01 January 1970 by Katie Stockford
ISO 14001 is a framework that is designed for an organisation to follow if they are setting up an environmental management system. A company can benefit from using the standard without having to have the accreditation as it is not a requirement to be certified to use the standard. An environmental management system is designed to help organisations identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues. It also helps provide assurance that the environmental impact is being measured and improved within a company. This can be for company management, employees and external stakeholders.
Other benefits that being certified to ISO 14001 can bring are:
- Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements
- Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees
- Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication
- Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management
- Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs
- Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organisation’s business systems
ISO 14001 has recently been revised; this occurs every five years to ensure that it is current and relevant for the marketplace. It has been revised so that it follows a common structure meaning that it is easier and cheaper for companies to implement if they use more than one standard. The key changes that this revision has applied are:
- Increased prominence of environmental management within the organisation's strategic planning processes
- Greater focus on leadership
- Addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
- Improving environmental performance
- Lifecycle thinking when considering environmental aspects
- Addition of a communications strategy
If you are already certified as ISO 14001 then you are granted a three-year transition period to migrate to the new edition of the standard. After that you will have to seek certification to the new version of the standard.
Currently there are more than 300,000 certifications to ISO 14001 in 171 countries around the world.
For further information, please visit the following website http://www.iso.org/iso/home/standards/management-standards/iso14000.htm.