ISO 14001:2015 Audit Checklists – Required for Effective Environment Management System Audit

Before conducting an environmental management system audit to ISO 14001, you may be looking for some kind of an ISO 14001 audit checklist. ISO 14001:2015 Audit Checklist is a systematic, documented verification process of objectively obtaining and evaluating audit evidence to determine whether an organization’s EMS conforms with the EMS audit criteria, and communicating the results of this process to the client. ISO 14001 audit criteria are defined as the policies practices procedures or requirements.


ISO 14001:2015 Audit Checklist
The ISO 14001 Audit should focus on the environmental objectives and action plans of the organisations to allow problem are as to be identified so that remedial action can be taken. The audit is a means of assisting managers at all levels to improve the performance of the operations under their control. It is not a check on how well people are doing their job!

In other words, within the overall environmental management system, ISO 14001 audit checklists are used to determine whether environmental management activities conform to the stated program, whether these activities are effectively implemented, and how effective the environmental management system is in fulfilling the environmental policy.

ISO 14001:2015 Audit Checklist for environment management system certification contains department wise as well as ISO 14001:2015 requirement wise audit questionnaire. The department wise ISO 14001 Audit Checklists include audit questions for 11 departments of the organization. And, the ISO 14001 clause-wise audit checklist covers the entire ISO 14001:2015 requirements for each clauses and sub clauses as per the list given below.

Department wise ISO 14001:2015 Audit Checklist

  • M. R. & General Procedures
  • Environmental Control and EMS coordinator
  • Marketing
  • Production Areas
  • Engineering (Utility and Maintenance)
  • Purchase
  • Stores (Raw Material and Spares)
  • Packing and Dispatch
  • Administrations and Training
  • Research and Development
  • Top Management.
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What are The Steps for ISO 14001:2015 Certification?

ISO 14001 focuses on the implementation and maintenance of an environmental management system. Implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS) can help you manage environmental risks, provide assurances in legal compliance and demonstrate your environmental credentials to your stakeholders. Below are the basic steps needed for ISO 14001:2015 Certification Process.

Steps for ISO 14001:2015 Certification1. Learn about the ISO 14001:2015 Standard
You will need to understand ISO 14001 (and ISO 9001 if you are combining), to help you understand what you need to do in your company to meet the requirements of the standard.

2. Perform an ISO 14001 Initial Environmental Review & Gap Analysis
A useful step could be to undertake a gap analysis between the management system processes you currently have in place and the requirements of ISO 14001. Use the Gap Analysis Checklist to determine where you need to change your existing EMS.

3. Plan your ISO 14000 project
Create a Project Plan to determine your tasks, timeline and resources. Consider a Step-by-Step Workbook to guide you.

4. Train your organization on ISO 14001:2015
Employees and management must receive ISO 14001 awareness training in what ISO 14001 entails, what the legislative requirements are for environmental management. Awareness programmes must be developed and implemented to ensure that every employee knows their role and how to respond to emergencies, what must be done, and what may not be done.

5. Document your ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System
Design ISO 14001:2015 documents such as Environmental Manual and Procedures. Most of the portion of the project is see your current processes, and redesign them to meet all of the requirements of the standard. Once you have modified or developed processes to meet the standard, you will need to control those processes. Documenting the processes as EMS System procedures is part of this control.

6. Implement your EMS and conduct business
Once your system is developed and documented, employees will follow the procedures, collect records and make improvements to the system. For about three or more months, your organization will run the EMS, collect the records.

7. Audit your EMS
Awareness programmes must be developed and implemented to ensure that every employee knows their role and how to respond to emergencies, what must be done, and what may not be done. Perform internal audits to see how your system works and improve it. This prepares you for an Audit by a Registrar.

8. Go for Certification
If you are conducting effective internal audits, they will give you a clear indication as to whether your business is ready for certification. Be aware that most certification bodies work on fairly long lead times and that a first time certification is a two-staged process; so forward planning and early dialogue is key.

Time is Running Out for Organization to Transition to ISO 14001:2015

Revision of this key management system standard took place in 2015 and organisations will have to transfer to the updated standard by September 2018. The new ISO 14001:2015 Certification brings significant changes that will require considerable time and thought to implement. Due to the timing, the strategy should focus on implementing the EMS to address the greatest gaps and developing the hard proof of its effectiveness within your organization.

transition to iso 14001:2015

ISO 14001:2015 was published in September 2015, and organisations were given a three-year transition period to adopt the revised Standard. Existing ISO 14001:2004 registered companies should now be well into their planning to ensure a smooth transition to the revised standard by this date. One of the benefits of the revision is to provide a common structure, text and definitions to make integration of multiple standards smoother and quicker to achieve.

Revision benefits

1. Integration
For organisations ISO 14001 Standard, taking this integrated approach will save time by streamlining the process of certification and removing duplication.

2. Risk management
One of the main areas of change is an increased focus on risk management and the establishment of an effective risk management plan. Risk is documented in most sections of the revised standard, so if you do not already have a risk management plan; this should be one of your first tasks. Typical risk processes include:

  • Risk determination,
  • Risk control,
  • Risk mitigation,
  • Acceptable level of risk.

3. Management processes
Along with the new high level structure/format, the new standards require a higher priority be given to managing processes and less about documentation.

4. Leadership
Emphasis on the importance of leadership from top management will ensure that the organisation’s management system achieves the desired results.

Although it is not too late to start with the installation of ISO 14001: 2015, there should be a small delay. The deadline for the recertification of the ISO 14001 EMS is September 15, 2018. Subsequently, the certificates issued according to ISO 14001: 2004 will no longer be valid.

If you have any questions about how to plan your transition, you can visit @ http://www.globalmanagergroup.com/

ISO 14001 Procedure Document for Quick ISO 14001 Certification

It is easy to assume that every single process that is in place to support your Environmental Management System needs to be documented. ISO 14001 procedures documents are written particularization every method that your company must follow to satisfy the necessities of the ISO 14001 standard. These are clearly written, simple to follow directions for your management, everyone, who works to follow within the day to day operation of your Environment Management System.

The ISO 14001:2015 Procedure should define how the organization’s bloodstream (the flow of documents) will function. The procedure for internal audits must define responsibilities for planning and conducting audits, how audit results are reported, and how records are maintained. This means that the main rules of conduct of the audit must be addressed.

The ISO 14001 procedures documents designed and developed as per Environment Management System standard and requirements of ISO 14001 Certification. The ISO 14001:2015 documents set covers various type of ISO 14001 procedures like communication, documents control, internal audit, training and more, it very useful of implements and upgraded environment management system and guide of process ISO 14001 certification, implementation and requirements.

List of Required ISO 14001 Procedures

The ISO 14001 mandatory procedures documents have 7 various procedures help the organization to make the best environment management system and quick process improvements. All the ISO 14001 procedures required for quick ISO 14001 Certification are listed below:

  • Procedures for identification of environmental aspects and its environmental impacts
  • Procedures for identification of legal requirements
  • Procedures for communication
  • Procedures for operational control
  • Procedures for emergency preparedness response
  • Procedures for monitoring and measurement
  • Procedures for training.

How to Structure ISO 14001:2015 Documentation

The development of the ISO 14001:2015 documentation and record control system for Environmental Management System (EMS) is a very important part of the implementation, as it will define the method of creation, publishing, withdrawal, and using documents and recording. It is up to the organization to create the most appropriate documentation, as it will affect the way you maintain and improve your EMS.

Which document is more important?

Before starting to develop ISO 14001:2015 documentation, it is important to get a clear picture of the purpose of each type of document and its position in the documentation hierarchy. There are several types of documents used to establish an EMS: manual, procedures, policy, objectives, work instructions or SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), and records and forms. Each type of document and record has its place and role in the EMS. The documentation for an Environmental Management System should be structured as follows:

Structure of ISO 14001 Documentation

1) EMS Manual: It is usually the first document that the certification body wants to see to get familiar with the system. In cases where it is a small company or a company with simple risks, all procedures can be included in an EMS Manual.

2) EMS Policy: A policy represents a declarative statement by an organization – something like a constitution of the system – and all other documents arise from it. The policy is written by the top management and its purpose is to define the general direction and aim of the EMS. The Environmental Policy also provides a framework for establishing EMS Objectives.

3) Procedures: EMS procedures can have different formats and structures. They can be narrative, i.e., described through text; they can be more structured by using tables; they can be more illustrative, i.e., flow charts; or they can be any combination of the above.

4) Work instructions, guidelines, and SOPs: Work instructions can be part of a procedure, or they can be referenced in a procedure. Generally, work instructions have a similar structure to the procedures and cover the same elements; however, the work instructions include details of activities that need to be realized, focusing on the sequencing of the steps, tools, and methods to be used and required accuracy.

5) Records and forms: Finally, there must be some evidence that activities and processes are performed in the way prescribed in the procedures and work instructions. This is the main purpose of the records and forms. Most of them are filled in by employees, but some of them are filled in by the top management. The best way to make them practical is to avoid requiring employees to write essays. Having records with checkboxes instead of empty rows for employees to write sentences will ensure that the forms or records are filled in quickly and easily.

How new version ISO 14001:2015 useful for Environmental Management System

ISO 14001: 2015 specifies requirements for an Environmental Management System an organization can use to improve its environmental performance. ISO 14001: 2015 is intended for use by an organization that seeks to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic way that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainable development.

ISO 14001:2015 Certification helps an organization achieve the expected results of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and stakeholders. According to the environmental policy of the organization, the expected results of an environmental management system include:

  • Enhancement of environmental performance;
  • Fulfillment of compliance obligations;
  • Achievement of environmental objectives.

What is new in ISO 14001:2015?

Integrated approach with other standards such as ISO 9001, EMS 14001: 2015, using the same terms and definitions. ISO 14001 is the strategic management of the environment by identifying and taking advantage of opportunities which benefit the environment and society. New article on leadership with specific roles to promote environmental management within the organization. The emphasis on environmental protection through proactive initiatives commits.

  • Strategic environmental management

It is a new requirement to understand the context of the organization to identify internal and external issues relevant to the organization and the environment, with actions to address them in the Environmental Management System (EMS).

  • Leadership

A new clause has been added with special responsibilities for top management to express their leadership and commitment to environmental management. Management may assign this responsibility to others, but retain responsibility.

  • Environmental protection

Environmental policy must include a commitment to the “environmental protection”. There is no definition of “protection” includes “prevention of pollution” and “other” commitments, such as the sustainable use of resources, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection biodiversity and ecosystems, etc.

  • Environmental performance

The main objective is the improvement of performance related to the management of environmental aspects. The body has to decide on criteria for assessing its environmental performance, using the correct indicators.

  • Communication

Focus on internal and external communication and equal treatment of the two was added. The decision to communicate with the outside is retained by the organization while taking into account their compliance obligations.

  • ISO 14001: 2004 TRANSITION

Organizations that are already certified ISO 14001: 2004 will have three years from the official publication of ISO 14001: 2015 in which to transfer to the new version of this standard. Based on the current release schedule, this transition period will end in September 2018.

Advantages of ISO 14001 Environmental Management System

The scope of ISO 14001 specifies requirements for the implementation of an EMS. The scope covers the requirements for a company, as well as information on environmental impacts and significant environmental aspects that the organization can control and influence. The scope of the ISO 14001 standard does not itself specify specific environmental performance criteria.

ISO 14001 is one of a series of international environmental management standards to promote the continuous improvement of corporate environmental performance through the adoption and implementation of an environmental management system emerges. This standard specifies the basic elements of an EMS, but only contains items that can be objectively audited for the purpose of certification or declaration of self.

By completing ISO 14001 certification for the organization, we assure stakeholders that your Environmental Management System (EMS) meets the specific environmental standards for the international industry. Every business, large and small; industrial, manufacturing, services, trade-related or had an impact on the environment and can therefore meet their advantage to ISO 14001 certification.

Here are the several advantages of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System as listed below:

  • Provide your business with the assurance that you are experiencing, and will continue to meet your commitments, environmental management systems and corporate policy requirements.
  • Provide potentially less regulatory oversight visits.
  • Display your business partners, regulators, and the community that you are responsible for the environment.
  • Increase competitiveness.
  • Increasing profits through process improvement and potential energy savings.
  • Reduce your environmental responsibility.
  • Reduce costs due to potentially lower insurance rates.
  • Checking your recognition systems and compliance with environmental laws and regulations.
  • Improve relations with regulatory bodies – organizations that implement an EMS ISO 14001 often report improved relations with government regulators find that regulators are quicker to provide technical support, and find that regulators are much more favorable in general.
  • Capture institutional knowledge – ISO 14001 ensures that information is properly documented, communicated and retained. The cyclical nature of this management system also ensures all system information is reviewed and updated at least annually.
  • Streamlining operations – organizations often realize monetary savings as a result of greater operating efficiency and energy conservation, and reducing the use of materials and generation of hazardous hazardous waste.
  • Awareness and increased participation – Organizations benefit from improved communication on environmental issues inside and outside the organization. ISO 14001 gives people a way to raise environmental issues and it is clear that environmental performance is an important part of corporate culture.
  • Security benefits – by reviewing material transactions control procedures, including a review of procedures for emergency preparedness and response, organizations are able to identify and implement security improvements.