September 9th, 2011
The ISO 14000 family of internationally recognised voluntary standards related to environmental management including;
- ISO14004:2004 – guidance on the elements of an Environmental Management System
- ISO 14001:2004 – requirements for an Environmental Management System.
ISO 14001:2004 is the only standard in the series that would be externally audited against.
Implementation of the ISO14001 standard allows organisations to;
- Identify and manage/control the environmental impacts associated with their activities, products and services;
- And when correctly implemented will lead to the continual improvement of the organisations environmental performance, this is achieved through the setting of achievable/measureable environmental objectives and targets.
- Meet environmental legislation/regulation
The standard provides a frame work for organisations to implement policies, plans, procedures etc. But the standard is not prescriptive. In other words, the system implemented by the organisation must be based upon the organisations activities.
Benefits of Implementation include;
- A clear commitment to achieving legal and regulatory compliance
- Implementation of controls which will reduce the organisations environmental impacts.
- Demonstrate commitment and enhance reputation with customers and stakeholders
- Cost savings can be made through improved efficiency and productivity
ISO 9001/ISO 14001
ISO 9001 and ISO14001 complement each other. Common elements between the two standards include;
- management review,
- document control,
- corrective action
- training etc
These elements can be combined into a single, joint/integrated system (together with Health & Safety if required).
Assessment to ISO 14001
- Stage 1 the third party accredited certification body will review the organisations documentation and carry out an initial audit of the site. This will look at the company's evaluation of environmental effects and ascertain if targets set for the management programme are measurable and achievable.
- Stage 2 – a followed up visit consisting of a full audit to ensure that records and working practices demonstrate that the organisation is following its procedures.
- After a successful audit and the issue of a certificate, there will then be surveillance visits (usually once or twice a year) to ensure that the system continues to work.