ISO 14001: Protecting the Future of Our Environment
Modern businesses are becoming increasingly sensitive to the environmental damage that can potentially arise from daily operations and activities. This is reflected in the legislation and regulation that now surrounds safe environmental practice.
ISO 14001 represents the requirement for organisations to have internationally recognised Environmental Management Systems (EMS).
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is a “family” of standards which encompass environmental management.
The requirement of an ISO 14001 standard ensures regulatory environmental compliance, as well as encouraging management to make proactive business decisions to reduce the impact on the environment.
This includes the implementation of programs and initiatives with measurable outcomes in order to track performance, as management would do with any other organisational performance indicator.
What are the key components of ISO 14001?
There are a few key elements of an ISO 14001 management system. These are:
- Environmental policy
- Implementations and operation
- Checking and corrective action
This is created by head management and contains the direction the company is heading with environmental management. This is the big, overarching goal the management system will seek to accomplish.
Planning involves creating procedures, documentation, and training procedures to ensure the management system is holistic and will allow the management system to work as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Implementation and operation
Once all documentation and procedures are developed, the implementation of the system can begin. This will usually begin with the identification of roles and responsibilities in the team, and training on the documentation and procedures ahead of a compliance audit.
Checking and corrective action
This can either take the form of an audit conducted internally, or by an accredited third-party certification body. These audits ensure compliance with the standard and are also used to identify areas of improvement. These gap analyses are incredibly useful for continual improvement.
What are the benefits of ISO 14001?
The purpose and focus of ISO 14001 is on the process rather than the end product or service, to ensure efficiency and enhance overall results. ISO 14001 is designed to help an organisation identify areas of its operation that can be targeted to reduce environmental impact and subsequently monitor and improve upon performance over time. This helps to develop a systematic approach to reducing the environmental impact of businesses by developing a widely recognised standard.
Businesses who are ISO 14001 certified have demonstrated their continued dedication to improving their organisation’s environmental impact – this is a huge benefit when applying for tenders.
A business is also going to minimise environmental risks, by continually looking for areas of improvement and identifying any red flags in the auditing process. Regular audits are extremely useful in an environmental management system and is just one of the ways a business can have a competitive edge over other businesses.
QMS can audit your business so you can achieve ISO 14001 certification – just get in touch with our team today.
QMS has certified auditors across Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle