- Decreasing costs through increased efficiencies Lower energy and raw materials use, reductions in waste and pollution, and mitigated risks of accidents and emergency situations translate into greater profitability and productivity.
- Creating and maintaining new market opportunities In areas where environmental responsibility is a business requirement, ISO 14001 certification can open the door to new opportunities.
- Demonstrating environmental leadership Increasingly, customers will not do business with organizations that are not committed to protecting the environment. ISO 14001 certification firmly establishes your company’s environmental credibility and commitment to Pollution free environment, helping you to earn your customers’ trust and confidence.
- Improving corporate image and community goodwill, ISO 14001 certification demonstrates your company’s commitment to environmental responsibility, fostering improved relationships with the community, shareholders, and governmental and environmental organizations.
- Enhancing credibility as after completing ACM independent Assessment, you can prove to interested parties that you have nothing to hide when it comes to environmental management.
- Streamlining/simplifying its EMS ISO 14001 helps you move your ISO 14001 beyond mere compliance with regulatory requirements, to actively developing processes and procedures to keep violations from occurring in the first place. When these are documented and implemented properly, managing your EMS becomes a more straightforward task