If you find ISO 14001:2015 difficult to understand or, even, plain confusing, where can you go for further guidance, ISO 14004:2016 could be the answer to your problem.
This article look at one of the most important International Standards: ISO 14004:2016, which can be used to support the implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) based on ISO 14001:2015 through its guidelines.
ISO 14004:2016 was published on 1 March 2016. Its scope provides guidance for an organization on the establishment, implementation, maintenance and improvement of a robust, credible and reliable environmental management system.
The guidance provided is intended for an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
It should be noted that ISO 14004 is a guideline standard as, therefore, is not able to be certified against in the same way that ISO 14001 can be used for the certification of your Environmental Management System.
As you might expect, the contents of ISO 14004 follow the structure of ISO 14001, which includes:
- Normative references
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
There are two Annexes:
Annex A (informative) Examples of activities, products and services and their associated environmental aspects and environmental impacts, risks and opportunities, and actions
Annex B (informative) Phased approach to implementing an environmental management system (based on ISO 14005:2019).
And, finally, there is a Bibliography of other ISO Documents that can further support the development of your Environmental Management System.
Most importantly, there the main text provides useful guidance for anyone, whether an Environmental Manager, Consultant, or someone who has been given the responsibility for implementing an Environmental Management System in their organisation.
In addition to the main text, there are twenty Practical Help Boxes on all the key issues for the development of your Environmental Management System.
These boxes can help you with understanding the specific ISO 14001 requirements & cover the following topics:
Here is an example of one of the Practical Help Boxes. This Box is the fourth in the series of twenty giving examples of interested parties and their needs and expectations, an area that some organisations struggle with & ISO 14004 provides the guidance and these examples to help you identify your Interested Parties & their needs and expectations.
So to summarise, ISO 14004:2016 can give important guidance to assist you in the development of your Environmental Management System based on ISO 14001:2015.
Copies of ISO 14004:2016 can be obtained from your National Standards Body. The links to ISO, BSI, ANSI, Standards Canada & Standards Australia are available through the following links:
I hope that this article has given you an insight into the value of using ISO 14004:2016 to support the development and maintenance of your ISO 14001:2015 management system. If you have any questions on this article, please leave a comment below.
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