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Environmental - ISO 14001:2015

Overview of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

ISO 14000 is a series of international standards on environmental management. One of the series of standards is ISO 14001, an internationally accepted specification for an Environmental Management System (EMS). It specifies requirements for establishing an environmental policy, determining the environmental aspects and impacts, planning the environmental objectives and targets, implementation and operation of programmes to meet them, checking, corrective action and management review. Compliance to environmental regulation is also an element that is addressed in the standard.

Another commonly known document within the series is ISO 14004 which provides guidelines on the development and implementation of an EMS.

Benefits of Implementing ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

ISO 14001 provides uncountable benefits - both tangible and intangible. A typical organisation would enjoy the following:
  • improved corporate image among regulators, customers and the public
  • improved perception and understanding of key environmental issues by all within the organisation
  • a framework for continuous improvement of the organisation’s environmental performance and an improved ability to comply with regulatory requirements
  • measures taken to generate less waste will lead to reduced product, material handling and waste disposal costs that can be ploughed back into the business
  • increased efficiency and better use of energy and raw materials will invariably lead to savings and a more profitable business
  • a strong environmental image can help to attract environmentally conscious customers and in this, expand market share
  • increased awareness and environmentally conscious actions will lead to betterment of the environment for the community and the nation at large.


ISO 14001:2015 

The purpose of this International Standard is to provide organisations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs. It specifies requirements that enable an organisation to achieve the intended outcomes it sets for its environmental management system. Consistent with the organisation’s environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include:
  • enhancement of environmental performance;
  • fulfilment of compliance obligations; and
  • achievement of environmental objectives.

What’s new in this ISO 14001:2015 standard?

This third edition of the standard places enhanced focus on leadership and will be a better strategic fit due to increased alignment with organisation’s strategic direction. This will increase prominence of environmental management within the organization's strategic planning processes.

The organisation will need to consider life-cycle perspective when determining the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services. To achieve the above-mentioned intended outcomes, proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation need to be implemented. The environmental performance shall be continually improved and driven through a communication strategy. This will result in more holistic approach to the system.

In addition, the latest standard follows a common structure, i.e. Annex SL High Level Structure (HLS) using common terms and definitions identical with other new management system standards such as ISO 9001. This makes it easier for those companies who use more than one management system standards.

BSI Neville Clarke provides ISO 14001:2015 training courses to help organisation in planning for transition as well as learn skills to help implement and audit this new standard.

ISO 14001:2015 Training Programmes

  • ISO 14001:2015 Interpretation
  • ISO 14001:2015 Interpretation and Application
  • ISO 14001:2015 Strategic Approach to Risk-Based Thinking
  • ISO 14001:2015 Internal Auditor Training (Process Risk and Performance Based Approach)
  • Practical Environmental Aspect Determination (Based on ISO 14001:2015)
  • Malaysian Environmental Laws Interpretation & Application
  • IRCA Certified ISO 14001:2015 Auditor Transition Training Package (IRCA Reference A17956+A17967)
  • IRCA Certified ISO 14001:2015 Auditor Transition Training Course Module 2 – EMS (IRCA Reference: A17967)



Why implement ISO 14001 EMS?
Improved environmental awareness brings a world-wide focus to the environment, encouraging a cleaner, safer and healthier world. Facts have shown that companies need an environmental management certification to compete in the global marketplace. In addition, ISO 14001 provides a framework for continual environmental performance and this helps in ensuring compliance to regulatory requirements as well as to reduce business risks.
We already have a compliance programme – why do we need an ISO 14001 EMS?
An EMS can help you to comply with regulations more consistently and effectively. It can help you to identify and capitalise on environmental opportunities that go beyond compliance.
How will an EMS affect my existing compliance obligations?
An EMS will not result in a more or less stringent legal compliance obligation. But an EMS should improve your efforts to comply with legal obligations, and in some cases, lead to a more flexible compliance requirements.
What types of organisations does the ISO 14001 EMS apply to?
It applies to organisations of all types and sizes with the intent to improve the environmental aspects that they have control over.
Can the ISO 14001 EMS be integrated with other Management Systems?
YES. This standard can be integrated with other systems such as ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and many others.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is a standard that specifies the requirements for an environmental management system and it can be used for certification. It provides a framework for an organization to set up an effective environmental management system. It is one of the most widely used standards by organizations regardless of their activity or sector. ISO 14001:2015 is the third edition of the Environmental Management System (EMS) standard and is an internationally accepted and recognized standard.
What are the main changes between the 2004 and 2015 version of ISO 14001?
There are several changes among which are common with the changes in ISO 9001:2015. Nonetheless, the key changes specific to ISO 14001 are:
  • Risk and opportunities: determine these based on organization’s context, i.e. internal and external issues; needs and expectations of interested parties, significant environmental aspects and compliance obligations.
  • Proactive initiatives to be implemented in line with the identified risks and opportunities
  • Greater emphasis on environmental performance
  • Lifecycle perspective: extension of control to environmental impacts of products and services from development to end-of-life.
What benefits will ISO 14001 bring to my organisation?
ISO 14001 users have reportedly enjoy many benefits such as:
  • A more systematic approach to ensure compliance with laws and regulations
  • Increased confidence of interested parties towards the organization
  • Better branding and reputation
  • Improved efficiencies and performances
  • Reduced costs and waste generation due to proper management of resources
  • Promote environment protection to their business affiliations
Which certification should I go for first? ISO 9001 or ISO 14001?
In the new 2015 versions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, there is now a common framework for all management system standards. This implies that both standards may be acquired concurrently or individually, as many requirements have been aligned. Nonetheless, it is still recommended to acquire ISO 9001 prior to ISO 14001 because ISO 9001 forms the fundamentals of the organization’s business operation needs. It should be noted that both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 have different areas of emphasis and organizations may need to review the area of their focus before making a decision.

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