Meeting the Requirements of Environmental Management Systems


Internationally, there are agreed standards to set out the requirements for an effective environmental management system. These set of rules are laid down to what is called the ISO 14001 Certification. Typically, it provides a framework in which an organisation can follow. This is a voluntary standard that organisations choose to certify to, and they can integrate it into other systems of management such as the ISO 9001, which is vital in achieving organisational goals.

Specifically, ISO 14001 is essential in helping organisations improve their environmental performance. They learn how to use resources efficiently; thus, reducing wastage and gaining a competitive advantage. Still, with the system, they’ll gain a competitive advantage over other similar organisations, and finally, win the trust of stakeholders.

Environmental management system

With an environmental management system, your organisation can effectively identify, monitor, manage as well as control any matter about the environment in a holistic manner. The uniqueness of their system makes it easy to integrate it to other standards, which concentrate on different types of management systems, e.g., ISO 45001 and ISO 9001.

ISO 14001 Certification

ISO 14001 can be used by organisations of all sizes and types –a not-for-profit, private or governmental. But to get the standard, your organisation should keep in mind relevant environmental aspects to its operation in mind. For instance, pollution, water management, sewage disposal, climate change mitigation and soil contamination, among others are pertinent issues to almost all organisations.

Similar to other ISO standards, ISO 14001 demands continual improvements within an organisations system and approach to environmental concerns. The standards have seen some improvement in the recent past in some aspects. For example, there is a need for increased involvement in environmental management within an organisation’s strategic planning.

This means that the leadership should put in more emphasis by showing commitment through proactive initiatives, which boost environmental performance.

The latest and the highest version is the ISO 14001:2015 which covers topics regarding environmental management. The topics include:

  • Context of the organisation
  • Leadership
  • Support
  • Performance evaluation
  • Planning
  • Operation
  • Improvement

This latest version is a deviation from earlier versions as it introduces some changes such as:

  • Expanded EMS coverage and scope
  • Mandatory interactions with outside parties
  • Leadership engagements have new requirements
  • Legal requirements are expanded
  • Risk-based planning and control
  • New documentation requirements
  • Operation control requirements that are expanded
  • Competence and awareness requirements have undergone some changes
  • Affects the internal audit programs
  • Increased certification costs

The benefits of ISO 14001 standard

  • The standards help to save costs associated with waste, recycling and consumption
  • Gives you an edge over competitors when seeking business tenders
  • It gives you knowledge and strategies to manage all environmental risks
  • It is a demonstration that you are committed to improving the environment
  • Getting the ISO14001 shows that you comply with environmental regulation of the country
  • It can reduce the costs of insurance cover
  • It can stimulate the productivity of employees when they realise that they are working in an environmentally friendly organisation
  • It reduces wastes
  • Allows your organisation to manage all environmental obligations with consistency
  • It improves the trust of stakeholders and customers to your business
  • It increases the chances of gaining new business opportunities

Book into a iso 14001 certification course to show that you are complying with both current and future statutory as well as regulatory requirements.


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