Many people immediately think of toxic waste and major pollution sites when they hear of an Environmental Management System (EMS) or ISO 14001. While these items would fall under an EMS, the actual scope is much broader and will affect almost everyone who works within a company with an EMS that meets the ISO 14001 requirements.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 was released in 1996 with the intent that companies manage all of the activities, products and services that can significantly impact the environment. The Standard has three basic objectives of continuous improvement, regulatory compliance and pollution prevention. The standard is broken into 5 main sections: Environmental Policy, Planning, Implementation & Operation, Checking and Corrective Action, and Management Review. To implement an ISO 14001 conforming EMS a company will have to write and implement approximately 6 new procedures and modify approximately 9 existing procedures (Assuming the company is currently ISO 9000 or QS-9000 compliant)