Introduction to ISO 14001 Environmental Management
In the last few years, environmental issues have increasingly been brought to the fore of society’s concerns, and consumers have been vocal in their calls for companies to reconsider or amend their negative impact on the environment. ISO standards can be invaluable in guiding businesses and industries along the path of sustainability and promoting sustainable business practices.
ISO 14001:2015 is the most commonly used set of requirements for designing an environmental management system and forms part of the ISO 14000 family of standards, which includes ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 14006: 2011 as well as the supplementary standard 19011, which contains guidelines for auditing management systems including environmental management systems. ISO 14001:2015 is intended for use by an organisation seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
This standard contributes to the following 11 out of the 17 UN global Sustainable Development Goals:
- Goal 1: No poverty
- Goal 2: Zero hunger
- Goal 3: Good health and well-being
- Goal 4: Quality education
- Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation
- Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy
- Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
- Goal 9: Industries, innovation and infrastructure
- Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
- Goal 13: Climate action
- Goal 14: Life below water
- Goal 15: Life on land
ISO 14001 is a standard that outlines how to implement an effective environmental management system. This standard is designed to assist businesses in remaining commercially successful without neglecting ecological responsibilities. ISO 14001 helps businesses of all sizes to make their operations more sustainable, ultimately leading to reduced costs, improved brand reputation, resilience against uncertainty and engaged employees.
ISO 14001 provides guidance on how to consider various aspects of your business tasks, including procurement, distribution, manufacturing, product development and storage. This standard includes requirements to establish, document, implement, maintain and continually improve an environmental management system.
What are some of the benefits of ISO 14001 Environmental Management?
- Applicable to any organisation, regardless of size, type and nature.
- Improve efficiency to reduce the costs of running your business.
- Better environmental management reduces waste and energy usage.
- Demonstrate compliance to expand your business opportunities.
- Prepare for the changing business landscape.
- Meet legal obligations to win stakeholder and customer trust.
ISO 14001:2015 can be used in whole or in part to improve environmental management systematically, however, claims of conformity to ISO 14001:2015 are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organisations environmental management system and fulfilled without exclusion.
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