Popular misconceptions about ISO14001

ISO 14001 is the international environmental management Standard. It is often thought that only companies who are high polluters should register for accreditation. That is not the case. Any company that produces waste of any description or uses electricity, gas or oil in the operation of its business should go for accreditation. Also if the company uses significant quantities of raw materials including water they should consider going for ISO14001 Accreditaion.
Most companies already have an Environmental Policy Statement in place. There are two main pieces of work that have to be carried out. One is what is called an environmental aspect impact audit, where the business is assessed as to what its environmental impacts are for the various different types of pollution. Having done this audit measurable, meaningful and achievable improvement targets have to be set for the main areas of significant impact.
These are reviewed at the management review meetings which must take place at least annually.
The other major area which has to be assessed is legal compliance against all environmental regulations and acts which are relevant to the business. Some examples of these are the Waste Management Regulations 2011, the Packaging Regulations and the WEEE Regulations.
Companies who are already accredited to ISO9001 are able to combine the two sets of procedures into an integrated management system which can then be assessed for the two standards.