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Monday, 10 October 2016

A Detailed Look at ISO 14001:2015 Part 1

Continuing our coverage of the new Standards here is some information about ISO 14001:2015

IS0 14001 is a Model for environmental management systems. It specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organisation can use to enhance its environmental performance.

The standard, issued in 1996, was revised and updated in 2004 and again in 2015 to complement ISO 9001:2015. It follows the Hi Level - Annex SL format.

Formal assessment of an organisation’s environmental management system is carried out by an independent and accredited third party certification body.  If all the requirements are met, a certificate of conformity is issued.  Regular surveillance visits are carried out, subsequently, to ensure that the standard is being maintained.

Accreditation of the Certification Bodies (CB’s) in the UK is carried out by UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) UKAS is the sole accreditor in the UK.

A register of environmentally competent firms is maintained by the Stationery Office (TSO) under subscription and is used as a reference for purchasing authorities.

The 2015 Standard allows for other means of showing conformance to ISO 14001:2015:
  • Making a self-determination and self-declaration, or
  • Seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organisation, such as customers/clients, or
  • Seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organisation.

The market-place is becoming ever more competitive. It is clear that only the companies providing quality goods or services and protecting the environment are going to be able to compete.

The threat of global warming and its influence on the planet is easy to see with the change in climate year on year having marked effects.

Put very simply, ISO 14001 is a declaration of an organisations ability to implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system. It has a duty to minimise the impact of its processes on the environment, fulfil compliance obligations and achieve environmental objectives.

Today’s Global Market means that companies throughout the world are able to offer their goods and services on equal terms.   The increasing use of the internet and e-commerce for business makes it vital that we are able to compete.

ISO 14001 makes it easier to compete in that marketplace.

Legislation and Regulation require a company to prove that it has taken all necessary and reasonable steps to produce safe products that minimise the risk to people and the environment.

  • ISO 14001 helps provide such assurance.

ISO 14001 requires 7 -10 main sections to be addressed before certification
can take place.

The 2015 standard does not allow any clauses to be excluded


  1. Scope
  2. Normative References- there are none
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Context of the organisation
    1. Understanding the organisation and its context
    2. Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
    3. Determining the scope of the environmental management system
    4. Environmental Management system
  5. Leadership
    1. Leadership and commitment
    2. Environmental Policy
    3. Organisational roles, responsibilities and authorities
  6. Planning
    1. Actions to address risks and opportunities
      1. General
      2. Environmental aspects
      3. Compliance obligations
      4. Planning action
    2. Environmental objectives and planning to achieve them
      1. Environmental objectives
      2. Planning actions to achieve environmental objectives
    3. Planning of changes
  7. Support
    1. Resources
    2. Competence
    3. Awareness
    4. Communication
      1. General
      2. Internal communication
      3. External communication
    5. Documented information 
      1. General
      2. Creating and updating
      3. Control of documented information
  8. Operation
    1. Operational planning and control
    2. Emergency preparedness and response
  9. Performance evaluation
    1. Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
      1. General
      2. Evaluation of compliance
    2. Internal audit
      1. General
      2. Internal audit programme
    3. Management review
  10. Improvement
    1. General
    2. Nonconformity and corrective action
    3. Continual improvement

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