The ISO 14001 standard requires that a community or organisation put in place and implement a series of practices and procedures that, when taken together, result in an environmental management system.
The ISO 14001 standard requires that a community or organisation put in place and implement a series of practices and procedures that, when taken together, result in an environmental management system. ISO 14001 is not a technical standard and as such does not in any way replace technical requirements embodied in statutes or regulations. It also does not set prescribed standards of performance for organisations.
The major requirements of an Environmental Management System (EMS) under ISO 14001 include:
- A policy statement which includes commitments to prevention of pollution, continual improvement of the EMS leading to improvements in overall environmental performance, and compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
- Identification of all aspects of the community organisation’s activities, products, and services that could have a significant impact on the environment, including those that are not regulated
- Setting performance objectives and targets for the management system which link back to the three commitments established in the community or organisation’s policy (i.e. prevention of pollution, continual improvement, and compliance)
- Implementing the EMS to meet these objectives. This includes activities like training of employees, establishing work instructions and practices, and establishing the actual metrics by which the objectives and targets will be measured.
- Establishing a program to periodically audit the operation of the EMS
- Checking and taking corrective and preventive actions when deviations from the EMS occur, including periodically evaluating the organisation’s compliance with applicable regulatory requirements.
- Undertaking periodic reviews of the EMS by top management to ensure its continuing performance and making adjustments to it, as necessary.
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