ISO 14001

The Standard for Environmental Management System Implementation

In today’s business landscape, demonstrating a commitment to environmental sustainability is crucial. ISO 14001 certification provides a pathway for businesses to showcase their dedication to the environment, cut waste management costs, and align with increasingly stringent environmental regulations.

ISO 14001 stands as the globally recognised standard for environmental management systems. With over 360,000 organisations certified worldwide, it is designed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to guide companies in lessening their environmental impact through the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS).

The Role of an Environmental Management System

An EMS acts as a framework that enables businesses to efficiently manage resources and enhance sustainability by minimising their environmental footprint. Applicable across various sectors, an EMS supports waste reduction internally and throughout the supply chain.

Obtaining ISO 14001 certification publicly signifies a company’s commitment to environmental protection, fostering a positive perception among the public.

Key Features of ISO 14001

To achieve certification, businesses must adhere to six key features of ISO 14001:

  1. A clearly outlined environmental policy
  2. Detailed planning for EMS implementation
  3. Implementation and operation of plans
  4. Regular checks and necessary changes
  5. A process for management review
  6. Continuous improvement

Benefits of ISO 14001 Certification

As concerns over climate change rise, ISO 14001 certification offers several advantages:

  • Reduced operating costs through improved efficiency in energy and water use, and waste management.
  • Legal compliance, minimising the risk of prosecution.
  • Enhanced reputation, showcasing commitment to responsible sustainability.
  • Meeting requirements of potential business partners.
  • Improved environmental management systems for ongoing impact assessment and compliance with changing legislation.
  • Cultural transformation within the organisation.

Additionally, ISO 14001 compliance may result in more competitive rates for environmental impairment liability insurance.

The Accreditation Process

Gaining ISO 14001 accreditation involves several key steps:

  1. Conduct an initial environmental review and create a gap analysis.
  2. Choose an accredited certification body.
  3. Create a project plan and inform and educate all staff.
  4. Design and implement the EMS, followed by continuous improvement.

Auditors will focus on ten clauses when assessing certification. These cover areas such as the context of the organisation, leadership commitment, planning, support, operations, performance evaluation, and improvement.

Timeframe for ISO 14001 Compliance

The duration for ISO 14001 certification varies based on the organisation’s size and complexity. On average, small companies with 10-20 employees can achieve accreditation within 3-6 months, while larger organisations may take up to two years.

Ongoing Compliance Requirements

After obtaining ISO 14001 certification, organisations undergo audits every three years, with annual checks to ensure adherence to EMS and ISO requirements.

Cost of ISO 14001 Compliance

Costs depend on the organisation’s size and complexity. While in-house efforts require staff allocation, external consultants may expedite the process. Costs range from staff training expenses to consultancy fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Anthesis can assist in identifying and filling in any missing requirements an organisation may need to fulfil all the criteria to achieve an EMS certification to an ISO14001:2015 standard.

We can also assist in linking organisation’s up with an external auditing company to audit and certify an organisation’s EMS.

For longer-term support, Anthesis are also able to become a trusted partner in maintaining your EMS and can help drive continuous environmental performance.

  • Demonstrating the leadership and commitment from top management to improving environmental performance
  • An enhanced understanding of the long term positive and negative environmental impacts of the organisation’s activities
  • Embedding sustainability into core business processes and decision making
  • Driving continuous improvement in your environmental performance
  • Environmental compliance
  • Developing communication to generate staff engagement

The IS014001:2015 standard specifies requirements that enable an organization to achieve the intended outcomes it sets for its environmental management system.

Taken together, the requirements provide a systematic approach to environmental management. Requirements include:

  • A defined scope for the EMS
  • Environmental policy
  • Evaluation of environmental risks and opportunities
  • Evaluation of environmental aspects
    • Environmental objectives and plans for achieving them
    • Monitoring of environmental objectives
    • Operational control procedures
    • Procedure for environmental preparedness and response
    • List of interested parties, legal and other requirements
    • Evaluation of competence
    • Communications
    • Evaluation of compliance
    • An internal audit programme

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