International standard ISO 14001 helps companies to control their environmental impact and achieve sustainable growth. It belongs to the ISO 14000 family of environmental management standards that were drawn up in 1996. Following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the Earth Summit, that was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, ISO’s Technical Committee 207 set out to work towards achieving sustainable development.
The implementation and certification of an environmental management system demonstrates that a company is complying with current environmental legislation and assessing and minimising environmental risks. ISO 14001 certification also supports companies in accessing new markets and fostering new client relationships. This standard can apply to any company, regardless of sector or size.
ISO 14001:2015 update
This standard was initially published in 2004 and was then updated in 2015. Companies were given three years from the date of publication to make the transition.
The new version still helps companies to reduce waste, save energy and boost their reputation vis-à-vis clients and suppliers. The key difference is that it is now based on a high-level structure. This new framework facilitates the integration of the ISO 14001 standard with those of other management systems. This enables companies wanting to certify to several ISO standards that share the same structure to make savings in terms of both time and money.
What are the benefits of ISO 14001?
The primary advantage of implementing and certifying to the ISO 14001 standard is the chance for a company to create a robust and efficient environmental management system with which it can demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development. The certification of such a system is of benefit to companies both internally and externally.
At an internal level, ISO 14001:
- Helps a company to detect and address its weak points through a risk assessment of its environmental processes
- Increases productivity by offering greater control over processes
- Significantly reduces quality-related costs by guaranteeing compliance with environmental legislation
- Strengthens the relationships between departments as a result of the leadership and staff involvement required
- Enables improvements in product or service design through the checks carried out at every stage of their life cycle
At an external level, ISO 14001:
- Offers businesses a competitive advantage over market competitors
- Improves a company’s image by publicly demonstrating its environmental commitment
- Increases confidence among clients and end users
- Boosts access to new markets that value corporate environmental responsibility
Who is this standard targeted at?
The ISO 14001 standard is designed to apply to any company, regardless of its size, sector or geographical location. It is a voluntary standard; in other words, an organisation can decide for itself if it wishes to implement it. By doing so, the company’s environmental management system will offer added value to the business.
Why certify with Applus+ Certification?
Applus+ Certification is the Applus+ management-system certification unit. It is founded on the principles of independence and impartiality. Our end goal is to:
- Help our clients achieve and demonstrate their commitment to ongoing improvement
- Ensure that our clients’ products gain access to international markets
- Certify our clients’ compliance with the most exacting of standards by way of second-party and third-party audits