If you’re looking to maximize your business’s corporate green initiative, ISO 14001 is an ideal way to start. Today, many companies are taking advantage of ISO 14001 certifications to improve environmental performance, save money, and stand out among competitors.
Definition of ISO 14001 Certification
ISO 14001 is a sector of the ISO 14000 family, which are requirements for an environmental management system (EMS) that a business or organization can use to improve its environmental impact. ISO 14001—also referred to as ISO 14001:2015—is intended to be used by organizations that strive to be environmentally conscious and contribute to a more sustainable world. ISO 14001 contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14.
ISO 14001 supports organizations that want to achieve operational sustainability. An EMS doesn’t only support a positive impact on the environment, but it also enables organizations to enhance their mission statement and brand image. Anticipated results of an environmental management system include:
- Enhanced environmental performance
- Fulfillment of compliance obligations
- Achievement of environmental objectives
Any business or organization is eligible for an ISO 14001 certificate—no matter its size, profitability, or type of organization—as long as its activities, product, or service influences environmental performance. In addition, there is no specific ISO 14001 waste management requirement that needs to be met; however, it must meet the international standard for environmental management.
How To Implement ISO 14001
Becoming ISO 14001 compliant is an excellent way for businesses to reduce waste, lower costs, and improve their marketability towards customers. Here are the steps your business needs to follow to secure an ISO 14001 certification:
1. Learn About the ISO 14001 Standard
Before starting your business’s journey to becoming ISO 14001 certified, it’s essential to understand what it means to be certified. This is a crucial step because it lines out what you need to meet the requirements of the international standard.
2. Perform an ISO 14001 Initial Environmental Review & Gap Analysis
Performing a gap analysis enables you to determine where you should make adjustments to your existing EMS. This allows you to show where your efforts are booming and where you could make some improvements.
3. Plan Your ISO 14000 Project
Creating a plan allows you to outline your tasks, timeline, and resources. In this step, you can compare your company’s activities, products, and services and brainstorm how they could align with your organization’s environmental efforts.
4. Train Your Organization on ISO 14001
Training and educating your employees on your ISO 14001 efforts ensures everyone involved follows the steps to be compliant with the management system standard.
5. Document Your ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
Analyzing current processes is a significant component of implementing ISO 14001. Once you modify or develop new methods that meet EMS standards, you must document them and understand what environmental aspects are in and out of your control. Documenting processes is crucial for quality management.
6. Implement Your EMS and Conduct Business
After your ISO 14001 plan is developed and documented, employees must follow procedures, collect data, and make continuous improvements to the plan. Your business must run an EMS for over three months to be considered for certification.
7. Audit Your EMS
Auditing your EMS and consistently improving processes ensures your organization is doing everything it can to enhance environmental performance. Internal audits are a great way to prepare for external audits by a Registrar.
8. Registration Audit Options
Registrars are hired to come and perform your registration audit and every audit afterward; this is how your business becomes and stays ISO 14001 certified. During these audits, the Registrar reviews your EMS to ensure it meets standard requirements.
Benefits of ISO 14001
Many companies are taking advantage of ISO 14001 certifications because not only does it show they’re looking to make a change in the environment, but it also enables companies to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Benefits of ISO 14001 certification includes:
- Waste, recycling, and consumption savings
- A marketing advantage over competitors
- Management of environmental risks
- Environmental regulation compliance
- Shows commitment to improving the environment
- Presents a future-focused organization
- Reduces insurance costs
- Increases employee engagement and ethical morale
Closed Loop Recycling Is Here To Help You Follow ISO 14001 Policy Requirements
Closed Loop Recycling is a leading provider of industrial laundering. We supply businesses in industries like yours with reusable PPE, absorbents, and wipers to support them in their ISO 14001 certification efforts. When you partner with CLR, you receive monthly sustainability reports that break down the amount of solid and liquid waste diverted from the landfill each month.
Ready to make an environmental impact, save money, and stand out among your competitors? Connect with us to get started!