Certification of management system – ISO 14001

Principle of certification according to ISO 14001:2004

The certificate guarantees that the environmental management system has been established, documented, used and maintained in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 standard. As the certificate is issued by an accredited third party – certification body ” the organization actively minimizes environmental impacts of activities, products and services.

The internationally recognized standard ISO 14001:2004 includes the crucial elements of the efficient environmental management system, which can be used both for services and for production sectors. The standard describes requirements for the management system of businesses, which enables them to reduce environmental impacts related to operation of organizations. The standard requires the company to define its environmental objectives and target levels and to build the management system necessary for achieving them. Besides, the standard requires that the company fills such a system with processes, procedures and activities.

Crucial elements of the standard
  • Environmental policy
  • Planning
  • Establishment and operation
  • Surveillance and corrective actions
  • Organization’s management review
Differences from ISO 14001:1996
  • Achieving higher compatibility of ISO 14001 with ISO 9001
  • Enhancing unambiguity of requirements

Benefits of certification

  • Assurance and improvement of care for environment
  • Awareness of one”s own responsibility
  • Identification and description of risks and their reduction
  • Improving the company”s profile/image
  • Motivation of employees
  • Timely identification of environmental problems
  • More guarantees for meeting legal and other requirements
  • Competitive advantages
  • Management tool for suitable exploitation of resources

Certification process

The certification process consists of 3 basic phases:
1) Elaboration of documentation
2) Putting SM into practice
3) Certification by an accredited certification body
The times of elaboration of documentation and putting the system into practice are individual (it usually takes several months).

Certification by the accredited certification body

The certification audit takes places in two stages.

1st stage audit
  • Registration of application for certification
  • Agreement for conducting a 1st stage audit
  • Appointing a team of auditors
  • Assessment of SM documentation
  • Preparing an audit plan
  • On-site audit in connection with examination of documentation
  • Elaboration of the 1st stage audit report documenting nonconformities
2nd stage audit
  • Agreement for conducting a 2nd stage audit
  • Appointing a team of auditors
  • Assessment of SM documentation
  • Preparing an audit plan
  • On-site audit from the point of view of the environmental aspect
  • Elaboration of the 2nd stage audit report
  • Assessment of the audit reports by the certification body
  • Issuing the certificate

During the three year validity period of the certificate, a surveillance audit takes place once a year, whose aim is to make sure that the environmental management system is maintained and further developed. One of the following is issued depending on the surveillance findings:

  • Decision on confirmation of the certificate validity;
  • Decision on suspension of the certificate;
  • Decision on withdrawal of the certificate in case of fundamental deviations from requirements of standards.

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