How to achieve ISO 14001 Compliance
In today’s blog we are exploring ISO 14001 Compliance. ISO 14001 is the international standard that sets out the criteria for an environmental management system (EMS). Implementing and maintaining an environmental management system that complies with ISO 14001’s criteria ensures compliance but fully understanding the criteria set out in this standard can be daunting. Compliant helps businesses across the UK and beyond in setting up an effective environmental management system that is compliant with all of the clauses in ISO 14001. Following your successful certification, we then offer ongoing support and ensure that one of our ISO auditors is present for our client audits, guaranteeing complete compliance.
Below we list a selection of ways in which a business can ensure ISO 14001 compliance with or without our support:
- Become familiar with ISO 14001
Compliant can support businesses in getting started with ISO 14001 by supplying a copy of the standard and explaining its criteria. The standard provides the requirements and guidance for implementing an effective environmental management system including descriptions on the scope, and clauses of the standard. We recommend that clients familiarise themselves with the terminology used throughout the standard document but are always on hand to help and offer guidance.
- Study the requirements
We recommend that clients study the requirements specified in the ISO 14001 standard and ask us any questions that arise. Review the clauses, sub-clauses, and their implications and consider how it is applicable to your business. As part of our support Compliant builds a management pack that offers templates as evidence for each of the clauses set out in ISO 14001. We provide an environmental policy that details your business’s dedication to sustainable practices and environmental protection. All staff members and stakeholders should be informed of the policy, which should comply with ISO 14001 regulations, and they should know where the policy and relevant documents live.
Within the ISO 14001 packs that we create there is an ISO 14001 PowerPoint that is great for staff training.
- Identify potential environmental aspects and impacts
As part of the preparation for ISO 14001 you must carry out an initial environmental review of your organisation’s operations, goods, and services. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the environmental risks and opportunities connected to your business. To act as evidence for clause 6 of ISO 14001 we provide a proven aspects and impacts register that lists over 30 examples aspects and risk items. Each item has a detailed legislative category, a description for normal, abnormal and emergency conditions and an explanation of appropriate controls that can be put in place to mitigate risks. There is also a RAG (red, amber, green) system that showcases how mitigating actions reduce overall likelihood and risk.
- Define objectives and targets
Based on the results of your environmental review, we establish precise environmental objectives and targets. These are quantifiable, achievable, and consistent with your environmental strategy. Example objectives can include waste, energy use, or emissions. The objectives we build in collaboration with yourselves are aligned to an opportunities and risk register that details how objectives are linked to individual risks, opportunities, and impacts.
- Develop your environmental strategy with controls
We recommend making a thorough strategy outlining the steps and procedures that are required to support your business in achieving its environmental goals and targets. Set up deadlines for implementation and assign duties. In order to monitor and reduce the environmental impacts of your organisation, implement procedures and controls that align to your goals. This can include implementing waste management, pollution prevention strategies and/or energy-saving techniques.
- Ensure employee engagement
It is essential that all staff members are informed of their duties in relation to environmental management. Hold training sessions to improve participants’ knowledge of environmental concerns, practices, and the significance of compliance. As explained as part of our client management system creation, we supply PowerPoints on ISO 14001 that are perfect for staff training, we can also support with the delivery of that training.
- Confirm performance evaluation
Establish a strategy for tracking the performance of your business’ success by monitoring and measuring the main environmental indicators. This can involve keeping an eye on things like waste production, pollutants, and other pertinent indicators. Review and analyse the data frequently to find areas that could use improvement.
We also recommend that internal audits be conducted on a regular basis to evaluate the performance of your environmental management system and to look for any non-conformities. To remedy any issues, corrective measures should be performed.
Any faults found should be addressed with corrective measures. We supply an extensive, up to date non-conformity log to record environmental issues arising and show business improvements for clients. This document supports continuous improvement and acts as evidence for clause 10 of the standard on audit days.
- Adopt a culture of continuous improvement
This includes examining your environmental goals, targets, and results on a regular basis. To further improve your environmental performance, look for chances for innovation and make improvements. It’s crucial to remember that attaining ISO 14001 compliance is a continuous process that calls for effort and devotion. Your environmental management system should be regularly reviewed, audited, and updated to ensure compliance. As part of our ongoing payments option, we offer clients internal audit support and update their SWOT analysis, PESTLER, Stakeholder Analysis, RACI, Communications Matrix and Legal Register.
Compliant also offers templates for all of the sections highlighted above and works with clients to develop those templates; making them completely bespoke for every business.
The Environment Agency and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs advice on ISO 14001 Compliance:
The Environment Agency and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs have developed advice on how to develop a management system and keep it up to date so that you can carry out activities under an environmental permit. Information found on the gov.uk website explains that:
“Your environmental permit requires you to have a written management system. This is a set of procedures describing what you will do to minimise the risk of pollution from the activities covered by your permit.
If you have a waste permit that was granted before 6 April 2008 that does not require you to have a working plan or management system, you will still need to manage and operate your waste activity in line with a written management system.
If you are applying for:
- a standard rules permit, the risks are identified in the generic risk assessment
- a bespoke permit, you will have identified the risks by carrying out your risk assessment
Your risk assessment will be part of your management system.”
Read on to discover more about ISO 14001 Compliance.
Staying ISO 14001 Compliant and the benefits
Having ISO 14001 certification is in place is beneficial for a range of businesses, especially for those organisations that are dedicated to sustainability and environmental management. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) created and published ISO 14001 to provide a framework that aids in setting up, carrying out, maintaining, and continuously enhancing an organisation’s environmental performance.
Improving environmental performance operationally can benefits businesses from any industry. The advantages include:
ISO 14001 is respected and widely known. An organisation’s dedication to environmental responsibility, sustainability, and adherence to relevant environmental laws and regulations can be demonstrated by obtaining this popular certification.
Even if an organisation does not want to be certified, it is advantageous to adhere to this standard’s architecture when putting an environmental management system in place.
The environmental risks and impacts connected to an organisation’s operations, goods, and services are identified and managed with the aid of ISO 14001. It encourages proactive actions to prevent adverse environmental effects, which can result in cost savings, increased operational effectiveness, and decreased liability.
By proving to clients, partners, and stakeholders that your organisation has effective environmental management procedures in place through ISO 14001 businesses can gain a competitive edge.
It can help organisations to build on their brand and draw in clients and investors who care about the environment.
Implementing ISO 14001 can also enable organisations to access larger contract work and submit for tendered work where this standard is a requirement.
ISO 14001 places a strong emphasis on process. Organisations are urged to use the standard’s criteria to set goals, track performance, and take remedial action.
Integration with other standards
ISO 14001 can be implemented alongside a range of other ISO certifications including ISO 9001 (quality management), ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety). Compliant offers support for all of these certifications and can create a fully integrated management system that is bespoke to any business in any industry.
Clients who partner with Compliant for one or more of their UKAS accredited ISO certifications often make the transition to an integrated management system for the following reasons:
- Costs and time needed to implement and maintain various management systems are significantly reduced.
- Procedures are streamlined and productivity increased.
- Aligned systems ensure consistency across the board.
Combine your quality management system, environmental management system and occupational health and safety management system for a fully streamlined approach.
The value of ISO 14001 certification can change depending on the organisation’s sector, target market, and client expectations. Appropriate implementation and continued dedication to environmental management are necessary for the certification to be effective. That is where we come in. Our ongoing support takes the stress out of ISO management, so you have the time to get on with your day job. Your certifications are maintained and updated in time for your surveillance audits with reliable advice available throughout the year. To discover more about our ongoing support package visit our dedicated webpage here.
Documentation for your environmental management system and ensuring ISO 14001 compliance
The categories of documentation that are covered by ISO 14001 include:
- information that has been documented and is needed by the standard.
- information in writing that has been deemed necessary by the company for the environmental management system to function effectively
Each business is free to decide how much documentation is necessary to show that their processes are effectively planned, operated, and controlled, and that their environmental management system is being fully implemented and continually improved.
Compliant will support with the review of documentation and make recommendations where necessary.
As part of our GAP Analysis and ongoing support we review business’ documentation and help identify any areas of evidence that are missing. We identify and record environmental risks and ensure that an ISO auditor will be present on all of your audit days and available throughout the year for support and guidance. Read more in an earlier article of ours here.
ISO 14001 Compliance and partnering with Compliant
We successfully deliver ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22301, ISO 27001 and ISO 45001 and can help businesses to access funding for their certifications. We offer flexible payment plans and can pass cost savings from certifications bodies through successful partnerships directly onto our customers. Compliant will go the extra step in an initial teams meeting to fully understand your business, its requirements, the structure of the management system required, and the organisational context.
Working with your team, Compliant can ensure your business is successful in gaining ISO 14001 certification in just 14 days.
However, we recommend an initial 6-week period to enable time for discussions, implementation and making the management system bespoke to the individual company. Once you decide whether you would like to progress we will liaise with the certification body of your choice and book in all of your audits in advance.
An added benefit of partnering with Compliant is that all our ISO certifications are UKAS accredited. Wondering why you should invest in UKAS accredited certifications rather than non-UKAS? The answer is simple. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the sole national accreditation body for the United Kingdom.
View our ‘Why invest in UKAS accredited certifications rather than non-UKAS’ article for more information.
If you would like to find out more about our ISO 14001 certification and costs book your 15 minute ISO discovery call with our Sales and Marketing Manager now.
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