ISO 14001 - Environmental management system

Certification of environmental management systems according to ISO 14001

Certification of the environmental management system (EMS) according to ISO 14001 guarantees continuous improvement and cost reduction through the economical use of raw materials and energy.

Further advantages are:

  • Identification of sources of error and their elimination
  • Competitive advantages in the selection of suppliers from an environmental perspective
  • Increased trust among customers, investors and the public
  • an improvement in legal compliance and predictability of liability risks
  • Motivation and qualification of all employees

If a functioning environmental management system is used as a basis, other management systems can often be implemented without problems – e.g. quality, energy or occupational safety. The combined certification of integrated management systems also offers a number of additional, including financial, advantages.

The revision of the EM standard to ISO 14001:2015 considerably facilitates the integration of several standards. The basis for this is the introduction of a uniform structure for all management systems - the "High Level Structure" (HLS).

Standards are revised every 5 years and checked for adequacy, relevance and topicality. Technological developments or changed user interests and other important points are taken into account. The aim is to improve the applicability of the standards, to increase the compatibility of standards and to facilitate integrated auditing.

The HLS - an superordinate, uniform structure for all management system standards – is intended to help avoid redundancies and contradictions between the numerous existing management system standards (MSS) and thus make it easier to link different MSSs.

ISO 14001:2015 continues to be based on the principle of continuous improvement, also known as the Plan - Do - Check - Act, the PDCA cycle. However, due to the requirements of the revised ISO 14001, the management system will be integrated even more strongly and above all more practice-oriented into the company's business processes.

For each company, among others, the system must focus on the following topics:

  • Improvement of environmental performance
  • Compliance with binding obligations
  • Achieving self-imposed environmental goals
  • Consideration of risks and opportunities, taking into account internal developments as well as external needs and expectations

ISO 14001:2015 was published on September 15, 2015. This day marked the beginning of the three-year transition period.

Existing certificates according to ISO 14001:2008 were therefore valid until September 14, 2018 at the latest. In order for your certificate to remain valid beyond this date, a transition audit must be carried out. This audit can be carried out as part of the recertification or review audit or in a separate audit.

You are not sure whether you have considered all aspects of ISO 14001:2015 when converting your QM system? No problem at all!

In order to determine possible differences between the actual status of your organisation and the requirements of the new standard, GUTcert offers optional audits for conformity testing. The findings of the GAP audit will pave the way for a subsequent certification.