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ISO 14001 Certification - Benefits, Mandatory Documents | Zolvit


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ISO 14001 - Overview

ISO 14001 is a globally recognized standard that specifies the requirements for an environmental management system.It assists organizations in improving their environmental performance through more efficient resource use and waste reduction, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders. An environmental management system assists businesses in identifying, managing, monitoring and controlling environmental issues in a 'holistic' manner.

ISO 14001 is appropriate for all types and sizes of private, non-profit, or governmental organizations. A company must consider all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage problems, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation and resource use and efficiency.

ISO 14001, like all ISO management system standards, emphasis's the importance of continuous improvement of an organization's systems and approach to environmental concerns.

The measure was recently revised, with key improvements such as increased prominence of environmental management within the organization's strategic planning processes and more significant leadership input. And a more substantial commitment to proactive initiatives that improve environmental performance.

Why ISO 14001:2015?

To ensure that ISO standards remain market-relevant, they are reviewed and revised on a regular basis. ISO 14001:2015 will address the most recent trends, such as companies' growing recognition of the need to account for both external and internal factors that influence their environmental impacts, such as climate volatility and the competitive environment in which they operate. The modifications also make the standard compatible with other management system standards.

Benefits of ISO 14001:2015

Organizations that have implemented ISO 14001: 2015 EMS benefit from the following:

  • Creates a corporate image and credibility for the same
  • Ensures legislative compliance and awareness
  • Apart from the importance of waste, energy and resource management, this report identifies cost-cutting factors
  • The environmental performance of the supply chain is improved
  • Achievement of environmental objectives
  • Business partners' and potential customers' access can be improved and enhanced
  • ISO 14001 has increased demand for its services and products
  • Lowering business costs through reducing resource consumption and waste production
  • Developing and promoting environmental performance, reducing their environmental impact and controlling environmental risk
  • Achieving environmental policy requirements.
  • Meets their environmental legal requirements
  • Committing to social responsibilities
  • Advancing promotions with stakeholders, customers and employees.
  • Retaining environmental knowledge
  • Use evidence-based decision making
  • Information is effectively communicated through a medium
  • Protect the company, assets, shareholders and directors
  • The ability to monitor and control the impact of environmental operations, now and in the future
  • Enhancement of environmental performance.

ISO 14001 Certification

ISO 14001 is the world's first and most widely adopted international standard for environmental management systems. It has aided over 300,000 businesses in improving their environmental performance.

The standard has been revised to ensure that ISO 14001 continues to serve organizations and remains relevant in today's market. A final draft has been released, resulting from input from 40 experts from 25 countries. This revision will address changes in environmental practices, but it will also make the environmental management system future-proof.

The ISO 'Future Challenges Environmental Management Systems' study, which focused on users' expectations for revising ISO 14001, identified 11 concerns that this new standard aims to address. Improved environmental performance and increased adoption of environmental management systems in small businesses were among the recommendations. Environmental impacts in the supply chain have also been given more attention, particularly from a 'life cycle perspective,' which refers to the typical stages of a product life cycle, all of which will become more important as businesses grow. Examining these steps in detail will help to maintain transparency and protect the supply chain's environmental health.

The following are some of the most significant changes:

  • A new high-level structure (HLS) has been developed, which includes terms, definitions, headings and text that are common to all management system standards, allowing for easy integration when multiple management systems are implemented
  • Increased emphasis on top management's role in ensuring that the environmental management system (EMS) is integrated into business processes and that environmental performance is improved
  • Consideration of the organization's risks (for example, raw material price volatility), as well as the opportunities presented by these risks
  • Greater resource efficiency
  • The organization's context is emphasized, assisting businesses in better understanding their impact on the environment and environmental concerns.

ISO 14001 Audit Types :

Internal and external audits are the two types of audits covered by ISO 14001:2004. Internal auditors must pass the 2-stage registrar audit by an external party to become ISO 14001 certified. We'll go over the various types of audits in the sections below, including internal, external and certification audits.

The ways an audit is conducted are as follows:

  • On-site audits:are carried out over the course of several days. The number of days required for an audit is determined by several factors, including the organization's size, complexity, risk and nature. The International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has provided guidelines for registrars to calculate audit time
  • Remote audits::Web meetings, teleconferencing and electronic process verification are all options. Remote audits are less common and, in most cases, ineffective compared to on-site audits
  • Self-audits:The term 'internal audit' does not always imply a formal investigation. You can ask your customer to perform a self-audit to eliminate the need for them to use their resources while still ensuring that you are meeting requirements.

Audit Types

Internal audits are on-site self-examinations of your organization's EMS conducted by your organization. Internal audits have several advantages, including helping your company prepare for external audits. The internal auditor must be independent of the audited area to ensure objective results. (Having more than one auditor is recommended to ensure that no one is auditing their own area of responsibility.) Internal audits are a requirement of ISO 14001 and are crucial to the success of your EMS. (We provide internal audit training and an audit checklist to ensure that your internal auditors are capable of performing an effective internal audit.)

Internal audits will be used to determine compliance, evaluate effectiveness and identify areas for improvement. You can compare your environmental management system to the requirements and determine if there are any non-conformance's by conducting an internal audit. This will allow you to correct your EMS and ensure that your organization meets the external auditor's requirements, allowing for certification

External audits:audits of customers, suppliers, certification and surveillance are all included. A customer audit is when a current or potential customer inspects your company to ensure you can or are meeting their needs. This is a supplier audit if you are auditing an existing or potential supplier. Supplier audits are one of the methods that can be used to meet the requirements for external provider control

Before issuing your official ISO 14001 certificate, your chosen registrar will conduct a certification audit to verify conformance to the ISO 14001 standard. There are two stages to certification audits. The stage one audit aims to determine whether or not an organization is ready for the stage two audit. Stage one is frequently carried out remotely in order to avoid incurring additional costs due to travel. Your organization will move on to the stage two audit if the auditor determines you meet the criteria for the stage one audit. Stage two audits will always take place on-site.

The auditor will interview your employees and review your documentation (procedures, records, etc.) to ensure that you comply with all ISO 14001 requirements. Every three years, certification audits are performed.

Following certification, your registrar will conduct surveillance audits to ensure that you are still adhering to your EMS and ISO requirements. Surveillance audits are similar to certification audits, except they do not involve issuing or re-issuance of a certificate. Your registrar will usually conduct these once a year.

Mandatory Documents and Records Required by ISO 14001:2015

  • Environmental Aspects with Associated Environmental Impacts (clause 6.1.2
  • Environmental Objectives and Plans for Achieving Them (clause 6.2)
  • Significant Environmental Aspects (clause 6.1.2)
  • Operational Control (clause 8.1)
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response (clause 8.2)
  • Scope of the EMS (clause 4.3)
  • Environmental Policy (clause 5.2)
  • Risk and Opportunities to be Addressed and Processes Needed (clause 6.1.1)
  • Compliance Obligations Document (clause 6.1.3)
  • Criteria for Evaluation of Significant Environmental Aspects (clause 6.1.2)

Here Are the Records That Must Be Kept in Order to Comply with ISO 14001

  • Evidence of Communication (clause 7.4)
  • Internal Audit Program (clause 9.2)
  • Records of Training, Skills, Experience and Qualifications (clause 7.2)
  • Results of Internal Audits (clause 9.2)
  • Results of the Management Review (clause 9.3)
  • Results of Corrective Actions (clause 10.2)
  • Evidence of the Compliance Evaluation Result(s) (clause 9.1.2)
  • Monitoring and Measurement Results (clause 9.1.1)

Several standards in the ISO 14000 family complement ISO 14001, some of which are listed below. More information is also available in the environmental management brochure – The ISO 14000 family of international standards, which provides a basic overview of the ISO 14000 series of standards.

  • ISO 14004: provides advice on how to set up, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, as well as how to integrate it with other management systems
  • ISO 14006: is intended for organizations that have implemented an ISO 14001-compliant environmental management system. Still, it can also help integrate eco-design into other management systems
  • ISO 14064-1:specifies principles and requirements for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removal at the organizational level.


ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a global federation of national standard-setting organizations. ISO is a non-governmental organization made up of standard-setting bodies from over 160 countries, with one standards body representing each member country. The American National Standards Institute, for example, represents the United States. The ISO's decision-making body is the General Assembly. It comprises members' representatives and elected leaders known as principal officers. The organization's headquarters are in Geneva. A central secretariat oversees Switzerland and its operations

What Is ISO Certification?

Certification is a certifying body's assurance that a service, product, or system meets the standard requirements for ISO standards. While ISO creates standards, third-party certification bodies certify compliance with those standards. According to the ISO, the term 'ISO certification' should never indicate that a product or system has been certified as conforming to an ISO standard by a certification body. Instead, ISO recommends using the complete ISO standard identification when referring to certified products or systems.