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.
1. 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.