Environmental Management Systems
Introduction to ISO 14001:2015
ISO 14001 is a standard pertaining to environmental management systems that have been agreed upon internationally.
It helps organizations in many ways e.g. an increase in efficiency with regard to the use of raw materials and other resources, waste reduction, competitive edge, and the trust of all those who have the stakes in the business &/or organization.
The requirements outlined in ISO 14001:2015 are generic and not the specific criteria for the performance of environmental management systems.
ISO 14001:2015 can be used in full or in part for systematic improvement of environmental management; however, claims of conformance to ISO 14001:2015, are accepted only when all the requirements are incorporated into the management systems and complied with.
Environmental management systems based on ISO 14001:2015
An environmental management system helps organizations determine and tackle their environmental issues “holistically”. ISO 14001:2015 has the built-in capability to be integrated with any other management system standard as all the clauses have been aligned in its latest revision.
Like any other management system standard, this standard specifically demands continual improvement which means ‘no improvement’ is a nonconformity in itself, be there all in line with the requirements. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes, greater input, and commitment to boosting environmental performance from leadership.
Which sectors can use environmental management systems (EMS) based on ISO 14001:2015
ISO 14001 can be used by any organization regardless of its type, size and type of its products &/or services.
It requires that an organization to considers and tackle issues such as gaseous effluents resulting in air pollution, efficient use of utilities including water, fuel, and paper, liquid effluents that may cause land contamination, waste management, initiatives that aim to mitigation of climate change, and procurement of raw materials and equipment that environment friendly.
The benefits of ISO 14001:2015 based Environmental Management Systems to your business or organization?
Those who have developed and implemented an effective environmental management system based on ISO 14001:2015 think that this helped them in many ways as follows:
- Compliance with legal requirements
- Enhanced leadership involvement and engagement of employees
- Enhanced company image and reputation
- More confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication
- Incorporating environmental issues into a business helped & facilitated in achieving the strategic objectives
- Improved efficiencies; lower costs and hence competitive advantage
- Better performance by the suppliers through well defined, documented, and communicated “environmental performance expectations”
- Ease of integration – this standard in its latest revision can be easily integrated with any other standards e.g. ISO 9001:2015 thereby helping in saving on time & effort through the reduction in duplication of efforts