ISO 14001 management system for your business

An ISO 14001 management system for your business helps you to reduce your environmental footprint. Monitoring performance and continual improvement helps you to become greener.

ISO 14001

An ISO 14001 management system for your business helps you to reduce your environmental footprint.  Monitoring performance and continual improvement helps you to become greener.

What is an ISO 14001 management system?

ISO 14001 is an environmental management system (EMS).  It deals with a business’ environmental footprint and how to improve it.  This is achieved through reduced pollution, lower energy consumption and eliminating waste.


There are a number of requirements that your business will have to include before you can be certified with ISO 14001.  These include:

  • An environmental policy defined by top level management
  • A policy relevant to your activities, products, services and organisation
  • A commitment to continually improve your EMS
  • A policy documented, and communicated to employees and the public

By adhering to these requirements you have a better chance of being certified.

Legal requirements:

The certification is voluntary.  It is not a regulation.  Having said that, local governments do favour businesses with the ISO 14001 certification.  ISO 14001 can actually be a legal requirement when accepting supplier contracts.

For instance, in the EU and China there are import regulations that require the ISO 14001 certification.  Large companies such as Toyota and Chrysler require that all their suppliers have an ISO 14001 too.

What iso 14001 is not:

 It is not a finishing point.  If you are only going to use this for marketing purposes or any other promotional way then it will not work.  An ISO 14001 management system is about continually improving your environmental performance.  If you don’t, it will be a waste of your time and your resources.

How to be successful:

For any ISO 14001 to be successfully implemented you will need to have the following:

  • Top level commitment
  • Resources to establish, implement and maintain your EMS
  • Commitment from all stakeholders in your business
  • A well structured and documented plan for implementation
  • Good employee training on your EMS and your goals
  • An effective audit program

Examples of improvement under ISO 14001:

In this article we have looked at what this certification is, the requirements and how to implement it.  But what does an ISO 1400l management system actually involve in the real world.

Developing or improving products, which reduce resources in manufacture, would be considered an improvement.  This is especially true if your products are made from non-renewable materials.

Moving from producing toxic waste to non-toxic waste in an improvement.  Re-using and recycling materials is another definite improvement.

Selling waste to somebody else who can use it would be considered an improvement.  Enforcing an ISO 14001 management system on your suppliers is also great.

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