ISO 14001

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The acronym ISO 14001 identifies an environmental management standard which defines the requirements of an environmental management system and is applicable to any kind of organisation. The standard can be used for certification, self-declaration or simply as an internal guideline for an environmental management system.

Certification

The ISO 14001 standard (translated in Italian as UNI EN ISO 14001:2015) is a certifiable standard, which means an accredited certification body can certify compliance with its requirements. ISO 14001 certification is not mandatory but voluntary for any company or organisation which decides to establish, implement, maintain and improve its own environmental management system.

This certification demonstrates that the organisation has implemented a suitable management system designed to keep the environmental impact of its activities under control and that it systematically seeks to improve it in a coherent, effective and above all sustainable manner.

Requirements

Based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, ISO 14001 specifies the most important requirements to identify, control and monitor environmental aspects, and how to manage and improve the system as a whole.

Plan: This involves introducing and maintaining procedures to:

  • Identify the environmental aspects of the organisation
  • Identify and define the criteria for applying the legislation
  • Define, implement and maintain the environmental objectives and targets and the relative environmental schemes

Do: This consists of actually implementing what is defined in the policy, the objectives/targets and environmental schemes

Check: The activities which are defined and implemented in the previous stages must undergo appropriate verification to demonstrate and monitor the efficacy and correct implementation of the management system.

Act:  These are the measures taken to ultimately define and/or improve a process and are established following periodic revision by Management.

Benefits

A certified environmental management system naturally brings with it a series of benefits which we can sum up as follows:

  • Legal compliance is controlled and maintained and environmental performance monitored
  • There is less waste (water consumption, energy resources, …)
  • It is a tool which helps when making decisions about investments or technological change
  • It helps create and perpetuate company value
  • It helps safeguard the company’s assets and transparency in acquisitions and mergers (risk management)
  • It ensures a systematic and premeditated approach to environmental emergencies
  • Better relationship and communication with the authorities
  • Enhanced company image and reputation
  • Measures are defined and taken to prevent environmental crimes

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