ISO 14001:2015 – Who Needs Environmental Management?

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The quality industry is buzzing this week as the International Organization for Standardization released the latest revision of the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.

“ISO 14001:2015 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders”


Notable revisions per the news release include:

  • A greater commitment from leadership
  • An increased alignment with strategic direction
  • Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
  • More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
  • Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life

With the latest release, ISO discussed the benefits of incorporating the standard.  Described as a way of helping organizations identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a holistic manner, issues considered include:

  • Air pollution
  • Water & sewage issues
  • Waste management
  • Soil contamination
  • Climate change mitigation & adaption
  • Resource use & efficiency

So, who needs environmental management? The upside of 14001 is that it’s easily integrated into the existing ISO QMS, so any organization can benefit.  While Pro QC does not certify to ISO standards, we add value by getting our clients ready.  Our 14001 based audit gives clients assurance for certification or a general assurance to stakeholders.  Many organizations not seeking certification continue to incorporate this standard simply to enjoy the associated benefits.

What are the benefits? According to ISO case studies, users of the standard indicate that it helps:

  • 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 organization’s business systems

Pro QC’s ISO 14001-based audit goes through a detailed checklist developed with the use of the standard (4:Quality Management System). We incorporate the following to provide clients with assurance in their suppliers’ environmental management.

  • Factory (supplier) profile
    • Markets, key clients/personnel, QMS, equipment, etc.
  • Environmental policy
  • Planning – environmental aspects
  • Legal and other requirements
  • Objectives, targets and programs
  • Resources, roles, responsibility and authority
  • Competence, training and awareness
  • Communication
  • Documentation
  • Control of documents
  • Operational control
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Monitoring and measuring
  • Evaluation of compliance
  • Nonconformity, corrective action and preventive action
  • Control of records
  • Internal audit
  • Management review

An audit result indicates scores represented as a percentage of the following:

  • Complies with the requirements
  • Improvement needed
  • Non-conformances found

Our reports provide the detailed information clients need to make imperative sourcing decisions. Whether it’s an evaluation to determine supplier selection, part of a supplier management initiative, or for internal evaluation purposes, the benefits of incorporating an EMS are relevant to organizations across all industries.

Contact us to schedule an ISO 14001: 2015 audit, or ask us questions. Download an example report here.

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