ISO 14001 is a compliance standard for the company/organisation that decides to establish/implement/maintain/improve its own environmental management system. This certification demonstrates that the certified organisation has an appropriate management system to control the environmental impacts of its activities, and systematically seeks to improve it in a consistent, effective and above all sustainable manner.
WHAT IS IT?
The ISO 14001: 2015 standard outlines the requirements for the certification of the environmental management system within companies.
The basic requirements for starting the ISO 14001 certification process are:
- to implement an environmental policy, shared with the most important company figures and communicated both internally and externally through the communication channels normally used;
- to carry out their work activities in compliance with the environmental regulations and the current resolutions on environmental matters.
The environmental certification allows companies to guarantee to their customers, suppliers and partners, the standards of excellence and the respect for the environmental sustainability of their production activities.
ISO 14001 is a voluntary non-mandatory standard, but its possession is becoming an indispensable attribute to face the challenges of the market.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Through the creation of an environmental management system, the operations office takes an active role in the production process: it must prevent and promptly intervene on critical issues that can produce negative impacts on the environment, avoiding contingent economic damage related to fines or suspension of activities.
It is an essential tool for companies wishing to improve their productivity by reducing processing waste or excessive consumption of resources (e.g. electricity, gas, water, fuel).
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
The ISO 14001 certification has a three-year duration and can always be renewed: at the end of the three-year period, the companies can activate the procedures to renew their certificate which will be reissued with the updated date and the changes that will be deemed necessary.
Upon achieving the first certification, IWZ will carry out maintenance checks at the expiry of the 1st and 2nd year from the date of issue of the certificate. At the end of the 3rd year, the customer will have the possibility to decide whether or not to renew the certificate.
WHAT ARE THE VARIOUS STAGES?
- Request for certification: in this stage we establish the economic aspects and the activities that will be performed by the auditors during the certification process. IWZ will submit its certification offer to the customer and an agreement will be signed between the parties (application for certification).
- Pre-assessment audit (optional): in this optional stage, the customer can interface with IWZ’s staff who will examine the level of preparation of the certification’s management system with the aim of improving its processes and minimizing major non-conformities.
- Certification Audit: in this phase the actual certification audit begins, which takes place mainly at the company headquarters. The auditor, following an inspection of the various sites covered by the certificate and after interviewing the top management figures, collects information and checks the documentation relating to the certification’s management system. It determines which are the mandatory and voluntary reference standards for the system to be certified. In the absence of major non-conformities, the auditor will submit a request to the decision-making committee to issue the ISO certification.
IWZ is able to guarantee the conclusion of the certification process in a short time according to the needs of the customers and the maturity of the system under certification.