With the release of the ISO14001:2015 standard, HSCE managers are realising the significant conceptual changes underpinning the new requirements. For companies looking to transition now, it isn’t as simple as making a few minor changes. To achieve and make the most of the 2015 standard, companies will likely need expert advice and training.
While auditing bodies are valuable and will play a key role in your transition or achievement of ISO14001:2015, companies that are serious about reaping the business case benefits of this EMS should consider the more proactive, strategic approach taken by a true environmental consultant.
Get strategic processes
The biggest change in the new 14001 standard is moving from a paper-based system to lived processes. This means a few folders of documentation sitting on a health and safety/environmental manager’s shelf isn’t enough to demonstrate compliance. Instead, companies must demonstrate that environmental strategies and risk management are implemented day to day.
In the past, companies would sometimes bring in an auditing consultant to make annual adjustments to documentation to reflect the latest 14001 requirements. This transactional approach, however, will no longer be sufficient under the 2015 system.
The 2015 system requires a more proactive approach, provided by an environmental consultant. Rather than waiting until the last minute before an audit is due or when a flaw is found, an environmental consultant works directly with company management to ensure processes and training are in place ahead of any audits.
In moving away from the simple documentation approach of previous iterations of 14001, the new system also requires more active involvement from management. This includes those who, in the past, may have had very little involvement in environmental projects.
Of course, this requires additional training. An environmental consultant can also help here by identifying relevant individuals who will need training, what skill gaps exist for each individual and providing the necessary training on an ongoing basis.
While ISO 14001 2015 may seem like more work (and it likely does require more buy-in and training), the potential benefits, such as waste and cost reductions and minimised environmental risks, will be more fully realised.
Find out more about the scope of how an environmental consultant can help you achieve or transition to ISO 14001 2015.