The international standard for the ISO 14001 certification follows the PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT cycle.
There are certain key elements that must be followed by all organizations who seek a formal certification such as ISP 14001.The company needs to have in place and environmental policy that is avidly supported by the senior management of the said company.
The company needs to have identified environmental aspects and impacts, and are aware of which areas of their operation have an impact, and to what extent that impact is felt or may be felt.
The company needs to identify the environmental compliance requirements which need to be met. There needs to be a development of targets and objectives, and the company needs to have environmental management process in place.
Environmental management needs to have defined resources, roles, authorities, and responsibilities so that everybody involved is clear and understands what needs to be done and how it needs to be achieved.
The staff included in this environmental management process need to have the correct competence levels, training, and awareness procedures in place for effective and efficient running of the process. There needs to be open communication lines between the environmental management system and the stakeholders and interested parties.
There are certain requirements with regards to paperwork and documentation. Procedures need to be developed to ensure that all Environmental Management System documentation is line with what is required by the standard
Document control procedures need to be in place. This certification revolves around assessments and results and there is so much paperwork that needs to be correctly documented and stored.
Operational control is what allows efficient and smooth operation of the system. Their needs to be controls in place to ensure that each operation runs as it should to enable the system to be effective and efficient.
As is the nature of factory work or production, emergencies will always arise and there will need to be procedures in place and appropriate responses in place with which to confront and counteract these emergencies. In this instance, the emergencies will refer to environmental impact.
Records in a process like this, are extremely integral to the efficient running and success of the management system. There needs to be a process in place where records are correctly managed and easily accessible when required.
All operations that have the possibility of impacting the environment, need to have procedures in place to carefully monitored and measure in order to keep a tight grasp on how they are in fact impacting the environment, and to decide whether any changes need to be made.
Non-compliance to regulations needs to be managed efficiently. A procedure needs to be in place to report these instances of non-compliance and corrective and preventative measures need to be recommended and implemented.
Internal Environmental Management Systems need to be audited. A program for these audits needs to be set up and the corrective actions for anything found that is not working efficiently, needs to be formulated.
Procedures for management review by the Senior Management Staff needs to be designed and implemented.
Any of the procedures or requirements should easily be combined into your existing procedures and safety and management systems.
ISO 14001 is a giant leap forward for companies. It shows a greater awareness of that their business is doing to our already fragile environment, and what could possibly affect the future of their business. Taking steps now to prevent or minimize future environmental damage is to the benefit of the companies themselves, as well as to the human race.
Implementing such a system is not something that can be done in half-measures, a procedure and system of this nature needs to be given every attention that it deserves. If the management system is to have the desired results, it must be given the required respect. Each and every member of the environmental management system team needs to committed to the same results.
This system is not only in place for the environment, but it also has benefits for the companies who are implementing the systems. Cost saving is a major goal of any company, and implementing a system that will teach the company methods of cost saving is always a bonus. Prolonging the life of renewable resources is another way companies can ensure that their business is able to operate into the future. The management system requires rehabilitation of areas where resources have been mined, and this is in effect a way of ensuring the renewable resources are in fact renewed. Mining an area and then leaving it to wreck and ruin is of no value to anybody.
When deciding to implement and put in place such a management system, it is always recommended that the procedures to reach the goal are followed to the letter. This will ensure that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of certification. Using a company to assist in obtaining the certification is always best as they are aware of exactly what must be followed and what are the best methods to achieve success. They are the most efficient and effective route to gaining that all important ISO 14001 certification.
Take the necessary steps today to secure the health of the environment, and the future of your company. The only way to secure a future for your company is to protect the environment which feeds it. If there are no more natural, renewable, raw resources, business is doomed. Take steps now to protect the Earth for the future generations and give them the opportunity to experience the world as we know it. Don’t allow your business to be one that negatively impacts the environment. Act responsibly and take responsibility for your actions and those of your business.
ISO 14001 is a tremendous advancement in the environmental management system as has achieved huge success where the implementation has been carried out meticulously. Yes, there is a vast amount of planning, procedures to develop, and paperwork to keep in order, but it is all worthwhile in the end.