The ISO 14001 standard follows a PLAN – DO – CHECK – ACT cycle.
The first phase is developing the environmental policy and planning the EMS. The second is implementing the EMS. The third is checking and reviewing, and the fourth phase is the EMS's continuous improvement.
The elements of ISO 14001
Within the standard there are numerous elements of ISO 14001 that are required to be met by organisations seeking formal recognition for their EMS. General requirements include:
Development of an environmental policy that reflects an organisation's commitments;
The appointment of a person(s) responsible for the EMS's coordination;
Identification of how the organisation interacts with the environment;
Identification of actual and potential environmental impacts;
Identification of environmental compliance requirements;
Establishment of environmental objectives, targets and programs;
Monitoring and measurement of the progress to achieve its objectives;
Reviewing the system and environmental performance; and
Continuous improvement of the organisation's environmental performance.
The standard can be easily integrated into existing safety (AS/NZS 4801 or OHSAS 18001) and quality (AS/NZS ISO 9001) management systems.
Next page... read about developing an organisational ISO 14001 checklist.