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ISO 14001 - The Standard For Environmental Management

More and more organisations are now looking at the International Standard for Environmental Management. This overview takes a brief look at the reasons why environmental certification may be appropriate for your company. It also includes details about where to obtain further information.

What is ISO 14001?

The Benefits of implementing ISO 14001

Why seek certification to ISO 14001?

How do you start to implement ISO 14001? What is involved?

Audit to ISO 14001
ISO 14001 - The Standard For Environmental Management

What is ISO 14001?


ISO 14001 is the internationally recognised standard for the environmental management of businesses. It prescribes controls for those activities that have an effect on the environment. These include the use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste and energy consumption.
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The Benefits of implementing ISO 14001


Implementing an Environmental Management System is a systematic way to discover and control the effects your company has on the environment. Cost savings can be made through improved efficiency and productivity. These are achieved by detecting ways to minimise waste and dispose of it more effectively and by learning how to use energy more efficiently. It verifies compliance with current legislation and makes insurance cover more accessible.
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Why seek certification to ISO 14001?


Once you have an environmental management system in place, you may choose to have it externally audited. Following a successful audit by an accredited certification body, you will be issued with a certificate of registration to ISO 14001. This demonstrates that your organisation is committed to environmental issues and is prepared to work towards improving the environment. It also gives a competitive edge to the company's marketing and enhances its image in the eyes of customers, employees and shareholders.
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How do you start to implement ISO 14001? What is involved?


Evaluate your environmental effects and prioritise to them. Identify the boundaries of your management system and document your procedures for implementing the requirements of ISO 14001. Ensure these procedures are implemented and then audited. If you have ISO 9000 systems in place, many of the requirements of ISO 14001 will already be covered, or can be easily incorporated into them.

Once developed, internal audits are needed to ensure the system carries on working. The setting of targets for the environmental policy and continual measuring against it ensures the system is maintained.
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Audit to ISO 14001


Having chosen a third party accredited certification body for your audit, it will review your documentation and carry out an initial audit of your site. This looks at the company's evaluation of environmental effects and ascertains if targets set for the management programme are measurable and achievable. This is followed at a later date by a full audit to ensure that records and working practices demonstrate that the company is working to its procedures.

After a successful audit, a certificate of registration to ISO 14001 will be issued. There will then be continual surveillance visits (usually once or twice a year) to ensure that the system continues to work.
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