ISO 14001 – Clause 4.4: Environmental Management System
This is the fourth in a series of blogs, in which we will describe what is required by an organization so that it may meet the requirements of ISO 14001:2015. We will look at clause 4.4: Environmental Management System.
Clause 4.4: Environmental Management System
Clause 4.4 requires the organization to establish, implement, maintain and continually improve its environmental management system, including the processes needed and their interactions.
The environmental management system should reflect the context of the organization, be proportionate to its size and complexity and be properly resourced.
An environmental management system should be viewed as an organizing framework that should be continually monitored and periodically reviewed to provide effective direction for an organization’s responses to changing internal and external issues.
The environmental management system should be aligned and integrated with other business processes to ensure that environmental performance is not compromised in order that other business objectives can be achieved.
The organization should consider the application of a PDCA approach towards its environmental managements system as follows:
Plan – decide what the organization wants to achieve (considering internal and external issues, the needs of interested parties, and risks and opportunities), and put in place the necessary processes and resources.
Do – put the plans into action.
Check – monitor and measure processes and performance against requirements and what you want to achieve.
Act – take actions to deal with nonconformities and to improve environmental performance.
Clause 4.4: Environmental Management System – Quick Check
- Did you consider context when establishing the environmental management system?
- Have the risks and opportunities for processes identified?
- Have you determined the required process inputs and expected outputs?
- Have responsibilities and authorities for processes been assigned?
- Are environmental requirements aligned and integrated with the organization’s management practices and business processes?
- Have plans been established to address the risks and opportunities which require action?
- Have processes been established for monitoring, measuring and performance in relation to requirements you want achieve?
- Have processes been established to address nonconformities and to improve environmental performance?