ISO 14001 Environmental management systems provide a logical and effective approach to adopt for the betterment of our environment. There are five basic steps to implement this internationally recognized Environmental management system in your organization.
- Management commitment
A. Management Commitment:
“Environmental policy” and “EMS manual” together define the framework of Management Commitment.
i. Environmental Policy:
To establish ISO 14001 standard in your organization, the very first requirement is Environmental policy which is assigned by the top management. ISO 14001 standard clearly guides that what to cover in the policy
Describing briefly, Environmental policy;
- Presents the unified vision of your organization’s environmental concerns
- Shows the commitment of your top management to environmental concerns
- Provides a framework to set and review environmental targets and objectives.
EMS manual explains that how your organization’s Environmental Management System is organized in reference to ISO 14001. It describes the key elements of your EMS and their interrelationship.
“Planning” aids in establishing the processes that are required to achieve the results in accordance with established Environmental policy.
i. Environmental Aspect Identification:
Environmental impacts arising from your processes, services and different activities are identified. All the inputs, outputs and processes in relation to waste management, releases to water, land contamination, emissions to air, waste management and use of natural resources are considered.
ii. Legal and other requirements:
A key to success of your Environmental management system is to identify and comply with all the applicable requirements. This includes all related regulations; local and international, client requirements and codes of practice etc.
iii.Objectives, Targets and Programme (O & T):
To follow ISO 14001 you need to;
- Elaborate the mechanism to demonstrate a Programme to achieve your objectives
- Describe the mechanism to review and monitor the set environmental objectives
- Set the targets which are measurable, where practicable
Now there is time to implement the “plan”. The step by step progress towards operational implementation of the plan is described below.
i.Resources, Responsibility and Authority:
To properly implement ISO 14001 Environmental Management systems, the top management needs to,
- Ensure the availability of all resources required to implement the EMS including organizational infrastructure, demanding technology, financial resources, man power and specialized skills.
- Communicate and make every employee understand the importance of environmental objectives and their responsibilities and authorities.
- An environmental management representative should be nominated for proper monitoring.
ii.Competence, Training and awareness:
The management should ensure that all the individuals performing tasks for the organization or on the behalf of the organization including temporary staff, remote workers, contractors and sub-contractors, are using their potential to cause significant environmental impacts. Training sessions should be organized time to time to make the staff aware of the importance of environmental management system.
Effective communication plays a vital role for an organization to motivate the staff and tell them their roles and responsibilities and monitor environmental performance.
There are four levels of EMS documentation, which are;
Environmental manual: consists of Policy EMS manual, Objectives, Targets and Programme
Environmental Procedures: the procedures complying with ISO Environmental management systems including legal and other requirements.
Environmental Instructions: alternate operational procedures describing that how activities are performed to manage environmental aspects.
Environmental records: checklists, standard forms and report ass record of environmental performance to demonstrate the compliance with the requirements of Environmental management system.
v. Control of documents:
To provide a clearly defined source of the documents is also a requirement of ISO 14001. Documents should be accessible to all the employees who are supposed to be aware of the environment friendly practices.
vi. Operational control:
One of the means through which an organization’s EMS can control the significant environmental impacts is operational controls at every level.
vii. Emergency preparations and response:
An organization should ensure to make emergency preparation and procedures and implement them to respond any unplanned event in order to mitigate or eliminate the Environmental health and safety issues.
The term “Check” is actually a series of processes and techniques that you use to monitor the effectiveness of all the initiatives taken to implement ISO 14001 Environmental management systems and report the results to concerned parties.
i. Monitoring and Measurement:
This section is required to make sure that the set EMS targets and objectives are being achieved and the identified Environmental impacts are being mitigated.
Following ISO 14001, an organization commits to do compliance so it should evaluate its performance periodically with applicable legal and other requirements.
iii. Non Conformity, corrective and preventive action:
The results of monitoring, evaluation, auditing and other systemic reviews should be documented. The results must lead to some corrective actions which are meant to avoid EMS problems in the future.
iv. Control of records:
Environmental records are managed. These are required to demonstrate that your organization’s Environmental management system is working properly.
v. Internal Audit:
Considering the nature of your operational activities, internal audits are done. Auditing is performed at least once a year.
For the continual improvement of your organization’s Environmental management system, management review is a crucial part. Internationally recognized standard ISO 14001 describes the review frequency and requirements for conducting this. The management review also requires the record of minutes of meeting of discussed issues, and decisions made and implemented.
The given step by step guideline can help you best in the effective implementation of ISO 14001 Environmental management system. By following this, you can make your business environment friendly; which is not getting progress at the cost of its surroundings.