How do we Become 14001 Certified?

To be 14001 certified you must have a documented system (procedures) in place and you must adopt environmental activities that promote improvement in environmental issues.  You are NOT required to change the way your business operates nor adopt any activity that will be detrimental to the organization.  Typically organizations focus on simple and easy activities that actually provide financial benefit to the organization.

The main procedures and activities cover (usually new) processes in your organization to formally identify and record what environments aspects exist within the organization and what impacts they have.  Procedures then require identification of the most important and the establishing of programs and objectives to improve “some” environmental issues.  As mentioned, these are expected to have a positive financial impact on the organization like the reduction of energy usage or the reduction of waste.

The organization must also  formalize the control over those impacts that it has identified (e.g. if you have equipment that expels dust or affect the air, then you have to have equipment or procedures that describes how you control that equipment to make sure it performs as expected).

The processes for identifying environmental aspects and impacts and setting programs and objectives, needs to be repeated at least annually.  A few other processes are also necessary – Emergency response plans, knowledge of environmental legal requirements and control over communication regarding environmental issues.

Finally you must control (with procedures) the supporting activities which will ensure that the environmental system described so far, continues to exist.  This includes document control, record control, training, calibration, internal auditing, management review, non-conformance management and corrective and preventive action control.

All of these processes and procedures operate in a coherent management system that is internally audited to ensure everything continues to work effectively, provides demonstrable improvements in environmental impacts (not necessarily anything “big”) and assures protection where impacts actually occur.

Finally ISO 14001 certificates are issued by accredited certification bodies in the established way.  You must subject yourself to audit to prove your system meets the requirements of the standard.

To do this successfully you will need some expertize in ISO 14001, resources to define processes, write procedures and implement activities, and commitment of management to support the program.

Cavendish Scott consults, trains and audits in ISO 14001.  ISO 14001 is actually quite straightforward and can be designed and implemented very quickly without much internal effort.  Cavendish Scott will also help maintain your system so you don’t have to worry about it.