Purpose

The objective of an Environmental Management System has always been to preserve the environment, making the impacts of organizations compatible and generating, as a consequence, economic benefits for companies.  ISO 14001 was restructured according to the new “High Structure Level” in 2015 and the system has become fully integrable with any new generation ISO standard (ISO 9001:2015, ISO 27001:2013 etc.).

Where to start

At the basis of an environmental management system is the Initial Environmental Analysis, i.e. an assessment of the main impacts of the company on the environment. This document is fundamental to establish the starting point for the planning of adjustments to the standard and objectives.

In the new ISO 14001:2015 standard is introduced the concept of “Life Cycle Product”, which requires the company to evaluate its own, in relation to the entire life cycle of the service/product, taking into account suppliers used, materials, transport methods, production phases, distribution and finally disposal methods.

What does an Environmental Management System entail?

Environmental certification is based on a strong regulatory requirement, so the management system must focus on continuous control of the requirements generated by the regulations as well as compliance with the certification standard.

What are the minimum documents and records of an Environmental Management System?

Here are the documents to be produced to comply with ISO 14001:

Scope of EMS (point 4.3)
Environmental policy (point 5.2)
Risks and opportunities to be addressed and processes required (point 6.1.1)
Criteria for the assessment of significant environmental aspects (point 6.1.2)
Environmental aspects with associated environmental impacts (Section 6.1.2)
Significant environmental aspects (Section 6.1.2)
Environmental objectives and plans to achieve them (Section 6.2)
Operational control (Section 8.1)
Emergency preparedness and response (Section 8.2)

In addition, here are the mandatory records:

Recording of compliance obligations (point 6.1.3)
Records of training, skills, experience and qualifications (Section 7.2)
Evidence of communication (point 7.4)
Monitoring and measurement results (Section 9.1.1)
Internal audit programme (Section 9.2)
Results of internal audits (Section 9.2)
Results of management review (Section 9.3)
Results of corrective actions (point 10.1)