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ISO 14001 is an international standard that specifies the requirements for an environmental management system (EMS). An EMS is a framework that helps organisations manage their environmental impact.
The benefits of implementing ISO 14001 include:
- Reduced environmental impact
- Improved compliance with environmental regulations
- Greater efficiency and cost savings
- Enhanced reputation and brand image
- A higher level of customer satisfaction
- Raised employee morale and motivation
ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard, but many organisations choose to be certified to it, as certification demonstrates that the organisation has a commitment to environmental protection.
Key concepts in ISO 14001 include:
- An environmental policy stating the organisation's commitment to environmental protection
- The laws, regulations, and other requirements with which an organisation must comply to protect the environment
- Environmental aspects of activities, products, and services that have an impact on the environment
- Environmental impacts concerning the positive and negative effects of an organisation's environmental aspects on the environment
- Objectives and target goals that an organisation sets for itself to improve its environmental performance
- Planning, whereby environmental risks are identified, assessed and controlled
- Implementation and operation of an effective EMS
- Monitoring and measurement to track and evaluate the performance of the EMS
- Evaluation to review the EMS and make improvements as needed
- Continual improvement of the EMS