ISO 14001 Checklist

ISO has published a new handbook and CD package to help small and mid-sized companies implement an ISO 14001-based EMS. The tool is available as: ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems – An easy-to-use checklist for small business – Are you ready?

The Foreword of the handbook states: “Experience shows that small and medium-sized enterprises can also implement an effective EMS and realize a variety of benefits. However, EMS implementation can present some challenges. This checklist aims at helping organizations to understand the requirements for environment management systems and identify the main areas for improvement. It will therefore be of value even if the ultimate aim is not third party certification of the organization.”

The handbook and CD are in the form of a checklist which guides the user to ask and answer a series of questions regarding the environmental activities of their organization. This step-by-step approach will enable managers of an organization to determine its present environmental performance and will help them identify areas for improvement.

The checklist is in 16 parts, each covering a particular stage in the EMS implementation process. Each part provides a brief explanation of the relevant requirements of ISO 14001, as well as, guidance on how to incorporate these requirements into an EMS that meets the needs of your organization.

The 87 page handbook is in A5 format and provided in a ring binder. The accompanying CD provides the convenience of electronic navigation and allows responses to each question to be saved and then printed in PDF format. The ISO 14001 Checklist can be ordered at this ISO web page.

ISO 14001, published in 1996 and revised in 2004, has proved to be very successful. It has been implemented in more than 159 countries and has provided organizations with a powerful management tool to improve their environmental performance. Many companies have improved their operations and reduced the impact of their activities, processes, products, and services on the environment by using a systematic approach that seeks continual improvement.

The benefits of positively addressing environmental issues not only cover the preservation of the environment, but are also linked to business performance and profitability. In addition, it improves the corporate image, enhances access to export markets, and provides a common reference for communicating on environmental issues with customers, regulators, the public, and other stakeholders.