An Environmental Management System is ISO 14001 Certification, the key objective of ISO 14001 provides the requirements for Environmental Management and enhancement of environmental performance. The key objective of this EMS Standard is to protections of the environment from pollution and further focus on inefficient use of resources, improper waste management, climate change, degradation of ecosystems, and loss of biodiversity. which are directly or indirectly affecting the environment. Also, this ISO 14001 standard focused on thinking of life-cycle perspectives of the products. That is after the end of the life of the product that could not affect the environment.
So that at the time of designing and developing the product, the organization must think about it after the end of the life of the product it should not affect the environment. So Select the raw material of the product in such a way that, after the end of the life of the product, it can be recycled or re-used in some other ways or it can be disposed of in such a way that, it could not affect the environments in any means. We can say that the overall objective of ISO 14001 Standard is to the protection of the environment.
How an Environmental Management system contributes to environmental protection as the key objective of this ISO 14001 Standard?
As we understood the key objective of the ISO 14001 standard is environmental protection. ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System Standard, has several requirements out of which few requirements are specific to Environmental Management. So, when an organization Implements ISO 14001 Standard the organization further planning for ISO 14001 Certification from ISO 14001 certification bodies in India (i.e OSS Certification). As per expert’s view, ISO 14001 certification is two key tools for an organization to demonstrate, such as
- Demonstrate that all the possible environmental protections are effectively implemented in the organization along with applicable compliance obligations
- Demonstrate that the ISO 14001 Certified Organization consistently monitors the environmental performance of the organization
Now, let’s, understand, how the Environmental Management System contributes to environmental protection.
Key requirements of ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System are
- Environmental Aspects Identification and Its environmental impact analysis.
- Identification of Internal and External issues of the organization which are affecting environmental protections
- Identification of applicable compliance Obligations
- Considering the Life cycle perceptive of products considering the end of life of products
Further elaborating the above concepts with a few examples
The terms environmental aspect is a component of an organization’s operations, goods, or services that interact with the environment or have the potential to do so, causing an impact on the environment.
Organization having DG set in the organization to support the operations in case of power failure. When DG set in operation during a power failure, there could be following environmental aspects are possible
- Consumption of fuels (diesel, lubricants)
- Noise – creates Noise Pollution if, it is above the permissible limit
- Smoke – Creates the Air Pollution
- Consumption fuels (diesel, lubricants)- Cause the depletion of natural resources
So, similar to these environmental aspects, there could be several other possible environmental aspects present in the process, activities, products & services of the organization. Which interacts with the environment and may cause pollution. So, while implementing ISO 14001 standards in the organization. The organization identifies all all-possible environmental aspects and does the Environmental impact analysis, taking the necessary control measure to protect the environment to meet the objective of ISO 14001 Certification.
Identification of Internal and External issues of the organization which are affecting environmental protections
An External issue of the organization could be technology, Environmental regulations, social and Cultural, etc, etc.
Considering that an organization has a manufacturing facility – where Machinery and equipment are old technology – which – Consumed huge power as compared to the new available Technology. Produced huge Noise while running, frequent breakdowns, and maintenance requirements.
In the above case, using old technology may cause environmental pollution by interacting with the environment. An organization is affected to meet the objective of ISO 14001 -Environmental Management.
So the organization has to work out on thinking of External Issues (Technology). Similarly, the organization thinks about other issues which are potentially affecting environmental management.
Considering the Life cycle perceptive of products considering the end of life of products.
While designing, developing of product, or selecting raw materials the organization takes into consideration the end of life of the product. After the end of life – when the organization or end user of the product during disposal of the product, it should not create any impact on the environment. So, the objective is to protect the environment from any kind of environmental pollution direct or indirect.
With the above examples, now, we have understood the objective of ISO 14001. Now the important points are that. How the organization can implement ISO 14001 standards the organization and further know what is iso 14001 certification and why it is crucial? also how long does it take to get iso 14001 certifications? So, in continuation of the above discussion. We are taking the further opportunity to explain – what is iso 14001 certification and who needs the iso 14001 certificates. So, one by one all these points will be explained below.
What is ISO 14001 Certification And Why It Is Essential?
ISO 14001 certification is one of the ISO Certification for Environmental Management Systems. Where the organization has adopted the ISO 14001 Standard in the organization intending to further enhance the environmental performance of the organization. Also, the organization has implemented the necessary -Policy, Procedure, Environmental aspects & Impact Analysis, Compliance Obligations, necessary Training on environmental management, and Internal Audit and Management review meeting. Once Implementation and necessary documentation are completed. The organization applies for ISO Certification for Environmental Management System to ISO Certification Bodies in India (i.e OSS Certification) to get ISO 14001 Certified.
Where the certification body sends the proposal i.e ISO 14001 Certification Cost to the applicant organization. After acceptance of proposal Cost. The ISO Certification body Plan for ISO 14001 Certification Audit. Based on Audit Findings, the organization is awarded ISO 14001 Certification. During ISO 14001 Certification Audit, the Audit Team Looks at the effectiveness of the implementation of EMS along with how the organization is monitoring environmental performance and meets the objective of ISO 14001, i.e protecting the environment and meeting the compliance obligations.
What is iso 14001 certification and why it is important – as we have explained above ISO 14001 Certification is one of the ISO Certification activities. Where the two key activities are important – 1. Implementation & Documentation. 2. ISO 14001 Certification Audit Conducted by ISO Certification bodies in India or anywhere as per geographical location of the organization may be India (Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Nagpur, etc so on.) Similar to the USA, UK, Canada, Nigeria, Dubai, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, etc.
So that is not much important, where the organization is located and where is Certification Body. Nowadays considering ICT, the ISO Certification Audit is Possible anywhere across the Locations. So most importantly, how the applicant organization selects the certification Body – i.e Criteria of selection. generally, the organization Looks for ISO 14001 Certification Cost, Credibility of the ISO Certification Body, and recommendations of the Customer. Apart from these points, some organizations are specific to how the Certification Body Audit Team, adds value to the organization while ISO 14001 Certification Audit, irrespective of Cost and credibility of CAB.
Now Let’s explain why it is important (i.e. ISO 14001 Certification) – As per the above discussion. it was explaining the environmental management System is important for Environmental protection. Also, to demonstrate the contributions of the organization towards environmental protection. Enhancement of legal compliances and overall environmental performance of the organization.
Who Do We Need ISO 14001 Certifications?
As per the Expert’s view, every organization needs ISO 14001 Certification, when there are activities in the organization. which is the potential for creating environmental impact, further turning to pollution. Also, the organization wanted to reduce the cost of energy wastage, improve waste management, and improve legal compliance-related environmental management. So, the Needs of ISO 14001 Certification is necessary for the organization – such as the Construction industry, Manufacturing Industry, Hospitals, Hotel Industry, etc, So on.
How Long Does It Take To Get ISO 14001 Certifications?
As such, there is no time limit fixed for getting iso 14001 certifications. It all depends on the organization’s size, nature, activities, and Complexity. Along with how much the organization is taking time for the implementation of requirements of ISO 14001 Standard. For Example, one organization Located in Delhi, looking for ISO Certification in Delhi for Environmental Management Systems and Certification Bodies is also located in Delhi. So, In this case, the time taken for Certification can be reduced only by the travel time of the Audit. Because the Applicant organization and CAB both are in the same place. But this travel time does not have much impact on the entire certification process.
In nutshell, we can say that Time for ISO 14001 Certification is a Combination of Implementation (at Organization) and time taken by the Certification Body ( Audit Planning, Onsite Audit, Certification Decision & award of Certification).
For a complete guide on ISO 14001, read- A Complete Guide for ISO 14001 Certification for Beginners