No one knows what is yet to come and how badly it can potentially be but it was a sure way for Mother Nature to communicate a clear message to humanity to wake up and stop being ignorant of what is at stake if we continually abuse the riches of the earth. And so to acknowledge and address this worsening situation, environmental management was created. It was actually created as early as the nineties but soared in popularity when the effects were so obvious in plain view.
Environmental management involves the process in which regulations are enforced to avoid damaging impacts to the environment as well as enforcing regulations that will be beneficial to the environment. Small business legal advice often includes guidance on these regulations. Organizations develop a management framework to help maintain environmental goals as the environment falls under every individuals responsibility.
As such ISO 14001 is the universally accepted standard in creating such a process and there are many ISO 14001 consultants that can help in business. This standard created by the International Organization for Standardization in implementing an Environmental Management System or EMS. It comes from a series 16 international ISO 14000 standards that serve as a framework to aid organizations in lessening the potential hazardous impact on the environment that can be integrated with other corporate processes to effectively achieve environmental and economic goals including the usage of natural resources, waste management and energy consumption. Though voluntary, organizations ultimately recognize it as a necessity. The beauty of ISO 14001 as a generic management system standard is that it can apply to any size and type of organization, no matter what type of product or service. It also applies to high to low risk service organizations alike as well as businesses in public and private sectors involved in manufacturing, process and service industries, while local governments are not excluded.
The basic principle of the ISO 14001 continual environmental improvement based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act system of Australia and New Zealand in 2004 that include 17 elements implemented in five phases which are environmental policy, planning, implementation and operation, checking & corrective action and lastly management review.
Plan, involves initial analysis of a company’s processes and products to effectively identify all elements of operation that may have an effect on the environment. The review aims to assist organization in making environmental objectives, goals and targets measurable and can identify legal requirements to be included in the process. Do is implementing the process itself. Check is identifying if the process has been a success while maintaining records to ensure that goals are achieved while aiming to ensure the consistent implementation of the process. Act is the process of altering procedures in place to improve results.
The benefits of implementing ISO 14001 does not merely address environmental concerns but also better compliance with legislative and regulatory law that diminishes the potential of being fined, better and more cost-efficient waste management, reduction in usage of resources as well as operating costs and being recognized internationally as an ISO 14001 compliant business for franchises over the world.
After having implemented the ISO 14001 environmental management system, businesses may have the option to undergo certification that involves evaluation of the EMS with a physical site visit from officials to see the standards were truly met. Once successful they are presented with certification that will be valid for three years. Various official boards and auditors all over the world can grant this.
Non-conformity to acquiring an EMS can be damaging to a company. It does not necessarily have to follow the standards of ISO 14001 yet following it can surely be advantageous. In fact, doing this in-house can be quite costly for a company due to a lack of experience and background. The best way to go about the matter is to hire an expert who can help reduce the cost. There are a number of established ISO 14001 consultants that can truly give you sound large or small business legal advice. An added advantage to hiring a consultant is that they already have an established network of bodies that help the certification process if not being an authorized body themselves. This also helps save on the legal costs one might procure in implementing EMS.