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Environmental Management Systems

Requirements with guidance for use

BS EN ISO 14001 : Environmental Management Systems – Requirements with guidance for use

The second of the original Management System Standards, and in my mind pretty essential if you are in any business with a significant environmental impact, and don’t want to end up fined or in prison. Environmental issues are a highly-visible hot topic, and need to be taken very seriously indeed. The media loves a good story based on contravention. The latest revision, ISO 14001:2015, was released in final draft form in September 2015. We’ve blogged on this new revision here.

What’s it all about ?

This was the second of the Management System Standards to be written and is now very well established. It’s pretty essential if you are in any business with a significant environmental impact, and don’t want to end up heavily fined or in prison. Environmental issues are now a highly visible, “hot topic”. And the media loves a good story based on contravention and pollution. ISO14001:2015 seeks to further integrate the standard into the mainstream life of business, so the whole area is certainly gaining in significance in organisations large and small.

Why would my business want approval against this standard ?

This standard is almost mandatory if you want to sell into government or local government based organisations.
Tenders – most tenders now ask about this standard. Being able to give a positive answer and show that you are certified by a UKAS accredited certification body will give you more points during the tender adjudication, and hence improve your chances of winning.

Many organisations now have environmental improvement targets in place. These targets can include the performance of their suppliers and sub-contractors. Hence your customer may be reliant on you gaining certification and improving your environmental impact.

Most environmental good practice is now backed by legislation, so if you aren’t compliant you risk being fined as indicated above. An ISO 14001 based environmental management system should put the controls in place to make sure this doesn’t happen, and ensure that your systems stay up to date with the latest legislation.

How long would it take us to become approved ?

That depends on the activities completed in your business, and whether you are already complying with legislation. However, ISO Consultants can usually produce an Environmental Management System written around your business, audit it’s implementation to make sure it is compliant with ISO 14001 and get it through a UKAS approved certification with 8 days of our assistance. Implementation is usually most successful when completed over 6-8 weeks.

What am I likely to need to do ??

In short, identify the areas of your activities which have a significant environmental impact and develop appropriate controls to reduce that impact. This tends to have three general areas of focus :
Waste. The removal of waste needs to follow strict guidelines and be well controlled.
Pollution. The aspects of your activities which may cause pollution needs to be identified and controls developed
Energy.  Use needs to be under controlled and reduced where possible/feasible.

What is this likely to cost ??

Our fees are based on a day rate. The number of days are based on your activities, but are typically 6-8 days for a small business.
Certification by a UKAS approved body is likely to cost £ 4-5000 for a three year certificate.

Good management systems are always written around the unique nature of your business, so we will embrace and formalise your current best practice, as well as ensuring compliance in key areas that hold legal implications.

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