The ISO 14001 is the conformance standard within the ISO 14000 series. The environmental management system family of standards ‘ISO 14000’, was formally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on September 2, 1996. After extensive groundwork, the revised version of ISO 14001 was released on 15th of November 2004. ISO 14001:2004 replaced ISO 14001:1996 after a transition period of 18 months, ended on 14th May 2006, and became the basis for the certification procedure for environmental management.
Since 1996, the ISO 14001 has formed the basis for structuring, implementation, review and further development of environmental management systems. It lays down the applicable demands for all kinds of organizations depending upon sizes as well as diverse geographical, cultural and social conditions. The objective of this certificate is to promote environmental protection and the prevention of environmental stress in harmony with economic, social and political requirements.
Integration With ISO 9000
An ISO 14001 system can easily be integrated with an existing quality management system, which is based on the ISO 9000 standard. There are a number of common elements within both the ISO 9000 and ISO 14001 management system standards including: Document Control, Training, Corrective Action, Records Management, Calibration, Internal Audits and Management Review. Companies can either develop completely separate EMS components, or choose to integrate an ISO 14001-driven EMS with an ISO 9000 quality management system.
ISO 14000 Standard
The elements of ISO 14001 provide a framework to varied organization for managing and continually improving their environmental programs. The structure of ISO 14001 is very similar to ISO 9001 and it is utilized to merge environmental programs into one coherent system to efficiently manage all environmental activities. The standard is divided in to two categories:
Organization Evaluation – It includes Environmental Management System (EMS), Environmental Audits and Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE).
Product Evaluation – It includes Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Environmental Labeling and Environmental Aspects in Product Standards (EAPS).
Major Elements of ISO 14000 Standard
- General Requirements – It defines the system layout.
- Environmental Policy.
- Planning – It includes environmental aspects, legal and other requirements, objectives and targets and environmental management programs.
- Implementation and Operation – It includes structure and responsibility, training, awareness and competence, communication, environmental management system documentation, document control, operation control, and emergency preparedness and response systems.
- Checking and Corrective Action – It includes monitoring and measurement of non-conformance and corrective and preventive action, records and environmental system audit.
- Management Review – The standard is viewed in Europe as meeting a major component of Eco- Management and Audit Regulation (EMAR), a European directive for continuous environmental performance improvement by industrial organizations.
Steps to ISO 14001
- Obtain management commitment
- Develop steering committee
- Gather environmental aspect – impact data
- Develop environmental policy/goals
- Evaluate applicability of legal requirements, its compliance and existing programs against ISO 14001
- Develop action plan
- Analyze and undertake changes addressing 14001
- Perform internal audits against 14001
- Evaluate system performance through management review and correct management system deficiencies
- Achieve accredited third party ISO 14001 certification
Advantages of ISO 14001
Customer, employees, stockholders and competitors will develop a new level of respect for you, as you demonstrate your commitment to the environment.
- Risk Reduction: Environmental legal liability; accidents and environmental damage.
- Cost Reduction: Insurance premiums; waste handling and disposal costs; reduction in air and water permitting fees.
- Competitive Advantage: Improved corporate image; strategic investment; improved regulatory relations.
Read my other post about Environment Management System.