ISO 14001 – Environmental Management
Environmentalism should be one of the primary corporate motives today. Sound business practices with minimal impact of its activities on the environment indicate a firms’ concern towards its society and environment. Environmental practices determine a business’s sustainability and its corporate social responsibility
ISO 14001 is an ISO standard that recognized environmental management system. It is a management tool that aids any firm, irrespective of size, sector or type, to identify and to control the impact of its activities, its products and services on the environment.
It is a structured approach to define environment oriented goals and help organizations to pursue them.
ISO 14001 aims at encouraging organizations to promote concern towards the sustained environment. It however, does not aim at creating non-tariff trade barriers or to alter the organizations’ legal obligation.
Why Environment management systems (EMS)?
Being profitable is no more stepping stone to business survival. Need to remain socially responsible and environmentally friendly, simultaneously, are also essential pre-requisite for a firm to indicate its concern towards the social good. Legislative obligations, economic policies and need for sustainability have put organizations in a fix to remain environmental.
To ensure an assured performance towards environmental sustainability self-assessment and self-environmental reviews are insufficient. This is why many organizations seek an environmental management system.
How does the ISO 14001 EMS work?
An efficient EMS enables organizations:
- To implement policies relevant to environmental aspects
- To develop considerations and accountability for legal requirements relevant to environment
- To ensure that all firms irrespective of size and nature of business accommodate to various conditions
- To seek commitment from all level of organizations, specifically the top management towards the development of an effective EMS.
EMS – Plan, Do, Check, Act:
ISO 14001 is based on the PDCA (Plan, do, check and act) approach. It is as brief as:
- Plan: Establish an organizational environmental policy. Develop relevant objectives and processes. Plan to deliver outcomes that are apt to such policy, and objectives
- Do: Planning is incomplete unless it has been put in place. Implementing the policies and objectives hence fall in the ‘do’ stage
- Check: In order to ensure that the required targets are met, it is important that actions are monitored against the developed objectives, hence need for check
- Act: Improvisation is an ongoing process. Hence firms should consistently take actions to improve performances of its EMS
Am I Eligible?
ISO 14001 standards apply to all forms of organization, big and small irrespective of the nature of their business. It is precisely applicable to all firms willing to be eco-friendly and willing to make difference towards the eco-sustainability. A firm willing to extend contribution towards the environmental good will implement the EMS.
How does the standard work?
The complexity involved in an EMS is determined by a number of factors. To mention a few, the scope of systems; the nature of business activities involved, the nature of products and services delivered, the industry to which a firm belongs etc, are all matter of facts that make difference towards the working of this standard.
In every context, ISO 14001 aims to support environmental protection. It works towards preventing pollution and harmonise it with socio-economic needs of the hour
ISO 14001 Benefits:
There are a number of benefits that a business can seek my implementing an efficient EMS. This includes the possibility of
- Reducing waste in every possible manner
- It delivers a planned approach towards complying the legal obligations in relevance to environmentalism. Following this, a firm can reduce the risk of legal abatement, prosecutions, allegations and fines.
- An effective EMS can refrain the firm from using hazardous materials and pollutants. This can save costs in many ways.
- An effective EMS dictates the firm’s corporate social responsibility thus raising its goodwill. This will lead to increased profits, improved relations with stakeholders and a good corporate image amidst the society.