The idea that organizations must take a more proactive role in their environmental impact and social responsibility is nothing new, nor is it like to go away any time soon. Political platforms, external pressures from consumers, and corporate image all play a part in keeping the environment as a top of mind issue for most of today’s companies regardless of size.
ISO 14001 is one of the leading international environmental management system standards that was designed to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively impact the environment (i.e. cause damages to air, water, or the earth in general). But, what does that all mean, exactly? And how does certification help a company accomplish its economic goals? What’s involved and what does it all entail?
Below are 10 of the top resources on the web that we’ve aggregated to help you answer these questions and fill in the gaps for anyone who may be looking to get started with ISO 14001 certification:
ISO 14001:2015 Why Is It so Important? - ISO.org
What better place to start than straight from the source, or in this instance the governing body: On ISO 14001:2015, “It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.’ ‘…Using ISO 14001:2015 can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.” Use the link to find out why this standard is considered to carry a hefty value. Watch…
What is an Environmental Management System? – Advisera.com
According to Advisera, an online ISO 14001 consultant, “An environmental management system, often called an EMS, is comprised of the policies, processes, plans, practices, and records that define the rules governing how your company interacts with the environment. This system needs to be tailored to your company because only your company will have the exact legal requirements and environmental interactions that match your specific business processes. However, the ISO 14001 requirements provide a framework and guidelines for creating your environmental management system so that you do not miss important elements needed for an EMS to be successful.” Read more…
Investing & Financial Analysis of ISO 14001 – Investopedia.com
“ISO 14001 standards state that an organization must define and document the scope of its environmental management system. Adopters of the standards must also determine risks that need to be addressed to ensure that the system can achieve its intended outcomes. Firms must take clear and well-defined action to adhere to their stated environmental management system, and make prompt adjustments when needed.” Read more…
What Are Some of the Potential Benefits of an EMS Based on ISO 14001? – EPA.gov
Why an Environmental Management System Does More Than Just Help the Planet – Smithers.com
- Improvements in overall environmental performance and compliance.
- Provide a framework for using pollution prevention practices to meet EMS objectives.
- Promote predictability and consistency in managing environmental obligations.
- More effective targeting of scarce environmental management resources.
We covered EMS certification and the benefits organizations can gain in addition to environmental improvements in a past post:
The History of ISO 14001 Through the Lens of the First Multinational Company to Earn Global Registration
- Major enhancements to corporate image worldwide
- Improving opportunities and access to markets in other countries for exporting goods and services
- Noticeable growth in relationships with customers and in the public eye (corporate responsibility)
- Meeting or exceeding regulations and keeping stakeholders happy
“Since 1997, IBM has expanded its global ISO 14001 registration to include additional entities such as our research locations that use chemicals, several IBM organizations at a country level, as well as our Procurement and Supply Chain, and Global Asset Recovery Services organizations.” Read more…
5 Steps to ISO 14001:2015 -Ramboll.com
(by: Greg Roberts)
A comprehensive report that breaks down the ISO 14001 standard a five of the most crucial steps toward successful certification and maximizing your environmental returns. Read more…
The Best and Worst Aspects of ISO 14001 – IvoryResearch.com
(by: Mary Taylor)
Before you make an important investment, like the undertaking and implementation of an ISO 14001 EMS, it’s critical to look at all sides of the issue and fully understand the scope of what you’re getting into. Ivory Research does a nice job of laying out both pros and cons for ISO 14001. Read more…
7 Steps in Handling Waste - Advisera.com (by: Strahinja Stojanovic)
A key component to environmental safety contributions from an organization is how it handles waste, and although it may not always seem like it, there is more to waste management than just taking out the trash. In fact, many companies deal with hazardous materials on a regular basis, and if they are not disposed of properly, these materials can endanger both environmental and human health. Advisera.com appears on our list for the second time as they produced an excellent article breaking down how ISO 14001 relates to waste management and some common methods for meeting the requirement. Read more…
ISO 14001 EMS Checklist – ISO.org
Who doesn’t love a checklist? ISO.org offers a streamlined and visually pleasing ISO 14001 checklist for small businesses. So, if your company is on the small to medium size you can gain a lot of insight and reassurance by downloading this document and go through it before your schedule an ISO 14001 audit. Download it here
As with most elements of a successful business, an effective and efficient environmental management system requires hard work and diligent practices. This post is not meant to be all encompassing of every possibility, as every organization has some needs that are unique to it and those might not be addressed here. The above collection of resources is meant to be a great jumping off point for those interested in educating themselves on the requirements, possible benefits, and actions needed to prepare themselves, and their companies, for possible ISO 14001 certification. All content is credited to the specific website and authors listed under each heading, and to the ISO 14001 standard itself.