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Chapter: Mechanical - Total Quality Management (TQM) - Quality Systems

Concepts and Benefits of ISO 14000

Focuses on environmental management system that will ensure all operational processes are consistent and effective and will achieve environmental objectives of the organization.

Concepts of ISO 14000

 

ISO - 14000 series

 

Focuses on environmental management system that will ensure all operational processes are consistent and effective and will achieve environmental objectives of the organization.

 

A company should review and continually improve its environmental management system, with the objective of improving its overall environmental performance

 

Section 3.5 of ISO 14001 defines an environmental management system as "the part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes, and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing, and maintaining the environmental policy. " Although ISO 14001 was developed independent of ISO 9000 to fulfill environmental rather than quality needs.

 

An EMS is a structured plan to address the impacts a company or organization has on the environment. The EMS is implemented and checked to ensure that plan goals are being met.

 

With the plan being revised to meet new goals, the EMS can guide a company toward continual environmental improvement.

 

A basic condition for any EMS is compliance with applicable environmental laws, regulations, and permits. An effective EMS goes beyond compliance to provide an organization with a systematic approach to the development, implementation, and maintenance of an environmental policy.

 

Through planning, implementation, checking, management review, and continual improvement, organizations become more effective and efficient in the management of their activities and the impacts of those activities on the environment.

 

In response to widespread acceptance of the ISO 9000 quality management standards and to the proliferation of various environmental management systems, the International Organization for Standardization formed Technical Committee (TC) 207 to begin development of the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards in 1992. As TC 207 carefully crafted the draft EMS standard (ISO 14001), companies around the world began to assess their existing environmental systems to learn what changes would be needed to meet ISO 14001.

 


Benefits of ISO 14000

 

The ISO 14001 standard provides specific requirements for an EMS and shares some common management system principles with the ISO 9000 series of standards, including the "plan-do-check-act model" mentioned above and the requirement for top management commitment. The basic focus of the ISO 14000 series of standards is environmental protection, while the ISO 9000 series of standards focuses on quality and customer needs.

 

It should be noted that ISO 9000 is not a prerequisite for ISO 14001, although companies that have both have successfully integrated the two management systems.

 

An effective EMS provides many benefits to the implementing organization, its customers and stakeholders, and to regulators, including:

 

 

         Reduced environmental risk.

 

         Proactive environmental management.

 

         Improved employee environmental awareness and performance.

 

         Increased operating efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

 

         Increased operating efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

 

         Enhanced relationships and communication with employees, regulators, and Stakeholders

 


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