ISO 14001 – A breakdown of what’s needed, and why

Every business now is conscious of the threat that they could pose to the environment. The environment is a hot topic these days, and many businesses are looking seriously at gaining ISO 14001 to prove to their customers that they are committed to lowering their negative impact on the environment.

ISO 14001 is a standard certification whose main goal is to reduce environmental footprints that businesses nowadays leave behind due to their failures to take the right steps in order to be environmentally sustainable. It reduces wastage of vital business resources and in addition, it minimizes the rate of pollution that at times might be the by-product of a particular business. ISO 14001 usually deals with the framework that is provided for holistic and strategic measures to the business environmental plans, actions and policies.

 Requirements for ISO 14001 certification

  • In order for businesses to comply with ISO 14001, the following are some of the basic requirements:
  • The business should have an environmental policy that the senior management supports
  • The business must have identified and be aware of the requirements of environmental compliance
  • There must be established training, awareness and competence procedures
  • There must be proof of the EMS documentation as the ISO 14001 requires
  • The business must have defined authorities, responsibilities, roles and responsibilities for the management of the environment
  • Stringent document control procedures should be established
  • Good establishment of the records management procedures should be seen
  • Establishment of the management review procedures by the senior administrators
  • Development of the procedure for compliance evaluation
  • Establishment of procedures that are used to monitor and perform an evaluation of operations that can have an impact on the environment
  • A process of communication that the environmental management system uses in order to communicate with all of its stakeholders as well as its interested parties.
  • Classification of the various environmental impacts and elements as well as identification of the substantial environmental impacts that the business might cause.

Why the requirements can seem so complicated

As you can see, it’s a pretty long list, but it’s important to understand why ISO 14001 requires all this.  The requirements for ISO 14001 certification are to allow the business or company to not only improve its environmental strategies, which can have a positive impact on its general environmental performance, but also to identify and regulate the impact that the company’s products, services or activities might have on the environment. In addition to this, ISO 14001 assists in giving a systematic approach in order to establish environmental aims and objectives, to accomplish these and to demonstrate that they have actually been accomplished. A by-product of any ISO accreditation is the improvement of efficiency and reduction of wasted time, effort and resources.

The structure of ISO 14001 certification resembles ISO 9001, and therefore, both ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 can be implemented together in order to accomplish most appropriate results for any business. It’s important to remember that although these are good selling tools to ensure you’re selling quality services or products, the benefits to your business go far beyond this, and it could make your company run more smoothly and efficiently.

A helping hand with ISO 14001

However, navigating the minefield of ISO requirements requires patience, understanding and experience. Knowing just how to approach ISO14001 is something that Synergos Consultancy prides ourselves on, and we can ensure that you don’t get lost in the long list of requirements for accreditation. If you’re a business who wants to prove that they’re working with the environment in mind, then why not call us on 01484 817444 to see how we can help you gain ISO 14001 accreditation.


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Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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