ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management. It outlines how you to create an effective environmental management system in your workplace.
Its aim is to help you run a commercially successful business without overlooking your environmental responsibilities.
In fact, it will help you continually grow your business while reducing the environmental impact of that growth.
Implementing an ISO 14001 system in your workplace will also give you the framework you need to meet customer expectations as well as your legal or regulatory obligations.
But how exactly does ISO 14001 help you do all this?
To understand how it does this, you first have to understand what this system really is...
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Here's what you need to know about ISO 14001
The ISO 14001 standards apply to the environmental aspects your company has to identify and control. This doesn't mean the ISO standards specify environmental performance criteria. It simply gives you instructions an how to develop an environmental management system.
Now you mustn't confuse ISO 14001 with ISO 14000. ISO 14000 is the set of the standards for environmental management series the International Standards Organisation developed. ISO 14001, on the other hand, is the document containing specific environmental management system requirements.
Companies around the world use ISO 14001. According to iso14001.com, the top ten ISO 14001 certified countries include:
5. The UK;
6. Republic of Korea;
8. The USA;
9. Sweden; and
So by using ISO 14001 in your company, you gain international recognition that your environmental management system is up there with the best in the world.
Now that you understand what ISO 14001 really is, let's look at how it will help you improve your environmental management.
Here's how ISO 14001 can help you transform your environmental management system
ISO 14001 gives you guidelines to:
• Identify all the aspects of your company's activities, products, and services that have an impact on the environment. This includes any that you haven't taken steps to regulate.
• Set performance objectives and targets for your management system that link back to the your commitments in your company's environmental management policy (e.g. prevention of pollution, continual improvement, and compliance)
• Implement your environmental management system so you can meet these objectives. This includes training your employees, establishing work instructions and procedures, and establishing a way to measure your objectives and targets.
• Establish a programme to regularly audit your environmental management system's operations.
• Check and take actions to correct or prevent any deviations from your environmental management system. This includes periodically evaluating your company's compliance with your legal requirements.
• Do regular reviews of your environmental management system with top managers. This ensures its continuing performance and allows you to make adjustments where necessary.
This system is relatively flexible so if you have an existing environmental management system, you can integrate it into the ISO standards.
This will help you improve your company's environmental management by giving you the tools you need to create a sound structure for managing your impact on the environment.
Start to implement ISO 14001 today to create an effective environmental management system and reap its many benefits