Awareness of environmental issues and their human influences is increasing. Organisations face numerous statutory and regulatory environmental requirements, and their customers and stakeholders frequently require them to demonstrate that they adhere to environmental best practice.
It is therefore increasingly important for organisations to act in an environmentally responsible manner, to fulfil their legal and moral obligations, enhance their brands and improve their efficiency. ISO 14001:2015, the international standard for an environmental management system (EMS), helps organisations identify, manage, monitor and control environmental issues.
It provides “a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs” and is suitable for organisations of all types and sizes, in all sectors and locations.
ISO 14001 is applicable to any organisation that wishes to:
- Implement, maintain and improve an EMS;
- Assure itself of its conformance with its stated environmental policy;
- Demonstrate such conformance to others;
- Seek certification of its environmental management system by an external organisation;
- Make a self-determination and self-declaration of conformance with this international standard.
Benefits of ISO 14001
Implementing an ISO 14001-compliant EMS will help your organisation:
- Improve its control and management of emissions and waste;
- Demonstrate compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements;
- Enhance its energy and operational efficiency, reducing generated waste and saving costs;
- Safely handle hazardous or potentially polluting materials;
- Conserve natural resources; and
- Pursue environmental initiatives that are aligned with business priorities.
ISO 14001 Certification
Accredited certification to ISO 14001 demonstrates that you have implemented best practice. According to the latest ISO Survey, there are more than 300,000 certifications to the Standard in more than 170 countries around the world.
Transitioning requirements for ISO 14001:2015
Companies are now expected to start aligning with the new standard and to bring their practices into line with the latest requirements. A three-year transition period to ISO 14001:2015 has been set by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
You can read further transitioning planning guidance from the IAF here >>
Integration with other management system standards
ISO 14001 follows Annex SL, which sets out the high-level structure, core text for sub-clauses and requirements, and a number of common terms and core definitions for newer ISO management system standards.
Organisations that have implemented or are certified to any of the other Annex SL ISO management system standards – such as ISO 9001, ISO 22301 and ISO 27001 – should have many of the components common to most management systems in place. Expanding the management system scope to address environmental issues and the environment-specific requirements in ISO 14001:2015 should then be relatively straightforward.
Click here for more information on integrating your management systems >>