After implementation of ISO 9000 series standards which describe the quality management system model, it became clear, that, PDCA Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) may be applied to environmental management systems as well. Since the 1970s, more and more attention all over the world appears to be given to significance of society’s impact on environment. In 1992, British Standards Institution introduced the national environmental management standard BS 7750, as a basis for development of an international standard. The first version of the international standard ISO 14001 was published in 1996.
In 2004, the new version of ISO 14001 standard was published. ISO 14001 does not provide specific technological approaches and methods for environmental impact management, does not suggest particular environmental indicators, it determines general requirements for environment management systems.
The purpose of ISO 14001 is to ensure basis for complex strategic approach to the organization’s environment protection policy, organization’s plans and actions.
Environmental management system can be certified for compliance with ISO 14001 requirements.
Although this certification is voluntary, such assessment of environmental management system by independent, third party may be requested by consumers.
Environment Saving Principles
Main requirements of ISO 14001:2004 may be grouped as follows:
- Environmental Policy (including obligation to prevent Organization’s negative impact on environment);
- Environmental aspects, planning;
- Management review
- Legal and other requirements assessment;
- Implementation and operation;
- Competence and training of personnel and subcontractors;
- Emergency preparedness and response;
- Review of activity results;
Requirements of ISO 14001 can be implemented in addition to the requirements of ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 and requirements of other standards. At present, there is a tendency of management systems integration. Russian Register provides integrated management system certification for conformity to several standards at once – this will allow decrease and optimization of certification costs and receiving a more complex management system assessment. ISO 14001 standard is applied to nearly every organization, including organizations of the public sector of economy. Recently, the requirements of the standard have been increasingly implemented not only in industrial, transport, construction organizations, but also in service sector organizations – including organizations, whose activity is based on office work only.
BENEFITS OF IMPLEMENTATION AND CERTIFICATION
Benefits of implementing an environmental management system depend on whether organization affects environment directly or indirectly, but usually the following benefits are pointed out:
- More complex approach to environmental risk management, including reputation and financial risks in case of a non-conformity;
- Less bureaucratic red tape, a significant resource saving which is performed due to the most efficient strategy
- Minimization of negative impact of organization’s activities on environment;
- More effective and efficient audits, both internal and external
This standard contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals: