International Standard for Environmental Management Systems: ISO 14001:2015
An environmental management system (EMS) can help reduce air pollution and maintain the natural ecosystem. It can also help organisations identify, manage, monitor, and control their overall environmental impact. An environmental management system requires that organisations consider all their environmental issues, relevant to their operations, such as water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, and climate change.
What is ISO 14001:2015?
ISO 14001:2015 is part of the family of standards that provides guidelines for organisations looking to manage their environmental impact. It is a generic standard that can be implemented in organisations of any industry. ISO 14001:2015 can be integrated easily into any existing ISO management system. This standard is voluntary and any organisation can follow it and seek certification. ISO 14001:2015 uses the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) model of continuous improvement. You can apply the PDCA approach to an EMS and each of its components. The process includes the following steps:
- Plan: Establish environmental objectives and the processes needed to bring about the desired outcomes.
- Do: Implement the plan.
- Check: Monitor and measure the results against environmental policies and objectives and report the findings.
- Act: Take steps to improve the results and overall environmental performance.
Why should I Implement ISO 14001:2015?
The benefits of ISO 14001:2015 cannot be overstated. There are many reasons why an organisation should take a strategic approach to improve its environmental performance. Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001 helps:
- Establish compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Increase leadership, involvement, and engagement with employees.
- Enhance company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication.
- Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management.
- Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies.
- Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organisation’s business system.
What steps are needed to implement ISO 14001:2015?
- Step 1: Learn about the ISO 14001:2015 Standard.
- Step 2: Implement an ISO 14001:2015 Initial Environmental Review & Gap Analysis.
- Step 3: Plan your ISO 14001:2015 Project.
- Step 4: Train your organisation on ISO 14001:2015.
- Step 5: Document your ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.
- Step 6: Implement your Environmental Management System.
- Step 7: Audit your Environmental Management System.
How do I get started with ISO 14001:2015?
- Define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this standard?
- Approval from senior management. It is essential that the leaders of your organisation support the objectives of an effective environmental management system and are committed to the process.
- A good overview of existing processes and systems that are relevant to your environmental impact. This will form the basis of your environmental management system and allow you to easily identify any gaps.
- ISO 14001:2015 is an International Standard of Global acceptance aimed at bettering environmental performance and sustainability. WWISE can help you through the certification process and ensure that your business becomes certified.
For more information on how you can secure your business with ISO 14001:2015 contact WWISE on 08610 99473 or visit https://www.wwise.co.za/.