In our last post, we covered the basics of ISO 14001 including what you need to know about the new 2015 standard, how it can benefit your company, and how to get started.
Today we'll give you a top-level ISO 14001 implementation plan before initiating a new Environmental Management System or hiring a consulting company.
First, a quick recap:
- ISO 14001 is an international standard that outlines the requirements for an Environmental Management System (EMS).
- Key improvements in the 2015 revision include ensuring that environmental issues are addressed in strategic planning, considering the entire lifecycle of a product, and communicating transparently with suppliers and customers.
- Among other benefits, IS0 14001 compliance can help reduce your environmental impact, build trust with customers, and cut costs by reducing waste.
- An Environmental Management Information System (EMIS) helps automate time-consuming compliance tasks like completing audits, notifying staff of required actions, and creating CEO-ready reports.
[Again, here's that full post.]
Here’s an overview of how to get started with ISO 14001:
- Secure buy-in from senior management.
- Get a big picture overview of existing processes and systems around your environmental impact.
- Define your goals.
1. Secure buy-in from senior management
If your CEO or GM isn't already committed to ISO 14001 environmental management, your first step is to educate them and secure their support. There are a few things you can do to make this task easier.
Studies show that managers often dismiss good ideas when they don't see how it's relevant to the organization's objectives. Your job, then, is to get inside your boss’ head.
For example, if your boss is especially cost-conscious, you might explain that ISO 14001 compliance can lower insurance rates and reduce waste. If your company's been pushing to expand their investor base, you might explain that ISO 14001 compliance can help you capture sustainability-minded European investors.
Then, bolster your argument with evidence from similar companies. Download National Grid’s success story to help you make your case.
Once you're confident that you have support from those at the top, you can move on to the next step.
2. Get an overview of your existing environmental processes & systems
If you already have an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place, many of the new ISO 14001:2015 requirements will overlap your current efforts.
That’s why, before you jump in and start implementing, you should conduct a gap analysis. A gap analysis is a way to figure out what you're already doing and what you need to do.
During the planning phase, you’ll also need to identify your environmental impacts, risks, and opportunities. You should also take stock of your existing resources, including environmental management software.
From there, you can establish a plan for aligning your current EMS with ISO 14001:2015.
3. Define your goals
What do you want to accomplish with ISO 14001? These goals will give you a clear target as you’re working toward improving your EMS.
In addition to your organization’s objectives, your stakeholders should also play a role in determining which goals are most important. By connecting with your employees, regulators, customers, and suppliers, you’ll get a better picture of which environmental actions matter most to your organization.
Perillon is committed to helping you succeed with the new ISO 14001 standard. to make sure you don’t miss any steps. You’ll save time and stay organized, and you can share this checklist with your team so everyone’s on the same page.