Your guide to ISO 14001 Certification: Your Environmental outputs
Whether you’ve decided it’s time to work towards implementing ISO 14001 environmental management to your business or are still weighing it up determining your environmental outputs is a key first step to gaining ISO 14001 Certification. What your business determines around your environmental outputs will form the foundation for the rest of your environmental management system. This post is the first in a short series covering the fundamentals of ISO 14001 certification aimed at helping your business achieve ISO 14001 certification.
One common way businesses tend to get wrong is that they analyse the elements of the standard; the legal and others, aspects and impacts, controls and they plan them all in isolation from the way the business operates. Examples of this being that the standard says that I need to have an aspects and impacts register so a client will go and create one without consideration to their operating environment.
Considering the context of your organisation and the wider industry is a key part of achieving ISO 14001 certification – read our blog post, The importance of establishing context for ISO 14001 for more. Everything being created in isolation means that the system was not purpose built for the client’s business and will often ensure that the system does not add value to the business.
A stronger approach here would be to consider the inputs into the business and the outputs – what goes in and what goes out approach. What goes out includes outputs into the air, water, ground, land, landfill, sewers, water, stormwater, air, dust – these are your interactions with the environment
Anything that exits the boundary of your site needs to be considered in your environmental management plan, After this analysis, you should end up with a list of interactions your business has with the environment. What makes up this list will vary greatly between different businesses and industries, for example a civil construction company would have very different environmental impacts to an office based architecture firm.
It is these outputs that you need to consider your environmental risks and implement controls for that will form parts of your ISO 14001 environmental management system. This post is the first in a short series covering the fundamentals of ISO 14001 certification aimed at helping your business achieve ISO 14001 certification. Our next post will look at assessing your environmental risks.
If you haven’t already and think you are ready for certification contact us now and request a quick quote including answers to all your questions regarding certification.