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Sustainability
Company environmental management system: ISO 14001 standard and certification
Timp de lectură: 4 minute

Reducing the environmental impact of business activities through careful, efficient environmental management and voluntarily ISO 14001 certification is a commitment many companies are making to create a better ecosystem.

ISO 14001 and the environmental management system: what does it involve?

A company that chooses ISO 14001 certification demonstrates sound awareness of the importance of sustainable business development. ISO 14001 is the international technical benchmark standard for Environmental Management System design and implementation. It covers the policies and practices that shape how the company interacts with the environment.

 

The latest version of ISO 14001 was published in 2015 and applies to any organisation. It sets out the requirements a company must fulfil in order to be certified as compliant with this industry standard. It identifies the legislative requirements applicable to the company together with the objectives to be achieved and actions to be taken to ensure continuous environmental performance improvements. The company must therefore adopt these actions and implement an environmental monitoring plan to verify whether they are effective. Finally, a Management System review is conducted to improve performance in line with the ongoing development of international standards.

 

Companies that decide to apply for ISO 14001 certification must consider all critical environmental aspects of their business, including: waste management, noise pollution, air quality, waste transport, potential soil contamination and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Requirements for obtaining ISO 14001 certification

An Integrated Management System based on the ISO 14001 standard requirements must be implemented, and a Certification Body appointed to perform a third-party audit and declare the system compliant.

 

To implement an Integrated Management System, an initial environmental analysis must be conducted on the primary environmental aspects (emissions, daily resource use) the company needs to manage. Once the primary environmental aspects have been defined, data is collected to evaluate each action implemented so as to achieve continuous environmental performance improvements over time.

 

The appointed Certification Body will verify correct implementation and ultimately certify the Integrated Management System.

The benefits of ISO 14001 certification

ISO 14001 brings many benefits. These include:

 

  • the strategic value of improved reputation and environmental credibility, which represents a guarantee for suppliers and customers;

  • a clear and precise definition of the company’s environmental objectives and actions that comply with industry standards, thereby reducing the risk of penalties;

  • better resource management through sustainable resource use and waste limitation, leading to reduced operating costs.

 

In short, ISO 14001 allows companies to improve their environmental management and helps them to identify, manage and monitor their environmental impact over time.

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