ISO 14001:2015 Top management Leadership and Commitment
ISO 14001:2015 requires top management to demonstrate leadership and commitment to the environmental management system.
ISO 14001:2015 defines top management as the “person or group of people who directs and controls an organisation at the highest level”. If the scope of the environmental management system is limited to a particular function or section of the organisation, top management are those who direct and control that particular function or section.
The Difference between Management and Leadership
The terms manager and leader are often used synonymously, but are in fact different. Top management must employ effective management skills and display leadership qualities to inspire employees and ensure the environmental management system is effectively implemented and maintained.
- Have a long term vision and a clear focus for the business;
- Have the ability to inspire others within the organisation;
- Empower others to develop their leadership skills;
- Influence others to achieve;
- Show respect to others
The focus of management includes:
- Being systematic, organised and efficient;
- Managing the activities of the organisation;
- Implementation of policies and procedures;
- Providing stability;
- Maintaining budgets
How Top Management Demonstrate Leadership and Commitment
- Top management attends and leads environmental committee meetings;
- Top management demonstrates an understanding of how the environmental policy was formulated;
- Encourages continual improvement and ensures this culture exists as a result of leadership
- Personally publishes articles relating to environmental performance and environmental management and emails these internally within the organisation.
- Involvement in internal audits
- Allocating adequate budgets for environmental initiatives and training.
Assigning and Communicating Environmental Responsibilities
Environmental roles and responsibilities must be assigned and communicated by top management. Each employee must be made aware of their environmental responsibilities and top management themselves must understand their own environmental responsibilities.
Examples of environmental responsibilities:
- Providing overall direction for the environmental management system;
- Monitoring environmental management system performance;
- Identifying training needs and keeping training records;
- Identifying customer requirements;
- Undertaking audits;
- Identifying compliance obligations
Responsibilities can be communicated in different ways, commonly by inclusion in job descriptions, procedures and within the environmental manual.