ISO14001 environmental management system
ISO 14001 Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use is an internationally recognised standard for the development of an effective EMS. The standard was developed in Amsterdam by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1996.
The ISO 14001 environmental management system standard specifies a process for the control and the continuous improvement of an organisation’s environmental performance. The standard develops a strategic approach to an organisation's environmental policy, plans and actions. The standard does not specify environmental performance criteria but simply how to develop an EMS.
Currently in Australia there are over 1,500 organisations certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. Up to the end of December 2008 there were over 188,000 organisations globally certified. A total of 155 countries had organisations participating in the scheme. The diagram below illustrates the ISO 2008 survey results for the standard.
What is ISO 14000 and ISO 14004?
ISO 14000 refers to the environmental management standards series.
ISO 14001 environmental management system standard should be used in conjunction with ISO 14004 Environmental managements systems – General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques. ISO 14004 provides guidelines for the elements of an environmental management system and its implementation.
What is the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme?
The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is an organisational management tool for the evaluation, reporting and continuous improvement of environmental performance. The scheme has been successfully integrated into many business types in the EU where it is defined in legislation and the uptake is on a voluntary level.
EMAS is an environmental management scheme, whereby EU organisations develop an environmental management system (to ISO 14001 environmental management system standard or in line with the EMS specified in EMAS) and have their system externally verified. Organisations are then able to become registered.
The scheme is yet to be recognised throughout Australia, however, tools for developing simplified environmental management systems are available at the Eco-mapping website. Additionally, there is some interest in Eco-mapping by some Environmental Protection Authorities and some organisations wanting to improve their environmental performance without all of the commitment and resources typically allocated to more traditional ISO 14001 environmental management systems.
What are the elements of an ISO 14001 systems?
There are 17 elements of ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. They are as follows:
An environmental policy supported by senior management;
The identification of environmental aspects and impacts, and the identification of significant environmental impacts that the organisation may cause;
Identification of legal and other requirements;
The development of objectives and targets, and their environmental management programs;
Defined resources, roles, responsibilities and authorities for environmental management;
The development of competence, training and awareness procedures;
A communication process of the EMS to all stakeholders and interested parties;
The development of EMS documentation as required by the standard;
The development of document control procedures;
The development of operational control procedures;
The development of emergency preparedness and response procedures;
The development of procedures for monitoring and measuring of operations that can have significant impact on the environment;
An evaluation of compliance procedure;
Procedures developed for the management of nonconformance, corrective and preventative actions;
The development of a records management procedure;
A program for completing internal audits and corrective action; and
The development of procedures for management review by senior management.
By design the system and environmental performance run in a continuous improvement cycle outlined in the diagram below.
How do you improve existing ISO 14001 environmental management systems?