ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management system) – A tool for managing Environmental Performance


Managing a system in an effective way is a thorny knack. And when it comes to Environmental Management System, an organisation needs to be systematic in planning the same. Environmental Management System in short is a crucial system that manages an organisation’s various environmental programs that give way to an eminent organisational structure and appropriate resources that ensure a fine policy that is developed, implemented and maintained for environmental protection.


Factors Influencing Environmental Management System

In this milieu, Mining Industries seek for an adhesive Environmental Management System that guarantees environmental sustainability in the first place. Mining industries look to track the following factors with an effective EMS:

  1. Water Pollution/Acid Mine Drainage
  2. Air Pollution
  3. Land Disturbance

Not only is tracking, a full-bodied Environmental Management System can also help Mining Industries to both reclaim/restore a mine to its original state from any condition. This short write up will take you into the Operational Efficiencies you can top up with the help of ISO 14001:2015 which hence make you compliant with the government regulations.

Many a company is antagonistic in the advantages that one obtains with an ISO 14001:2015 Certification. In reality, ISO 14001:2015 is not just a certification; it is a tool that enables Living Management System that enhances the operation of every industry to a great level.

With an ISO 14001:2015 Certification, you can do much more than just mapping and staying compliant with the regulations you have documented. With the usual processes you implement you could miss the minor non-compliances, which might later hit as non-compliance and lead to penalising too.


ISO 14001 For Operational Efficiencies

ISO 14001:20015 stands as a comprehensive yet robust standard that assists you in documenting all the activities and identifying the risks so as to help designing the best mitigating plans and practices. These plans and practices help you face issues exactly the way it is documented in the papers; go beyond the audits of ISO 14001 and thus rally around operational efficiencies. This could be made by a simple and truthful planning, implementing, measuring and refining all processes so as to gain the substantial Operational Efficiencies. Such an intended standard will obviously result in a more than expected cost diminution, a careful cutback in time consumed and an exceptional responsiveness to the external environment.

Mining companies, in addition to the above-mentioned assistance, can also measure Carbon Footprint Plan:

  • Using the Best Practices of ISO 14064 – GHG Inventory and Management
  • B- By developing Simple Assessment Tools that take into account all the activities that contribute to the GHG Emissions and thus calculate the Carbon Footprint

The main focus of ISO 14001:2015 is to meet the expectations of industries in setting the right standards that ensure environmental protection despite the dust and chemicals that are put into contact to the surroundings. Companies necessitate having standards that communicate internally so that everyone abides by the same.

When it comes to Mining industry, the potential chances and quantity of dust and chemicals exposed to the environment when the ore is transported from the mine site to the port site is huge. Anticipating this, following enhanced processes that make the public realise an adequate cleaning plan is in place becomes quite significant. Properly planned and rightly set standards help companies to be compliant in clearing out and overhauling the roads; and also pour cleaning chemicals that keep the roads clean. This approach not only promises environment protection, but also upholds your grade when a complaint is posed to you proposing your company as an environmental threat.


Environmental Control Systems

Environmental Management precisely draws out a picture of all the environmental aspects that have led and will lead to poisonous emissions to the environment. With the figured out issues that are liable to the environment, you can frame the key indicators that contain mitigation or control systems in place which tracks all your actions that affects the environment either in a small level or to a great extent. In addition, action plans that mitigate risks time to time will help you remediate the miss outs due to your daily busy agenda.

A few Action Plans that can be added in your checklist can be:

  • Making confirmatory Rehabilitation and Reforestation processes that replace the used resources in some way to the environment.
  • Reducing Air Pollution and Ensuring Noise Reduction can be made uncomplicated by gauging the pollution level due to the Mining activities and ensuring that the regulatory requirements are met rightly.
  • Monitoring Water Quality in order to make certain that the quality of water is within the recommended standards. With the help of ISO 14001, you can enable many such assessments on a sensible basis that help you to analyze the issues and impacts and thereby keep a track of records from the past and learn to make right implementations in future. ISO 14001:2015 will be effective only when we align the targets to the environmental aspects in order to obtain maximum business results and increase a company’s potential for environmental management.


Metrics Matter

A complete metrics and well-planned checklist on:

  • Number of communities
  • Number of people
  • Length of road
  • Index of pollution
  • Complaints Database
  • Stakeholder Community -can help you enhance your compliance policies up to date.

These metrics also pave way for assessment surveys, road monitoring processes and re-cleaning operations that showcase your industry in the high set as you have foreseen. Via this, you can make firm KPI’s of your own that helps you in making continuous improvements to astutely save money, effort and time – every time!

The consequence of having an ISO 14001:2015 as a part of your business year on year eliminates negative impacts that you project to happen without such a standard not put forward into action. When you give discernment to the public that you have implemented actions to ensure a sustainable environment that is when you have succeeded in having an EMS inside your organisation. By making the employees realise that giving back to the environment what is taken from it as a life-size target we can turn out to be an efficient organisation.


Benefits of ISO 14001

  • Making it more straightforward, the business benefits that can come out of implementing a robust ISO 14001 system:
  • Perk up your brand reputation by presenting your employees’ commitment towards environmental protection
  • Design a Standard process management that helps your company march towards an effective environmental management
  • Engage employees in such a way that they take up your business initiatives as their own responsibilities to support your initiatives
  • Meet and Match customer/regulatory requirements that leave them satisfied out of your endeavors end of the day
  • Play a part in the reducing the Global Issues that are to be blamed for acute Climatic changes the world is facing today

Revisiting ISO 14001

Companies that are seriously committed in taking up environmental issues and intensifying the quality of their Environmental Management Systems (EMS) usually don’t mind going through the whole tedious process of getting an ISO 14001 certification – the internationally accepted standard that addresses the ‘delicate balance’ between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact.

The standard helps organizations better manage their environmental impact and risk. It covers anything that concerns the environment such as climate change, environmental degradation, water and air pollution, and many others. Achieving this certification is normally considered a significant milestone.

The Clamor
The first few years that ISO 14001 was published, Asia saw an influx in the number of companies which on top of implementing a sound EMS, adopted the standard, particularly in the electronics sector. Today, regardless of what industry they belong to, many companies take the initiative  to align their operations to the environmental standard. The ISO 14000 series – composed of about 12 standards – was first conceptualized when the Rio Summit on the Environment held in 1992 generated a commitment to protect the environment across the world. The environmental field emerged as a steady growth of national and regional standards. The British Standards Institution has BS 7750, while the European Union has environmental management, auditing, eco-labeling plus the eco-management and audit regulations.

The Expected Results
Implementing an EMS generally turns the favor to the company in terms of the bottom line. Cost savings and reduced expenses, liabilities, insurance premiums, and waste management costs can be made through improved efficiency and productivity. It can also improve product quality, competitiveness, and enhance market responsiveness.

ISO 14001 verifies compliance with current legislation and makes insurance cover more accessible. Moreover, it helps produce objectives for improvement and a management program to achieve them, with regular reviews for continual improvement.

The Keys to Success
ISO 14001 requires documented procedures that are implemented and maintained, which clearly identifies the company’s environmental goals. An Environmental Policy strongly backed up by the management should be in place. It provides the foundation and direction for the management system.

In addition, procedures should be established for a continuous review of the environmental aspects and the impacts of products, activities, and services. Based on these environmental aspects and impacts, goals and objectives consistent with the environmental policy are established.

As with a Quality Management System (QMS), internal audits of the EMS should be conducted routinely to identify and address non-conformances in the system. In addition, the management review process must be in place to ensure top management’s involvement in the assessment of EMS.

Who needs ISO 14001?
The increasing awareness on environmental impact is an outcry that is far more intensified by the combined efforts of the local and national governments, regulators, trade associations, customers, employees, and shareholders.

The standard is not limiting; it is relevant to all types and sizes of organizations and is designed for diverse geographical, cultural, and social conditions. ISO 14001 is relevant to every organization, including: single site to large multinational companies; high risk companies to low risk service organizations; manufacturing, process and the service industries, including local governments; all industry sectors including public and private sectors; and original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers.

An organization implementing the standard decides the extent of its coverage. It can include the organization’s products, services, activities, operations, facilities, transportation, and others.

– Kamesh Ganeson, Country Manager, ECCI Malaysia