ISO 14001 relates to the environmental management systems adopted by an organisation. The first stage of the process is to analyse the potential environmental effects that the operation of the business might have, as well as how the environment around the premises can impact the operations of the business.
The next step is to identify regulations relating to the type of business operations undertaken at the premises and the expectations of neighboring businesses, staff and customers relating to the reduction of the environmental impact of the organisation. This information is used to determine the feasible objectives that the organisation can apply policies and management systems to.
Each procedure outlines the environmental objective of the process, the roles and responsibilities of involved staff members, the procedures used to ensure minimal environmental impact and the documentation required to provide evidence that policies and procedures are being followed by all staff members.
ISO 14001 also documents possible environmental risks, risk management and recovery procedures.
Like all other ISO systems, ISO 14001 defines a process of internal audits that ensure procedures are followed, reviewed, and updated as required. This process ensures that the environmental management system remains relevant and effective according to the goals set by the organisation. Like all other ISO systems, non-conformation events are recorded along with corrective actions taken to ensure policies and procedures are updated according to the requirements of the organisation.
Certification in ISO 14001 is conducted similarly to ISO 9001 by an ISO accredited company, who works with the organisation to set up its goals and processes and then conducts a review of the organisation to determine whether the ISO processes are being followed, documented, reviewed, and updated accordingly. Once evidence has been provided that the company has been following its environmental management process, a certificate is issued.
ISO 14001 certification gives customers and business partners assurance that the organisation is aware of their environmental impact, and is following a proven process of continual improvement and development of their environmental management systems to reduce their impact on our planet.