The ISO 14001is an internationally-recognised standard that specifies the latest requirements for an EMS. This allows an organisation to:
- set up and implement an environmental policy;
- identify environmental impacts originating from the organisation’s activities;
- set up and implement a number of objectives;
- take the necessary action to improve its performance.
An organisation is awarded the ISO 14001 certificate when its EMS meets the requirements of this international standard. Through an elaborate assessment process, the organisation would need to prove that the EMS it is implementing conforms to the latest requirements of this standard.
The aim of the ISO 14001 standard is to provide the main building blocks for an effective Environmental Management System, which supports the protection of the environment and the minimisation and prevention of environmental pollution.
The ISO 14001 certification process is carried out by external auditors from an accredited certification body. Certification remains valid for three years. Within this period, the external auditors carry out annual surveillance audits to confirm that the system is appropriately maintained and that there is continuous improvement as required by the Standard.
During the certification audits, the auditors:
- Review our policy, objectives, and environmental improvement programme;
- Review the method used to identify the significant environmental aspects;
- Confirm that all legal obligations have been identified and are being met;
- Check all EMS documentation – legal, technical and administrative;
- Analyse the standard operating procedures and confirm compatibility of systems of work;
- Carry out on-site audits;
- Interview employees from different strata within the organisation’s hierarchy.