ISO 14001:2015 - NQA

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ContentsIntroduction to the StandardP04Benefits of implementationP06PDCA cycleP07Risk based thinking / auditsP08Annex SLP10SECTION 1: ScopeP11SECTION 2: Normative referencesP12SECTION 3: Terms of definitionP13SECTION 4: Context of organizationP14SECTION 5: LeadershipP16SECTION 6: PlanningP18SECTION 7: SupportP20SECTION 8: OperationP22SECTION 9: Performance evaluationP24SECTION 10: ImprovementP28Get the most from your managementP30Next steps once implementedP32How else can we assistP33ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE3

INTRODUCTIONTO THE STANDARD4The International Standard ISO 14001:2015defines criteria for an EnvironmentalManagement System (EMS); which ifimplemented and maintained effectively,can provide an organization withreassurance that environmental risk isbeing managed and improved.ISO 14001 requires effective demonstration thata systematic approach has been taken to preventpollution and to have processes in order to manageenvironmental risk. Once a policy framework hasbeen put into place along with processes to facilitatethe organizations’ commitment, the Standard thenasks an organization to audit, review and improvethe system to affirm that a commitment to continuousimprovement is being achieved.ISO 14001 is applicable to any organizationregardless of size, sector or geographical location.Whilst the Standard sets out a framework forenvironmental management, it has been devisedto give flexibility to apply to all companies andorganizations.The Standard fundamentally comes in two parts;“The Standard” and then “Annexes” which providehelp and explanation.ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

A Brief history of ISO 14001Back in the 1970’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s,an ever increasing worldwideconcern for protecting theenvironment was emerging.As a result of this, a numberof international treaties andcountry specific “codes ofpractice” were published toprovide organizations with aframework for environmentalpollution mitigation. In 1992,the British Standards Institutepublished BS 7750 (based on thethen quality Standard BS 5750– now ISO 9001). This providedthe foundations and templateas to what became ISO 14001Environmental managementsystems - Specification withguidance for use.The ISO 14001 Standard has beenthrough a number of revisions sinceit was first published in 1996. ISOStandards are reviewed every five yearsto establish if a revision is required inorder to keep them current and relevant. Strengthening of the leadershipcommitment from “Top Management”.The current Standard, ISO 14001:2015,responds to the increasing need formanagement systems to be integratedby using “Annex SL”, a common formatfor management ISO’s. Other keyimprovements in the 2015 Standardinclude: Clearer and effective communication,driven through a communicationsplan. Environmental management tobe more aligned with the strategicdirection of the organization. A life-cycle perspective of theorganization. Asking for an appreciation ofexternal and internal elements thatmay influence how environmentalmanagement is conducted. Understanding the needs of internaland external parties who may interactwith the organization and the EMS.ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE5

BENEFITS OFIMPLEMENTATIONAll “management ISO’s” have a similar fundamental benefit. They provide a framework ofaction that; if implemented appropriately, provides internal control. In the case of ISO 14001the execution of the standard provides control for an organization’s activities, products orservices and the interaction with the environment. This, in turn can increase the long termviability of the organization and where appropriate a higher regard for its asset value.Whilst there other numerous benefits to achieving ISO 14001(and some will be more appropriate depending upon whatsector an organization operates) the following benefits arelikely in most cases:1. Demonstration of LeadershipBy testing environmental controls against the internationallyrecognized environmental Standard, an organizationdemonstrates ethical environmental leadership to theirStakeholders which includes customers, employees andRegulators. The achievement of 14001 also providesassurance to a Board of Directors, Trustees or owners thatthere is management control regarding environmental risksinherent within an organization.3. Internal audit and Management ReviewISO 14001 provides the framework to check what controlshave been put into place through the use of internal auditand provides a way in which to monitor and improve. AManagement Review process then allows Top Managementto take a “step back” and determine how well the system isworking within the context of the organization and whetherit requires modification to meet future changes in a process,resources or regulatory framework. Internal audits andManagement Reviews when combined with an audit from acertification body, such as NQA, provide assurance that theEMS is meeting the requirements of the organization and theISO 14001 Standard.2. Economic benefitIn a global market place where all sectors have to compete insome form or other, demonstration of ethical environmentalleadership through “good environmental stewardship”, canbe the deciding factor for being selected to supply the goodsor services that an organization provides. Having ISO 14001also may give a Unique Selling Point (USP) that increasinglyprovides one of the fundamentals when promoting anorganization.A fundamental part of the Standard is conformanceto appropriate environmental regulatory requirementsor other obligations that are deemed as important asa regulatory requirement. A system which checks onadherence to legislation mitigates the risk of environmentalliability prosecution. Whilst this is not a direct saving toan organization, the outcome of unregulated activitiesthat deleteriously affect the environment will result in everincreasing fines.Most organizations or businesses consume resources ofone form or another. Whilst the Standard doesn’t direct anorganization to measure something specifically, examiningthe resources that are consumed, for example energy,together with waste produced can lead to changes in use andfundamental savings.6ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

PDCA CYCLEPlan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) is an iterative, four-stage approach for achieving continualimprovement. It involves systematically testing possible solutions, assessing the results, andimplementing the ones that are shown to work.At the “heart” of this approach is leadership. The importance of leadership at all levels, but particularly by Top Management,cannot be underestimated to operate an EMS successfully, to achieve performance levels required and generatecontinual improvement.In the context of an EMS, PDCA is translated into the following:Plan:Do:Check: Act:Understand the context of the organization,establish environmental objectives andprocesses necessary to deliver resultsin accordance with the organization’senvironmental policy, understand risk andopportunities and determine the supportrequired to achieve the outcomes required.Implement theprocesses as plannedto include operationalplanning and controland emergencypreparedness andresponse.Monitor, measure andevaluate environmentalperformance to includeinternal audit andManagement Review.Take actionsto continuallyimprove to includeaddressing nonconformity.CONTEXT OF THE ORGANIZATIONSCOPE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMSUPPORT &OPERATIONPlanINTERNAL &EXTERNAL NEEDS ANDEXPECTATIONSOF RELEVANTINTERESTEDPARTIESCheckIMPROVEMENTINTENDED OUTCOMES OF THEENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE7

RISK BASEDTHINKING/AUDITSThe Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle for process improvement, as described above,corresponds to proven risk management approaches. Many organizations have the process ofrisk management as a fundamental process particularly around information technology, financeand occupational health and safety.Context:The first step of implementing an EMS, as described below, isto gain an understanding the “context” of the organization or,paraphrasing, the macro issues that affect and are affected byan organization. As an organization is subject to a variety ofinfluences, which can change, this can lead to risks in the formof potential threats and opportunities. Determining the risksthat derive from this drives an organization to consider suchchanges or events, analyse their impacts and chances of anevent occurring and then encouraging a planning or mitigationstrategy.Environmental aspects andoperational control:Following the determination of the macro issues, 14001 asks anorganization to determine the aspects and impacts of activities,products and services in some form of risk assessment process.This analysis informs an organization where there are significantissues (risks or opportunities) that need careful management,where objectives need setting, controls that need designing orwhere and to what frequency internal audits need carrying out.Planning – risk andopportunities:Those organizations that need further assistance in ensuringthat their risk assessment process is comprehensive canlook towards ISO 31000 Risk management - Principles andguidelines. This provides generic guidelines although it is notintended to promote uniformity of risk management acrossorganizations. Of course, the design and implementation ofrisk management plans and frameworks will need to takeinto account the varying needs of a specific organization, itsparticular objectives, context, structure, operations, processes,functions, projects, products, services, or assets and specificpractices employed.Continual improvement:A risk based philosophy means that an organization can bebetter prepared for the impacts of uncertainty, which in turnmeans greater resilience. Moreover, risk-based thinking implicitlyresults in continual improvement, as an organization is alwaysexamining potential influences and changes.Planning – complianceobligations:Surrounding the determination of aspects and impacts is theassessment of whether an organization is complying withtheir legal framework. The concept of maintaining knowledgeand understanding of its compliance status has built in riskassessment principles so that an organization can determineits compliance status and, per se, understand where it is notcomplying and therefore devise strategies to minimise the risk.8ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE

PROCESS BASEDTHINKING/AUDITSome organizations that implement an EMS will look to integrate it with their QualityManagement System (QMS). If this is the case, they will have heard of “process based”thinking. However, if not, it might be less understood how the process approach isapplicable to the EMS requirements in ISO 14001:2015.The ISO 9001 requirements for a QMS are founded on sevenquality management principles, and one of these is the“process approach”. It is explained fully in the introduction ofISO 9001:2015, but as a paraphrased summation; a processapproach is where more consistent results can be attained whenconsideration and management of activities are carried out asinterrelated processes, which together, make up a system.The process approach applies to an EMS because acomprehensive appreciation of an organizations processes andtheir interrelation needs to be known. The following are the mainareas in an EMS where process thinking is attributable: Context:A comprehensive appreciation of processes needs to beunderstood when considering the macro environmentalissues which interrelate between the organization and theenvironment. Environmental aspects and operational controls:In order to determine environmental aspects and impacts,risks and opportunities, an analysis of the inputs, activitiesand outputs needs to be determined. As part of the analysisthe interactivity of one or more of the processes may needto be taken into account. If it is not, this environmental riskassessment may omit environmental aspects and impactswhich in turn would result in no controls being devised. Thiscould result in a deleterious impact upon the environment. Performance and monitoring:In order to determine how successful a process is the result ofthe process (good/bad) needs to be evaluated. Support/competence:In order to undertake a process, or a number of processeseffectively, a person needs to be competent. Whendetermining environmental competence needs, competencewill need to be obtained or matched to the needs of theparticular processes. If competence is not proven orappropriate to a particular process this could result in adverseenvironmental impact. Internal audit:The processes which comprise the EMS need to besystematically audited over a time and frequency to determinewhether they perform effectively. Corrective action:A corrective action is an opportunity to correct a problemidentified in an EMS. A process approach to this will startat root cause and finish at an appropriate and satisfactorysustainable solution. ISO 14001:2015 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE9

ANNEX SLAnnex SL provides the new common architecture for ISO Management System Standards.It replaces ISO’s Guide 83, which provided a structure and text for management systemStandards. Guide 83 started to address the issues that many organizations had whenintegrating such Standards as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001.Annex SL takes the principles within Guide 83 and creates auniversal high-level

The ISO 14001 Standard has been through a number of revisions since it was first published in 1996. ISO Standards are reviewed every five years to establish if a revision is required in order to keep them current and relevant. The current Standard, ISO 14001:2015, responds to the increasing need for management systems to be integrated by using “Annex SL”, a common format for management ISO .

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