ISO 14001 2015 Detailed Overview

This page presents a Plain English overview of the ISO 14001 2015
environmental management standard. For a more detailed version,

please see ISO 14001 2015 Translated into Plain English.

Overview of ISO 14001 2015 Environmental Management Standard

4. Context

Section 4 asks you to start by understanding your organization
and its context when you develop its environmental management
system (EMS). It asks you to consider the external and internal issues
that are relevant to your organization's purpose and to think about
the influence these issues could have on its EMS and the results
it intends to achieve.

It also asks you to identify the interested parties that are relevant
to your EMS and to consider the compliance obligations that they
expect you to meet. Why? Because your EMS will need to be able
to manage all of these influences and obligations.

Once you’ve considered all of this, you're ready to clarify and
define the scope of your EMS and to begin its development.

5. Leadership

Section 5 asks your organization's top management to
provide leadership for its EMS by accepting responsibility for
it, by showing that they support it, and by providing resources.
It also expects them to ensure that an environmental policy is
formulated, that environmental objectives are established, that
compliance obligations are acknowledged, that environmental
aspects and impacts are considered, and that EMS roles,
responsibilities, and authorities are assigned.

6. Planning

Section 6 starts by asking you to develop a process to
consider the risks that could affect your organization's EMS.
It then asks you to use this risk planning process to figure out
how to address your context, to handle your interested parties,
to meet your compliance obligations, to deal with your significant
environmental aspects and impacts, and to manage your
environmental risks and opportunities.

And once you've done all of this it expects you to define actions
to address your significant environmental aspects, your compliance
obligations, and your risks and opportunities. Then, to make sure
that all of these actions will actually be carried out, it asks you to
build them into your EMS processes.

While this is a lot of planning, you're not done yet. Section 6 also
expects you to set environmental objectives at all relevant levels
and for all relevant functions, to develop actions to achieve these
objectives, and then to figure out how you're going to integrate
all of these actions into your organization's processes.

7. Support

Section 7 asks you to support the EMS by providing resources,
by ensuring the people are competent, by making them aware of their
EMS responsibilities, by controlling EMS communications, and by
managing EMS documents and records (documented information).
In this context, it asks you to start by figuring out how extensive
your documentation should be. Once you've figured this out, it
asks you to select, include, and control all of the documents
and records that your EMS needs.

8. Operations

Section 8 asks you to establish your EMS processes and
to control how they operate. It asks you to plan how you're going
to implement and control the processes that you need in order to
meet EMS requirements and in order to implement the actions
that were previously built into these processes (in section 6).

It asks you to plan how you're going to implement and control
the actions that must be taken in order to meet your compliance
obligations, to achieve your environmental objectives, to deal with
your significant environmental aspects, and to manage the risks and
opportunities that could influence your environmental performance.
Finally, it asks you to prepare for potential emergency situations
and to establish a procedure to respond to these situations

9. Evaluation

Section 9 asks you to monitor, measure, analyze, and
evaluate your organization's environmental performance and
compliance and to audit your EMS at planned intervals. It also
asks you to carry out management reviews. It asks you to review
the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of your EMS, to
generate appropriate outputs, and to document your results.

10. Improvement

Section 10 asks you to identify opportunities and to take all
necessary actions to improve your EMS. It asks you to control
nonconformities, to take corrective actions, and to enhance the
suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of your EMS.

MORE ISO 14001 2015 PAGES

Introduction to ISO 14001 2015

ISO 14001 2015 vs ISO 14001 2004

Outline of ISO 14001 2015 Standard

Plain English ISO 14001 2015 Definitions

ISO 14001 2015 Translated into Plain English

Environmental Management Gap Analysis Tool

ISO 14001 2015 Environmental Management Checklist

Skills Environmental Management Auditors Should Have

Updated on April 18, 2021. First published on January 11, 2015.

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