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    What is ISO 14001:2015?

    The ISO 14000 family comprises of various international standards that complement ISO 14001:2015.

    These include the following

    • ISO 14004:2016 which provides guidance on the establishment, implementation, maintenance, and improvement of an Environmental Management System (EMS) and its coordination with other management systems.
    • ISO 14006:2020 is useful for organisations that have implemented an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001:2015 but could assist with integrating eco-design into other management systems.
    • ISO 14064-1:2018 specifies principles and requirements at an organisational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their removal.
    • ISO 14001:2015 is a generic term given to a standard to provide a framework around which an environmental management system can effectively be implemented. It covers environmental management that intends to provide organisations with the elements of an operative environmental management system (EMS) that can be integrated with other management requirements and help organisations attain environmental and economic goals.

    ISO 14001:2015 is now the only standard in the ISO family against which third-party certification can be carried.

    The importance of implementing 14001 in your organisation

    More organisations are thinking about the effect that they have on the environment as well as putting systems in place that will not only benefit the environment; but will also decrease costs and improve efficiency within the organisation. Several organisations have succeeded in various areas by using ISO 14001:2015 such as reduced energy and water consumption therefore increasing the recycling rate, a further systematic approach to legal compliance, and an enhanced overall environmental performance. Furthermore, studies concluded that there is a correlation between the implementation of ISO 14001:2004 practices and organisational performance.

    • Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001:2015 helps with:
    • Demonstrating compliance with current and future statutory, regulatory requirements and Ccompliance with individual countries’ environmental regulations.
    • Increased leadership involvement and engagement of employees demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to improving the environment.
    • Showing you are a responsible future-focused organisation improving the company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication.
    • Managing environmental risks which means achieving strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management.
    • Providing a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs. Therefore, cost savings in waste, recycling, and consumption.
    • Having an advantage over competitors when tendering for business and encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organisation’s business.

    Getting started with ISO 14001

    Having a distinct EMS framework in line with ISO 14001:2015, will provide your organisation with a systematic approach to compliance. It may occur that regulatory bodies aren’t as stringent with companies with performance and public accountability archives. An environmental management system, will provide your organisation with a set of processes that give assurance of a holistic approach to organisation management

    Organisations that have conformed to ISO 14001:2015 in their operational procedures are more likely to experience greater improvement of environmental performance after certification. This is because ISO certification contributes to organisational improvement. The certification attracts larger numbers of stakeholders (investors) due to the dynamic nature of the social and environmental responsibility of companies.

    The environmental management system ensures reliability and the development of working practices and allows organisations to develop and implement an environmental policy and objectives, which take into consideration legal requirements and information about essential environmental aspects. The main objective of this system is to support the environmental protection and prevention of pollution balanced with socio-economic needs.

    Several resources provide detailed guidance on how to use the standard, here are a few tips:

    1. Have the organisations objectives clearly defined? What would you like to accomplish with this standard?
    2. It is essential to gain the approval of Senior Management. The leaders of the organisation should support the objectives of an effective environmental management system and be committed to the process.
    3. Get a good overview of existing processes and systems relevant to your environmental impact. This will allow you to identify gaps more easily

    With ISO 4001:2015 certification for organisations is occasionally costly in terms of the implementation of the standard. In the implementation, a number of costs are essential as a way of improving the organisational structure, training, and modernisation of equipment. However, it is evident that the benefits of implementing the ISO 14001 standard are far greater than the complexities that may be encountered in the process. This all leads to improved financial performance and organisational performance which further contributes to organisational growth and competitiveness.

    Should you need assistance with getting started with the certification process, contact WWISE by sending an email to admin1@wwise.co.za or calling 08610 99473.