ISO 14001 –the management’s responsibilities
ISO 14001 deals with an organization’s environmental policy. This instrument has been designed to ensure that organizations achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance. An organization has to assess the impact of its business on the environment and shape its environmental policy accordingly, so that it contributes to sustainable development.
The management in an organization is the prime player in implementing environmental actions laid out by ISO 14001. Many of them undertake their own environmental performance and audits, but they have to be consistent with what is required of this standard. This ISO standard requires that organizations implement an Environmental Management System (EMS). It requires the organization’s top management to define and enforce the organization’s EMS. The most important points of this policy are that the organization should have an EMS that reflects the nature of its products and is appropriate and proportionate to them and that there is transparency in the policy, meaning that it is made public.
Implementation and operation
In implementing its EMS; the organization should designate a person who will oversee the policy. The environmental policy should be implemented on the organization’s infrastructure, such as buildings, its facilities, drainage tanks and so on.
The organization will appoint a competent, knowledgeable person who has the skill, knowledge and experience to carry out this policy. They could also be trained for the purpose of carrying out the organization’s EMS.
Transparency and introspection
It is very important for the organization to ensure transparency in its policy by internally communicating the goals and objectives of the policy to all employees. It should document every action it takes on the EMS by constantly evaluating the impact of its actions in relation to the environment. It should analyze this in relation to the impact of what its non-actions will have on the environment. It should also make adequate responses to onsite emergencies such as proper storage of inflammable materials.
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