You might have read a lot about ISO 9001 and its documentation process. These days, another ISO standard is getting much attention from the businesses. Yes, we are talking about ISO 14001 Standard. This article is going to reveal some important facts about the documentation of the ISO 14001 standard.

Do you know that the ISO 14001 standard requires no formal procedure? It is concerned only for the outcomes of the environmental processes running within an organisation. Experts, often opine from their previous experience that certain documentation is important when you want to develop an Environmental Management System or EMS having compliance to the ISO 14001 certification. Documentation is important mainly for two reasons:

• So that you can avail relevant knowledge to your employees who must be competent about how to do things
• For providing a trail for your internal and external audit purposes

In this context, it is important to note that you should not overburden your documentation. It may lead you to a useless EMS. You should do exactly what is relevant and important but it does not mean that you can make the system oppressive and overloaded with unnecessary processes.

In this article, we are going to tell you:

• How to create an effective environmental management policy
• What is required for ISO 14001 Standard?

Let’s start with the environmental management policy.

How to create an effective environmental management policy?

Environmental policy is a statement that defines business objectives and principles of an organisation, which have a direct or indirect impact on the environment. This policy must be short and clear. It must be able to address all the essential requirements of the ISO 14001 Standard. You need to share this policy with a wide network including people both inside and outside your organisation. Hence, make sure that your environmental policy is easy to understand and it is enough to help everyone consider your business from the environmental perspective.

Whenever you are drafting a policy for ISO 14001 Standard, it is important for you to make sure that your environmental policy meets a couple of objectives, such as:

• Helping you to comply with the law
• Making the employees aware of their environmental roles and responsibilities
• Enhancing the cost control
• Reducing legal obligations
• Preserving natural resources including energy
• Increasing the efficiency of your running business processes

Environmental policy can help you demonstrate your dedication to the environmental management system. It helps not only your internal resources to understand their duties but also the external stakeholders to understand your efficiency and dedication. Since this ISO certification is concerned about the environment, your policy must reflect concerns regarding the environment. It must not be irrelevant to the environmental purposes.

What is required for ISO 14001 Standard?

When it comes to the documentation of ISO 14001 Standard, you must document the key aspects required for preserving your organisation’s knowledge. Your documentation must provide auditability and accountability. You should keep it in your mind that choosing the right format for your documentation enables your employees and outside associates to be updated about the recent happenings and changes in the Environmental Management System or EMS. Documentation is not meant only for gaining the ISO 14001 certification. It helps you compare the current state of your EMS with the previous ones. It allows you to compare your EMS with your competitors’.

Four things you must document. These are:

1. How your organisation is preventing pollution
2. How you are meeting the legal and other relevant requirements
3. How you’ve made the frameworks for objectives and targets specific to the environmental impact
4. How you are maintaining the continual improvement?

A Final Takeaway
Your document should let people know how you are dealing with your organisation’s environmental impact. Hence, your environmental policy should communicate with the employees and stakeholders. Remember one thing- this documented policy is the key to making your employees competent. If the policy fails to make the employees understand the entire policy and process, it would be of no use. Moreover, if your policy is not aligned with your business goals and functions, it would not be able to help you reduce the environmental impact of your company.

What’s the best way of avoiding such uncertainties? Well, the best way is to hire an experienced and renowned ISO 14001 consultant having experience in providing effective ISO 14001 Environmental Policy. Professional consultants know how to document the relevant processes for gaining the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson has been enabling numerous companies to gain ISO 14001 certification without any hassle for more than a decade. He possesses sound knowledge and experience in ISO certification consultations. His blogs can help you pave your path to the certification you are looking for.