ISO 14001:2015

 

Quality Systems Consultancy Ltd  specialise in implementing the ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System.

In short, we’re here to make sure that you don’t slip up with your environmental system application, by providing  solid advice and helping you every step of the way.

Achieving ISO14001 does not have to be hard work. With the right approach and  with top management commitment we can guide you every step of the way to ensure that your procedures are fully compatible with the requirements of the standard.

The new standard has been designed to be compatible with all of the other ISO Standards and to work in conjunction with them.

ISO 14001 is suitable for organizations of all types and sizes, be they private, not-for-profit or governmental. It requires that an organization considers all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency. Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement of an organization’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.

What are the benefits in achieving ISO 14001?
How do I get started with ISO 14001:2015?
How do I prepare an Environmental Policy?
How long does it take to achieve ISO 14001?
What should I include in my Environmental Management System?

What are the benefits in achieving ISO 14001?

With ever growing legislation and regulation, and the number of companies expanding , ISO 14001 is an ideal way of meeting regulatory and customer demands and expectations. The standard is flexible enough to be adopted in any type of business.

Other advantages include Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees • Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication • Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management • Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs • Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business systems

Even if you are a small company, the implementation of ISO14001 will potentially have a positive effect on your costs, as you will need to consider energy consumption, waste streams, transport, recycling, legal compliance (reduce the risk of being prosecuted) and many other factors. Like ISO 9001 it does not have to be a burden but can and will be a useful tool if the system is applied properly. Continually improving  the system and legal compliance is all part of an effective system.

How do I get started with ISO 14001:2015?

How do I get started with ISO 14001:2015? A number of resources, including The ISO 14001 checklist for small business, provide detailed guidance on how to use the standard, but here are a few tips to get you started:

Tip 1 – Define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with this standard?

Tip 2 – Get the buy-in from senior management. It is essential that the leaders of your organization support the objectives of an effective environmental management system and are committed to the process.

Tip 3 – Get a good overview of existing processes and systems that are relevant to your environmental impact. This will form the basis of your environmental management system and allow you to more easily identify any gaps.

QSC can help you with any of the above, simply call us on 07900 558547.

How do I prepare an Environmental Policy?

An Environmental Policy should be appropriate to the nature, scale and environmental purpose of the organisation. The essential elements of the policy are:

It should contain a commitment to comply with legal requirements and with other requirements to which the company/ business subscribes which relates to its environmental impacts, as well as continual improvement and prevention of pollution.

The Policy should provide a framework for establishing and reviewing environmental targets and  objectives.

It should be easy to understand and regularly reviewed to ensure its appropriateness, and communicated to all persons working for or on behalf of the business.

The policy should be documented, implemented and maintained.

The Policy should be driven by the top management or CEO.

The policy should be available to the public.

Ultimately the policy is a reflection on the commitment of the company and should be the cornerstone to the Environmental System. The policy should be freely available to anyone that requests it.

How long does it take to achieve ISO 14001?

This is one of the most often asked questions. The truth is there is no set time scales that can be given because there are so many variables as each company/organisation is different. However you need to consider some of the following points which will give you some indications on your progress towards accreditation :

Have you got identified all the internal and external factors that could affect the Environmental Management System (EMS).?

Is your scope clear and the boundaries set covering the EMS ?

Has there been risk assessment based reviews related to the significant aspects and impacts?

Have you carried out internal audits, and do you have records in place to support this?

Is there sufficient documented evidence (documents can be electronic as well as hard copy) to enable an auditor to follow the complete environmental process from start to finish?  Typically the auditor will want to see at least 3 projects at audit. Have you had a Management Review and are minutes available? Are all your waste licenses, carriers notes, transfer notes, exemption certificates (where applicable) up to date ?  Do you know you are legally compliant and have you evaluated your compliance? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourselves. As a rule of thumb, you need to have at least 6 months worth of records to support your Environmental System. Some people would argue that it is possible to achieve registration with less than 6 months records, but personally as an auditor as well as a consultant I think 6 months is a minimum. So if you are fully committed to achieving ISO14001 in a short space of time and you have the infrastructure and drive, it is possible to achieve ISO 14001 in 6 months from start to finish. But  it could take considerably longer depending on the nature of the business, the complexity, the determination of the business and commitment.

What should I include in my Environmental Management System?

The EMS must include a Policy, Scope of the System, Procedures / Work Instructions or other documentation to review and identify Aspects and Impacts, Legal Identification and Evaluation, Internal Audit, Document and Record Control, Control of Non Conformity’s, Emergency and Preparedness. There is no requirement to have an Environmental Manual.

For more information on ISO 14001:2015, or to book a review of your current system please call Andy on 07900 558547, or email andy@qscconsultancy.co.uk.

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