ISO 14001

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are the foundation of the ISO 14000 group of international environmental management standards. Since the 14001 EMS includes everyone in the organization and all aspects of the organization that affect the environment, it can improve an organization's environmental performance in many ways. This improved performance comes at a cost to the organization, a cost which can be recovered by aggressively seeking benefits. Protecting the environment by coming into compliance or, ideally, going beyond compliance reduces waste and reduces costs and inefficiencies. It preserves natural resources and reduces the cost of finding new and more resources. It makes greater use of materials already purchased and reduces purchasing costs. It makes for cleaner emissions and reduces the severity of spills, leaks, and other accidents. Reducing these events reduces permitting costs, remediation costs, worker comp costs, insurance costs, law suit costs and fines, and many other costs and fees. Protecting the environment involves purchasing smaller amounts of materials or purchasing less toxic materials. These purchasing choices reduce OSHA reporting and record-keeping requirements and costs. These choices improve worker safety and morale, leading to more productive workers. Purchasing less hazardous materials reduces the need for and the costs associated with the need for special equipment, special training, and specially designed storage areas. These purchasing practices also reduce the cost of disposal. Protecting the environment by going beyond compiance helps keep regulators and inspectors out of the plant.

Benefits of ISO 14001
ISO 14001 certification may bring various rewards to a company, most of which can ultimately provide a financial advantage to the company. Seven potential rewards are explored below, but this list could be expanded.
First, many firms are hoping that, in return for obtaining ISO 14001 certification (and the actions required to do so), regulatory agencies will give them more favorable treatment. For example, businesses are hoping for less stringent filing, or less monitoring, or even less severe sanctions for violations of environmental laws.
Many regulatory agencies have suggested that the ISO 14001 certificate may be classified as a voluntary audit program that will, in turn, qualify a business for leniency in filing or monitoring requirements or even, less severe sanctions for violations of environmental regulations. In fact, some states have already acted to provide such leniency. For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) grants regulatory relief to companies that conduct voluntary environmental compliance audits. If a company, local government body, or an individual completes an environmental compliance audit and discovers a problem, discloses the problem to the PA DEP, and takes action to correct the problem, the DEP will not take civil or criminal action. James M. Seif, secretary of the PA DEP stated, "Our policy is centered on one simple premise: You find it, you fix it, you tell us—no penalty." At least 14 other states have adopted legislation or policies to encourage voluntary environmental audit programs and to limit penalties associated with violations discovered in the process of those audits. Those states include Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming.
In a country that has not adopted legislation or policies to provide regulatory relief to businesses that implement an EMS, a business can at least benefit from an enhanced relationship with environmental regulatory agencies and regulated businesses. A cordial and cooperative relationship between the business and regulators can be valuable in many instances.
A second benefit to businesses that choose to become certified to ISO 14001 is that substantial numbers of citizens can be influenced in their buying decisions. Obtaining ISO 14000 certification is a way for companies to demonstrate their environmental stewardship and accountability to the public.
Third, ISO 14000 certification can attract investors to the business organization. A growing number of individual investors as well as investment managers and managers of mutual funds search for environmentally responsible businesses.
Fourth, the company may save money on insurance premiums. For example, some insurance companies give reduced rates on insurance to cover accidental pollution releases if the insured company has successfully implemented an EMS.
Fifth, actions taken in the process of implementing the EMS are likely to reduce the likelihood of toxic spills endangering employees and members of the community.
Sixth, financial institutions are sensitive to environmental risks and their impact on collateral. ISO 14001 may help a corporation obtain loans and protect it from allegations of investor fraud.
Seventh, by implementing an EMS, a company may realize internal cost savings as a result of waste reduction, use of fewer toxic chemicals, reduced energy use, and recycling.

ISO 14001 Steps to certification :

If you’re new to standards , don’t worry, it’s still a simple process.

1. Choose the standard
You’ll need a copy of the standard before you can start preparing for your application. You should read it and familiarize yourself with it.
2. Make contact
We're keen to deliver what you need, whatever stage you are at with Standard. Get in touch by email or phone and we'll identify the best services for you.
3. Meet your assessment team
We’ll assign you a Client Manager, who will be your main point of contact throughout the process – and beyond. They’ll have an excellent understanding of your business area and will support you as you move forward to the assessment and registration of your standard management system.
4. Consider presentation
Whether you want to implement a management system or increase your general awareness of the standard, our new range of awareness covers every aspect of the chosen international standard.
5. Review and assessment
We can do a desktop review of your existing management system against the standard to identify omissions or weaknesses that need resolving before formal assessment. Once these have been addressed, we’ll conduct a full on-site assessment.
6. Certification and beyond
Once the assessment has been successfully completed, we’ll help you to get a certificate of registration, clearly explaining the scope of your certification. This is valid for three years and your assessor will visit regularly to help you stay compliant and support the continual improvement of your systems.