ISO 14001

Enviornment & Energy ManagementOf all the standards within the ISO 14000 series, ISO 14001 is the standard that specifies the requirements for an organization’s EMS. The Environmental Management System (EMS) document is the central document controlling the interaction of the core elements in the organization, and provides a third-party auditor with the key information necessary to understand the environmental management systems in place. It is a “tool” that enables an organization of any size or type to control the impact of its activities, products or services on the environment. As in the case of ISO 9001, the key to a successful ISO 14001 EMS is having documented procedures that are implemented and maintained so that they describe environmental goals and their place in all other company-wide activities.

ISO 14001 standards require sites to document and make an Environmental Policy available to the public. In addition, procedures should be established for a continuous review of the environmental aspects and the impacts of products, activities, and services. Based on these environmental aspects and impacts, then goals and objectives are established that are consistent with the environmental policy,. As with a QMS, Internal Audits of the EMS should be conducted routinely to ensure that non-conformances in the system are identified and addressed. In addition, the management review process must be in place to ensure top management’s involvement in the assessment of EMS.

Benefits

  • Providing your company with assurance that you meet, and will continue to meet, your legal and corporate policy requirements.
  • Providing potentially fewer surveillance visits from regulatory agencies.
  • Showing your business partners, regulatory agencies, and community that you are environmentally responsible.
  • Increasing competitiveness.
  • Increasing profits through potential process improvements.
  • Reducing your environmental liability.
  • Reducing costs as a result of potentially lower insurance rates.
  • Complying with environmental laws and regulations.
  • Improving relationships with regulators – organizations that implement an ISO 14001 EMS often report improved relations with government regulatory agencies, find that regulators are quicker to provide technical support, and find that the regulators are much more supportive in general.
  • Capturing institutional knowledge – ISO 14001 ensures this information is properly documented, communicated and retained. The cyclical nature of this management system further ensures all system information is reviewed and updated at least annually.
  • Streamlining operations – organizations often realize monetary savings as a result of greater operational efficiency and energy conservation.
  • Increased awareness and participation – organizations benefit from better communication about environmental issues inside and outside the organization. ISO 14001 gives people an avenue to raise environmental issues and makes it clear that environmental performance is an important part of the corporate culture.
  • Safety benefits : by reviewing the procedures for controlling significant operations, including a review of emergency preparedness and response procedures, organizations are able to identify and implement significant safety improvements.

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