What is ISO 14001?
According to ISO14001.com, “The ISO 14001 standard specifies a process for the control and the continuous improvement of an organization’s environmental performance. The management tool enables an organization to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products and services; to continuously improve its environmental performance; and, to implement a systematic approach to set and achieve environmental objectives and targets.”
Essentially, the family of ISO 14001 standards addresses different aspects of environmental management within each company. Additionally, it provides useful tools for companies to who are seeking to help control and reduce their environmental impact
In 2015, ISO 14001 has been updated to include the following new features and guidelines:
- “Annex SL structure: ISO 14001:2015 employs the high-level Annex SL structure, which standardizes the document’s terminology and layout to better align with other ISO quality management systems.
- Organizational context: ISO 14001:2015 places more emphasis on the larger context the organization is working in and establishes environmental management priorities accordingly.
- Risks and opportunities: ISO 14001:2015 introduces the concept of risk and opportunity as a planning tool, with an emphasis on potential threats — such as failing to meet compliance obligations — and potential benefits inherent to environmental management.
- Leadership: ISO 14001:2015 requires increased buy-in from top-level management, particularly in ensuring overall business objectives are consistent with the organization’s environmental management goals” (source).
What is the Impact of 14001?
There have been quite a handful of impacts from ISO 14001 over the years. Although, most impact can been seen in countries that were less regulated in the environmental sector to begin with. For instance, according to a study conducted by The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA, after surveying a dozen different countries, countries like the USA experienced fewer environmental impacts than countries like China.
This is because countries like they USA has historically been more regulated and stricter with regulations compared to other countries with looser guidelines. Places like China have reported “very substantial” impacts on environmental impacts compared to the USA who have reposted “moderate” impacts (source).
What are the Benefits of 14001?
There is a wide range of benefits companies can experience through implementing ISO 14001. Below we outline the greatest benefits for following and implementing ISO 14001:
- Companies can experience an increased desire for their services and products since they have environmental regulations in place.
- Lowering business costs since waste and resources are conserved and limited.
- Great reduction on company’s environmental impact and lowering environmental risk.
- Meeting environmental legal requirements to keep the company in good standing.
- Improves social responsibility to the environment and its people.
- Creating a positive and respectable image for important stakeholders, customers, and employees.