ISO 14001 - Environmental Management

ISO 14001:2015 replaces ISO 14001:2004. This new standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system (EMS) enabling an organization to achieve intended outcomes of its EMS, consistent with its purpose, strategic direction, environmental policy and objectives. The new framework upon which ISO 14001:2015 is based, helps an organization meet its compliance obligations, which are the legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes. The standard does not state specific environmental performance criteria. A robust, credible and reliable EMS not only enables the organization to better manage its environmental aspects that impact the environment, the new version recognizes the effects that the environment is having on the organization. In addition to determining what the environmental aspects are that the organization can control and those which it can influence, the standard has added requirements for determining risks and opportunities. Organizations may demonstrate conformity with ISO 14001:2015 by one of four conformity assessment options recognized in the standard, which include: a) making a self-determination and self-declaration, or b) seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers, other divisions or subsidiaries, or c) seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organization, or d) seeking certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization. Options under c) include the EnviroReady Report©, geared to small and larger, low risk organizations, and audits for the chemical industry under the Responsible Care™ programme. Independent audits, such as options under c) and d) can enhance confidence in interested parties that the organization is providing value and is contributing to the environmental pillar of sustainability. All the requirements in ISO 14001:2015 are intended to apply to any environmental management system. The extent of the application will depend on factors such as the purpose and size of the organization, the nature of its activities, products and services, the location where and the context in which it operates, with consideration of internal and external issues, including environmental conditions.

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