ISO 14001:2015 Environmental

ISO 14001 Environmental

ISO 14001 Environmental

What is an Environmental Management System?

An Environmental management system provides organisations with a means to identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a “holistic manner”. ISO 14001 is a formal accreditation that is suitable for organisations of all types and sizes

Achieving accredited certification to ISO 14001 certainly delivers commercial value to an organisation, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and streamlined waste management, as well as providing a better handle on business risk and competitive advantage.

ISO 14001 was revised in 2015!!!.

Why has the standard been revised?

ISO standards are reviewed every five years and revised if needed. This helps ensure they remain useful tools for the marketplace. The challenges faced by business and organizations today are very different from a few decades ago and ISO 14001 has been updated to take this new environment into account.

For example, increased globalization has changed the way we do business and organizations often operate more complex supply chains than they did in the past. In addition, there are increased expectations from customers and other interested parties and, with more access to information, today’s wider society has a stronger voice than ever before.

What are the keys changes to the ISO 14001?

For any organisation using or thinking of using the ISO 14001 2015 standard, the primary question that exists is what are the changes involved.

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The major changes in the standard have been outlined below:

  • Leadership: To ensure the success of the system, a new clause has been added that assigns specific responsibilities for those in leadership roles to promote environmental management within the organisation. Top management has been more closely defined, to make the EMS more strategic and integrated into the organisation’s decision making. Environmental, sustainability and CSR Managers are now expected to have more interaction with top management.
  • Lifecycle Approach: There is now a requirement to consider environmental impacts throughout the value chain and consideration of life cycle issues (although no requirement for formal Life Cycle Assessment). The concept of life-cycle perspective requires organisations to take a broader view and deal with their environmental issues in a more holistic way. The idea involves “looking at the performance, not just of the operations of the organisation, but of the products they create and their use and final disposal”. Organisations should think about the life-cycle stages that can be controlled or influenced by the organisation, this can include raw-material acquisition, design, production, transportation/delivery, use, end-of-life treatment and final disposal.
  • Strengthened Compliance: The clause on evaluation of compliance has been strengthened-previously there was a requirement to evaluate compliance- but in the proposed new standard, the requirement is to specify exactly how compliance is evaluated and recorded.
  • Protection of the Environment: Protection of the environment remains a key ethos of ISO 14001, as does the duty of the organisation to commit to proactive initiatives to safeguard the environment from harm and degradation. This can include issues such as the sustainable use of resources, preserving the local biodiversity and ecosystems, and taking measures to prevent pollution. The concept of “context” also means companies have to consider other issues not obviously related to narrow environmental concerns, but which can have detrimental effects on its business, like the competitive landscape in which they operate, technology and even cultural factors.

How do the changes benefit your organisation?

Some of the major benefits of the changes to the ISO 14001 standard include the following:

  • Corporate Image and Credibility: Where contracts or tenders require an ISO 14001 certification, then this is an obvious benefit. Increasingly it is becoming more and more obvious that consumers are concerned about the environmental practices of the company that produce the products they use. One way to assure all of these people that you are committed to managing the environmental impacts is to have a demonstrable environmental management system to identify and control these impacts. This can enhance your image, help you maintain a good public image, and improve community relation, which can help improve your market share with these interested parties.
  • Improvement in Cost Control: The revised ISO 14001 can help with cost control. The first way this happens is by using the system to identify, control and reduce the number of environmental incidents that occur, which costs the company through liability costs of fines, cleanup and reparations. Secondly, customers can use the improvement aspect of the environmental management system to help reduce costs by working to conserve the energy and input materials required by the company processes.
  • Faster process improvements: Through these systematic processes, you can better build your public image and reduce your costs as identified above, but to continue to do this can help your employees find new and better ways to reduce your environmental impact and save time and resources when they improve the processes. When people are involved in a culture that utilizes them to work toward common goals of improvement, they are more engaged overall.
  • Reduction in Employee Turnover: Employees who are involved in company improvements tend to be more engaged in other aspects of the company. Given a choice between working for a company that shows care and concern for the environment around it and one that does not, most people would prefer the first company. Engaged employees in a group effort to reduce the company’s environmental footprint will often have an increased employee focus and retention, and it is easier and less expensive to retain employees than it is to recruit and train new employees. Further, the main reason to implement an environmental management system using the revised requirements is to help the environment by causing less of a negative impact and reducing your environmental footprint.

I am currently using ISO 14001:2004. What should I do ?

Our easy to follow presentation will explain what you need to do to transition!! Click here to download!!!

Next steps

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