ISO 14001is a popular standard from the ISO 14000 series. This series focuses on the issues related to environmental and social responsibility. In order to achieve ISO 14001 certification, you need to learn about its requirements. ISO 14001 Standard is divided into four clauses, these four clauses are sub-divided into sub-clauses, and these sub-clauses cover the specific requirements for developing and implementing an Environmental Management System or EMS.In this blog, we will develop a clear concept about the requirements of the ISO 14001 Standard.
In order to gain certification, you must meet all the general requirements of the standard. At the same time, you should meet the requirements for the environmental policy, planning, operations, evaluation, and management review. Let’s look into the basic requirements of the ISO 14001 Standard.
• Environmental Policy
You should prepare an environmental policy that can define the main objective of your EMS. A certain section of this requirement is meant for the executive management of your organization, including a requirement for a detailed account of your organisation’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility. This account should discuss pollution prevention and compliance with your nation’s legal requirements. While developing an environmental policy, you should keep in mind environmental objectives and business objectives. A Quality Management System or QMS is expected to meet ISO 9001 requirements and business requirements, and so anEMS should also meet both requirements.
• Implementation Requirements
If you want environmental management operations to be perfect, you must ensure that the EMS has been implemented properly. Implementation requirements include resources, authorities, and the additional requirements related to EMS training, competence, and awareness. A part of this section covers documentation requirements, preventive requirements, and steps to prevent recurrences and minimal environmental impact. To avoid mistakes, it is better to let professional ISO 14001 consultants implement the EMS.
You should not leave any policies and processes unchecked. This section covers the measurements of numerous processes and compliance with legal requirements. It includes some important facts such as non-conformity in the processes, relevant corrective actions, preventing potential risks and environmentally threatening situations. Assessment is required before and after implementation. Once the EMS is developed, check to ensure that it is complete. Similarly, once the implementation is done, an assessment is required to determine whether it is working accordingly.
• On-going Reviews/Internal Audits
Review or auditing can be divided into two categories- management review and internal audits. Both are on-going processes. Management review is conducted by top management while internal audits need neutral people from other departments or third-party auditors. Management review demonstrates managers’ involvement while internal audits help an organization find non-conformities and scopes for further improvement.
Benefits of Meeting the Requirements
By meeting ISO 14001 requirements, an organisation is able to reduce its harmful environmental impact and improve environmental sustainability. These requirements help you gain the ISO 14001 Certification and this certification helps you demonstrate your commitment to environmental and social responsibilities. It improves your brand image and helps your business gain the tag of “Green Business” or “Eco-friendly” business. ISO 14001 is being used as a marketing tool. It can promote your business on domestic and international platforms. As a result, you can expand and develop your business.
A Final Takeaway
The main challenge of an organisation is to ensure that the EMS has met the organisational requirements and made provision for continual improvement. However, you can easily deal with these challenges with the help of ISO experts. Professional ISO experts know how to balance the organisational and environmental requirements. Also, your managers must stay committed to maintaining the EMS.
Before getting started, learn about the standard, and educate managers and teams about the standard.
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