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ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is the international standard overseen by the International Organization for Standardization. It is part of the ISO 14000 family of international standards on environmental management and is the specific standard for effective environmental management systems, also known as EMS.

An environmental management system is defined by the International Organization for Standardization as “part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfil compliance obligations, and address risks and opportunities.” ISO 14001 does not set out environmental performance requirements but instead provides organisations a framework that they can follow.

Who Is ISO 14001 Suitable For?

ISO 14001 is suitable for all types of organisation both private and public sector, of any size and operating in any sector. ISO 14001 should be used for any organisation that wants to set-up, maintain or improve their environmental management system. ISO 14001 ‘s requirements can be incorporated into any environmental management system, the extent of which depending upon varying factors such as the industry it operates in and its service or product offerings.

It is particularly popular in the following sectors:

Agriculture
Forestry & Mining
Petrochemicals
Plastics
Food
Tobacco
Textiles
Wood
Electronics & Instruments
Manufacturing
Metals
Machinery

However, as mentioned earlier, the ISO 14001 standard can be relevant to all sectors and industries.

Is ISO 14001 Compliance Compulsory?

ISO 14001 certification is not compulsory but organisations can choose to certify to it on a voluntary basis and integrate it with other international management standards, most commonly with ISO 9001, the international quality standard for quality management systems.

Topics Covered

ISO 14001 covers the following environmental management systems topics:

Organization context
Leadership
Planning
Support
Operation
Performance evaluation
Improvement

2015 Revisions

ISO 14001:2015 is the latest version of ISO 14001 and has introduced a number of key changes to previous version of ISO 14001. The changes include:

The scope and coverage of environmental management systems has been expanded
New leadership engagement requirements
Legal compliance requirements expanded
Extra documentation requirements
Operational control requirements increased
Changes have been made to the awareness and competence requirements.

The Benefits Of Getting ISO 14001 Certification

ISO 14001 has a number of significant benefits for organisations with environmental management systems. These can include:

Meeting your environmental regulatory requirements
Improve your organisation’s impact on the environment
Diminish the risk of pollution incidents or other negative environmental impacts
Consistently manage your environmental responsibilities
Reduce waste
Drive down your organisation’s costs
Improve your organisation’s resource efficiency
Positive customer and client perceptions
Differentiating your organisation from your competitors.
Developing your business in a sustainable and ethical manner.

Can ISO 14001 Be Integrated With ISO 9001 And Other International Management Standards?

Yes, and it can be a very good idea to approach them both at the same time because ISO 14001 shares a number of common concepts, requirements and promc poles with ISO 9001. WHilst there may be differences in the technical requirements that each standard requires, their management and administrative needs are very similar such as document control and corrective and preventative action.

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