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What is an EMS? – Core elements and Basic Principles of ISO 14001 Certification

An Environmental Management System is a set of policies and procedures designed to help organizations:

  • Reduce negative environmental impact
  • Improve efficiency and operational effectiveness

An EMS is a set of guidelines for continuous improvement, based on proven methods of business process management and optimization just like quality management system.

The main goal of the organization’s environment management system has to be designed and developed is that the system may be functioning well to grow the environmental performance. The ISO 14001:2015 certification of EMS as per specification recognized standards has been introduced.

There are the six core elements of an EMS that helps in achieving the ISO 14001 Certification:

  • Environmental policy
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Study & correct
  • Management review
  • Continuous improvement

1.Environmental policy

This is a clearly outline the environmental policy of business’s objectives and targets, in the context of their environmental policy. It includes principles on environmental sustainability as well as performance indicators relating to the Environmental Management System.

Internally and Externally Policy should always be clearly communicated, as well as fully implemented.

2.Planning

In planning, make complete, thorough plans for implementing the EMS. With clear, thorough planning, organizations stand to assess the environmental impact of all operations. The main purpose of planning is to develop a process for identifying compliance requirements, documenting targets and objectives, and creating a plan for deployment.

3.Implementation

After planning step, current step involves the execution of those plans. This step will also incorporate adjustments and even building of new processes to adapt to changing requirements. It’s important that organizations clearly define, document, and communicate their implementation procedures for purposes of training and compliance contingency. Well-documented processes also make it easier to improve upon those processes. The Scope of Implementation section also includes emergency response planning and preparedness.

4.Study & correct

After implementing step which is the most basic EMS, observe how it functions, and make corrections or optimizations as needed. Study & correct step involves the management of new and existing procedures to make sure KPIs are hit and that the EMS is functioning as it should be. Organizations will benefit from establishing a system for documentation as well as conducting audits of the EMS.

5.Management review

Management review section is same as study & correct but it’s important to have a differentiated review of the EMS conducted by management, to ensure that everything is functioning within the scope of successful performance. Management will be best positioned to assess this kind of effectiveness.

6.Continuous improvement

Every EMS will utilize principles of continuous improvement to enable organizations to optimize all aspects of the system. Through establishment of targets and objectives in the context of wider environmental purposes, organizations can achieve continuous process improvement with methods.

Principles of environmental management system for ISO 14001 Certification

Key principles of environmental management:

  • To encompass environmental management systems and the environmental aspects of products
  • To not be restricted by country or region
  • To uphold and promote public interest as well as the interests of those who use and be affected by the standards
  • To be cost-efficient, robust, and adapt to many different needs, requirements, and circumstances, at any scale, globally
  • For flexibility, to be suitable for internal and/or external verification
  • To utilize scientific evidence and principles
  • To continuously improve upon existing principles of environmental management
  • To be actionable, practical, and useful for organizations using them.
 

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ISO 14001 – Environment Management System

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.

EMS standard certification

ISO 14001 – EMS Certification

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.

Source:  Globalmanagergroup.com

Read my other post about Environment Management System.

 
 

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