ISO 14001 – the Environmental Management Standard
More and more organizations are now looking at the International Standard for Environmental Management. This overview takes a brief look at the reasons why environmental certification may be appropriate for your company. It also includes details about where to obtain further information.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is the internationally recognized standard for the environmental management of businesses. It prescribes controls for those activities that have an effect on the environment. These include the use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste and energy consumption.
The Benefits of implementing ISO 14001
Implementing an Environmental Management System is a systematic way to discover the effects your company has on the environment. Cost savings can be made through improved efficiency and productivity. These are achieved by detecting ways to minimize waste and dispose of it more effectively and by learning how to use energy more efficiently. It verifies compliance with current legislation and makes insurance cover more accessible.
Why seek certification to ISO 14001?
Registration to ISO 14001 by an accredited certification body (CB) such as ISOQAR shows that an organization is committed to environmental issues and is prepared to work towards improving the environment. Company image is enhanced in the eyes of customers and shareholders alike. It also gives a competitive edge to the company’s marketing.
How do you start to implement ISO 14001? What is involved?
Evaluate your environmental effects and prioritise your responses to them. Identify the boundaries of your management system and document your procedures for implementing the requirements of ISO 14001. Ensure these procedures are implemented and then audit them. If you have ISO 9000 systems in place, many of the requirements of ISO 14001 will already be covered or can easily be incorporated into them.
Once developed, internal audits are needed to ensure the system carries on working. The setting of targets for the environmental policy and continual measuring against it ensures the system is maintained.
Audit to ISO 14001
Having chosen a third party accredited CB for your audit, it will review your documentation and carry out an initial audit of your site. This looks at the company’s evaluation of environmental effects and ascertains if targets set for the management program are measurable and achievable. This is followed at a later date by a full audit to ensure that records and working practices demonstrate that the company is working to its procedures.
After a successful audit, a certificate of registration to ISO 14001 will be issued. There will then be continual surveillance visits (usually once or twice a year) to ensure that the system continues to work.
Why choose ISOQAR for your audit?
ISOQAR has an enviable record for customer satisfaction with its certification services. A friendly approach to audits and dislike of bureaucracy has led to unprecedented growth through referrals from contented clients. ISOQAR only employs auditors that have empathy with this approach. Auditors are also carefully allocated by their experience in the industry they are auditing. This results in a practical, meaningful audit, carried out in an air of mutual understanding. ISOQAR firmly believes that any audit should benefit the organization that requests it, not be an intellectual exercise to ‘please’ the auditor.
What is the cost of an audit to ISO 14001?
There are many variables to consider in assessing the cost of an audit, such as an organization’s type and size, and the possible resultant effect it has on the environment. Consequently, we ask you to complete a short questionnaire to help us learn about your organization. If you prefer, we will happily take these details over the telephone. From this, we can provide you with a fixed, written quotation of the fees involved. Organizations that are ISO 9001 registered with ISOQAR may benefit from reduced annual registration fees for ISO 14001 certification. This is because there are some common elements to the auditing process.
The ISO 14001 standard has guidance information contained in it. This is available from The American National Standards Institute. The American Society for Quality can also help. Telephone them on 1-800-248-1946 for a Product Guide and order form for the ISO 14000 Series – Global Standards for Environmental Management. Both should be able to provide a range of publications about Environmental Management.