The 2015 revision to ISO 14001 goes more than skin-deep. The updated requirements are new on a fundamental level. For companies wanting to stay current with their ISO 14001 compliance, this means putting significant changes into effect. This is a situation where it’s worth it to bring in an expert.
Of course, auditing bodies can be helpful in transitioning to ISO 14001:2015, and their importance should not be overlooked. But for organizations that want to truly reap the greatest possible benefits from their EMS, an environmental consultant can produce the best results. A competent consultant is better positioned to approach an EMS with the organization’s interests as top priority.
A Revised System of Compliance
The most fundamental shift in the revised standard is the emphasis placed on lived processes. In the past, an HSCE manager could demonstrate compliance with ISO 14001:2015 largely by simply producing a lot of paperwork documenting a company’s EMS and its adherence to this system. This is no longer adequate. Organizations now must show the implementation of their EMS on a day to day basis.
Under older, paper-based versions of the ISO 14001 standard, a company might rely on an auditing consultant from time to time to come in and adjust its compliance documentation to meet whatever the newest iteration of the standard required. While this may have been sufficient for past, minor revisions to the standard, it’s simply not adequate for the transition to ISO14001:2015.
Take a Proactive Approach
This change logically demands a more proactive approach to compliance, which an environmental consultant can provide. Companies can no longer scramble to produce compliance documentation at the last minute before an audit. Their processes and must be in place and operational well ahead of time. An environmental consultant, collaborating with company management, can work to get these processes up and running long before any audit looms on the horizon.
Knowledge is Power
Such a proactive approach necessitates more active involvement from management. In many organizations, some members of management may have avoided involvement with environmental projects in the past. These will now need also to play a role.
This means training. And here again, an environmental consultant can fill the need. By identifying which individuals need training and determining what skills or knowledge is lacking, the consultant can deliver customized training, where it’s needed, as it’s needed.
Granted, ISO 14001:2015 may seem more challenging than past iterations, and the transition will indeed require work. But the new standard is also an opportunity for greater reduction in waste and environmental risk as well as an increase in efficiency. An environmental consultant is key to helping your organization make the most of this opportunity.