The ISO 14001 is an Environmental Management System Standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization. It is a set of principles developed by the member countries of the ISO, using a voluntary, consensus-based approach. Various organizations of the individual country can take apart in the process – NGOs and the governmental bodies. The standard jurisdiction does not cross into the technical requirements of the statutes and therefore, it does not stipulate a set of laws that everyone should abide by. What the ISO 14001 requires the organisations interested in getting the standard to have is to come up with a policy statement that covers a set of tenets that every conscientious organisation needs to abide by, if it’s committed to sustainable development.
Firstly, one must consider the identification of all aspects of an organization’s activities that may have an impact on the environment. This will also comprise of the manufacturing of products and the services delivered, as well as those unregulated activities.
- Then it entails the creation of certain objectives and targets that will meet the potential for change of the people involved.
- Set up the EMS by training the employees, establishing work instruction and practices, establish a system of measurement for checking the progress of the objectives and targets.
- Establishment of a system to investigate the consistency of the EMS.
- Taking Corrective measures when there happens to be a deviation from the EMS, and evaluating the organisation’s compliance with regulatory requirements.
- The apex management team’s personal touch in the evaluation process and in taking necessary changes when it needs to comply with the EMS.
As you can see the stress is on continual improvement of an organisation’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. And now with the revised ISO 14001:2015 being brought forward, there is a great deal of improvement compared to the previous version. They are:
- It now is required of the environmental management to be more prominent within the organisation’s strategic direction.
- It requires a greater commitment from the leadership
- It requires the implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment form harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation.
- A focus on life-cycle thinking to ensure consideration of environmental aspects from development to end-life.
- The addition of a stakeholder-focused communication strategy.
And like, all the previous versions, the new version ensure easy integration within the fabric of all the other management systems due to it sharing the structure, terms and definitions.
The ISO 14001 Standard will definitely reap enormous benefits if you choose to avail it. In fact, people who’ve availed it have constantly said about its tremendous helps. It has:
- Demonstrated compliance with the current and future statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Increased leadership involvement and engagement of employees.
- Improved company’s reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication
- Achieved strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into te realm of business management.
- Provided a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiency and reduced costs.
- Encouraged better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organizations’ business systems.
Being certified with ISO 14001 Certification will mean that you are doing everything within your capacity to ensure that you are complying with the law and regulators, and consequently good rapport with them. A lot of companies have shown immense success because they had been certified by a third party certification body, and have seen their business increase and the reputation with their customers sees a climb.
In this world, which has now passed the Sustainable Development Goals, there is an even greater emphasis on “Green” development, which takes into account the increasing need to protect the deteriorating environment and apply resources into preserving it no matter costs. It has consistently shown that organisation with a sense of environmental awareness will prosper in public relations and in the long run will earn benefits from the government.
An ISO 14001 Certification will bring about a great change in the entire operation process, and imbue the company with a sense of righteousness that will give the employers and users of the product the feeling that they are contributing to the betterment of the planet in some way or the other, thus making the brand naturally associate with the sacred side of capitalism.