What is ISO 14001? : Environmental Management System Standards

An organisation that holds an ISO 14001 certification means it complies with international environmental quality assurance standards and regulations set to enable companies and organisations to minimise their ecological impact.

Key facts and benefits of ISO 14001  

What is it?

ISO 14001 is the international specification for an environmental management system (EMS) which helps your organisation identify, prioritise, and manage your environmental risks as part of your normal business practices and quality assurance processes.

Who can use it?

The environmental management certification can be used by any organisation, irrespective of their size or geographical location.

Why is it important to your organisation?

A certification allows your organisation to realise the following ISO 14001 benefits: 

  • Reduce cost: As it requires commitment to continual improvement of the EMS, setting improvement objectives will help the drive for more efficient use of raw materials, so helping reduce costs.
  • Manage legal compliance: ISO 14001 certification can help reduce the effort required to manage legal compliance and improve the management of your environmental risks.
  • Reduce duplication of effort: Your management system can integrate the requirements of this and other management standards into a single business system, reducing duplication and costs.
  • Manage your reputation: The certification can help reduce the risks associated with any costs or damage to your reputation associated with clean-ups or litigation. It builds your public image towards clients, regulatory bodies, and key stakeholders, and increases your organisation’s level of environmental quality assurance.
  • Become a supplier of choice & lever competitive advantage: Securing an ISO:14001 certification enables you to work with companies who put an emphasis on environmentally friendly organisations and environmental quality assurance.
  • Integrate seamlessly: ISO 14001 is management system based – the standard is underpinned by the ‘Plan Do Check Act’ cycle that is common with other management system standards, thus enabling its seamless integration with ISO 9001 (Quality), OHSAS 18001 (Health & Safety), and other management systems based standards.

ISO 14001 benefits with LRQA Business Assurance 

LRQA is accredited to issue certificates to the ISO 14001 standard throughout all sectors and has been involved in its technical development. This means that whatever your line of business is, we have been recognised as having the capability and knowledge to provide you an effective service.

LRQA Business Assurance helps you manage your business challenges, systems and risks to improve and protect your current and future environmental performance and meet your stakeholders’ needs.

  • Our in-depth understanding and the technical expertise of our assessors enables us to deliver tangible benefits to our clients through a structured project management approach.
  • We know that good communication is pivotal in delivering transparency through every step of the EMS process. We work with our clients and set clear expectations to all parties on deliverables.
  • LRQA delivers both certification and training services to ISO 14001.

How Can LRQA Help? 

Our unique methodology, Business Assurance, helps organisations manage their systems and risks to improve and protect their current and future performance. We provide certification and training across all of the major QMS standards. For organisations with other standards, we can often offer integrated assessments, thus delivering savings on both time and money.

ISO 14001:2015 - One year to go

The implications of failing to transition to 2015 versions of the standards by this date are that:

  • Your organisation may no longer claim to be approved by your respective certification body 

  • You may no longer accept orders in which your approval is a condition of contract and you must notify customers with whom you have contracts for which approval is a contractual requirement, that your approval is no longer valid 
  • You may no longer promote your certification and you must withdraw from circulation any documents bearing your certification body’s approval mark

These insights from our clients, assessors, and client services teams will help you through a smooth transition journey.

8 things that you can do now that will make your transition easier  Frequently asked questions 
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