The ISO 14001 aims to reduce the environmental footprints that many businesses leave behind today because of not taking the right steps to be environmental sustainable. This standard promotes the decrease in the waste of necessary business resources and also reduces the pollution that can sometimes be a by product of a business.
About ISO 14001
The most updated version of the ISO 14001 was released in the year 2004 by the International Organisation of Standardization (ISO), which was attended by members from all the committees from around the world. In order for a company to be awarded the ISO 14001 standard certificate, an external auditor has to audit the company by an audit body that has been accredited by an accreditation body. The certification auditors are required to be accredited by the International Registrar of Certification Auditor and the certification body has to be accredited by the Registrar Accreditation Board in the USA or by the National Accreditation Board in Ireland.
The structure of ISO 14001 is very much like the ISO 9000, which is management standard, so these two standards can be implemented side by side to achieve the best results. As a part of the ISO 14000 family, which deals with different aspects of environmental issues, ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14002 deal with environmental management system (EMS). ISO 14001 gives the requirements for the EMS and ISO 14002 gives the basic guidelines for EMS.
Environmental Management System with ISO 14001:2004
The EMS, as per the requirements of the ISO 14001, enables the company, may it be of any size, location and income to:
o It helps the company improve its environmental strategy and this positively affects their environmental performance.
o It helps in identifying and controlling the environmental impact that the activities, services or products of the company might have.
o And it helps in carrying out a systematic approach to set environmental targets and objectives, to achieve these and also to demonstrate that they have been achieved.
How does it work?
ISO 14001 does not specify or chalk out a definite level that each business has to reach. If the performance was determined, then it would have to be done for every specific business. But that is not how it works and has a very different approach, like:
o The ISO has various standards dealing with environmental issues. ISO 14001 deals with a framework provided for a strategic and holistic approach to the businesses environmental policy, actions and plans.
o It gives the general requirements for the EMS.
o This also states the reference to the communication requirements for the communication of the environmental management issues between the company, stakeholders, the public and the regulators.
o As these standards are not company specific, any and every business can undertake them as long as they are dedicated to the continued and improved environmental performance and they have a commitment to comply with the set norms.