Quick Contact : 408-458-8343
Select Page
ISO 14001 Audit and Checklist

ISO 14001 Audit and Checklist


Play Video

CQ ISO 14001 standard

Environmental Management – ISO 14001 Audit and Checklist

Request a Demo

What is the ISO 14001 standard?

ISO 14001 was developed primarily to assist companies with a framework for better management control to reduce their environmental impacts. It applies to various industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer packaged goods, general manufacturing, hi-tech, and life sciences. It can be used by any organization that wants to improve resource efficiency, reduce waste, and drive down costs. ISO 14001 focuses on

  • The process of how a product is produced rather than the product itself
  • Compliance with federal, state, and local regulations to maintain a license to operate
  • Monitoring air, water, waste, and hazards and recording any near misses or incidents
  • Managing operational risks and the impact on economic performance and reputation and environmental, safety, and society outcomes

What are the principles of the ISO 14001 standard?

The main principle of ISO 14001 is to assist companies in continually improving their environmental performance while complying with any applicable legislation. Using ISO 14001 can provide assurance to the management and the employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved on. ISO 14001 can also be integrated with other management functions and assists companies in meeting their environmental and economic goals.

ISO 14001 requirements

What are the ISO 14001 requirements?

In order to be recognized for the Environmental Management System (EMS) and ISO 14001 certification, there are various requirements that need to be met. They are —

  • 1
    Defined environmental policy
  • 2
    Stakeholder appointment for EMS coordination
  • 3
    Communication within the organization
  • 4
    Identification of the organization’s environmental impacts
  • 5
  • 6
    Defined environmental objectives, targets, and programs
  • 7
    Plan to monitor and measure progress
  • 8
    EMS performance audit
  • 9
    Continuous improvement

How can a company get ISO 14001 certified?

In order to be ISO 14001 certified, a company must:

  • arrow-right
    Identify legal EMS requirements
  • arrow-right
    Define EMS scope, including the environmental policy and environmental aspects
  • arrow-right
    Establish EMS procedures and processes to ensure consistency that will help prevent negative environmental impacts and improve response to emergency situations
  • arrow-right
    Document implemented EMS procedures and processes to prevent environmental damage
  • arrow-right
    Perform employee training and awareness to explain the purpose of EMS and how it will be incorporated
  • arrow-right
    Choose a certification body to audit EMS processes for compliance with ISO 14001 requirements and evaluate the system for its effectiveness
  • arrow-right
    Operate the EMS and maintain records that will be needed during an audit to show that the processes meet the requirements defined
  • arrow-right
    Perform internal audits to make sure that the processes are functioning well. The audit will also help fix any problems that may arise
  • arrow-right
    Conduct management review for continued maintenance of the EMS
  • arrow-right
    Implement corrective action by finding the root cause of any problems found during measurements, internal audits or management review, and take corrective action
  • arrow-right
    The certification audit is divided into two stages. Stage 1 involves the certification body reviewing the documentation to verify if all the necessary requirements of the ISO 14001 standard are met. Stage 2 has the certification body auditors performing the on-site audit, reviewing the records accumulated by operating EMS processes, including records of internal audits, management review, and corrective actions. After this audit, a report detailing their findings is issued and if the EMS is effective and in compliance with the ISO 14001 requirements. The auditors will make a recommendation for certification if all requirements are met

What is an EMS audit?

The Environmental Management System (EMS) audit is conducted as a comparison of actual conditions to expected conditions to determine whether it is in conformance or not. The audit determines if the implemented EMS adheres to the requirements of ISO 14001 standard and has the provision for continual improvement. An EMS audit helps the organization in different ways as listed below

  • bullet1
    Confirms that the organization understands the EMS policy to be implemented
  • bullet2
    Provides a structured means to identify deficiencies in the system and provision for corrective action and follow up to confirm its effectiveness
  • bullet3
    Helps highlight system weaknesses to prevent its effect on environmental performance
  • bullet4
    Creates a convenient framework to investigate operations in a particular area
  • bullet5
    Improves employee commitment and motivation

What is an ISO 14001 Audit?

An ISO 14001 audit is an integral part of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) implementation. ISO 14001 audit involves an independent, systematic, objective, and documented process to gather facts that help identify areas for improvement and ensure that the organization incorporates the best practice processes that protect the environment

What are the different types of ISO 14001 audits?

Primarily there are two types of ISO 14001 audit – internal and external

  • right-button
    Performed within the organization, the internal audit is a self-examination of the implemented EMS. The audit prepares the EMS for external audit and finally ISO 14001 certification. This audit is done to ensure conformity, evaluate EMS effectiveness, and identify areas of improvement
  • right-button
    To become ISO 14001 certified, the organization must complete the external certification audit. Certification audit involves two stages — documentation review by the certification body and on-site audit to evaluate internal audits, management review, and corrective actions performed on the new EMS

What is the purpose of ISO 14001 audit?

Conducting regular ISO 14001 EMS and processes audits will help:

  • arrow-blue
    Ensure that the EMS remains ISO 14001 compliant
  • arrow-blue
    Verify that the organization takes suitable action to meet the ISO standard
  • arrow-blue
    Address any issues related to the ISO 14001 framework
  • arrow-blue
    Identify ways to improve implementation of the standard

What is the importance of ISO 14001 checklists?

An ISO 14001 checklist is used during EMS audit to check for compliance with ISO 14001:2015. This ISO 14001 checklist ensures that the current EMS meets all the required ISO standards. An ISO 14001 checklist is important as it —

  • bullet-circular
    Helps meet compliance requirements of the ISO 14001 standard
  • bullet-circular
    Records the steps of the EMS implementation process
  • bullet-circular
    Acts as a supporting document for internal and external audit
  • bullet-circular
    Supports the on-going efforts to use, modify, and update ISO 14001 mandated guidelines

What is the importance of ISO 14001 checklists?

An ISO 14001 checklist is important as it —

  • Helps meet compliance requirements of the ISO 14001 standard
  • Records the steps of the EMS implementation process
  • Acts as a supporting document for internal and external audit
  • Supports the on-going efforts to use, modify, and update ISO 14001 mandated guidelines

What are the features of ComplianceQuest’s Environmental Management Solution (EMS)?

A smart environmental management system such as CQ can be used to

  • bullet1
    Ensure accountability at every stage of the environment quality process
    With role-based notifications and workflows, ComplianceQuest helps build a no-excuses culture of quality and compliance. CQ’s EMS creates automated workflows that notify the right people at the correct times to ensure smooth management of EMS processes from start to finish
  • bullet2
    Save time by eliminating duplicate data entry or lost paper forms
    Smart EMS removes the need for physical forms. Complete quality tasks irrespective of where you are as ComplianceQuest’s Environmental Management Software can be accessed using any device – computer, tablet, or smartphone – from anywhere
  • bullet3
    Setup from start to finish in months, not years
    ComplianceQuest EMS is a flexible and robust solution that can be set up in a few months, not years
  • bullet4
    Improve trust and security
    ComplianceQuest is built 100% native on the industry-leading Salesforce Lightning Platform. With ComplianceQuest, businesses get the power of Salesforce wrapped into an EHSQ solution tailored specifically to the organization. The applications benefit from Salesforce.com’s trusted security, always-on availability, performance at scale, global data centers, and enterprise compliance

Frequently Asked Questions

How can CQ help with ISO 14001 certification?

ComplianceQuest – Enterprise Quality, Safety and Environmental Management Software (QHSE) is an integrated cloud-based solution that provides the capabilities to meet ISO 14001 for environmental safety. CQ helps companies with capturing and reporting on environmental audits and incidents anywhere, anytime. It can help identify, analyze, monitor and mitigate existing and potential hazards and risks including assigning CAPAs and tracking them to completion. Environmental, safety, and hazard documentation is easily accessible and available for employee training, competency and certification

What are the different capabilities available in CQ’s Environmental Management Systems?
  • Understand the company’s processes and their impacts on the environment to mitigate the risks
  • CQ’s intelligence reports help meet ambitious environmental objectives through a thorough analysis of all environmental aspects and impacts aimed at reducing these adverse impacts
  • Track, monitor, and report sustainability metrics to achieve sustainability goals
  • Provide staff with a simple mobile-ready tool to report environmental spills and releases and what immediate actions were taken to mitigate the results
  • Quickly and easily manage a centralized database of all organizational permits, including identified prerequisites and clauses using CQ’s permit management tool to ensure compliance
  • Automate the notice of violation reporting and allow for easy identification of the specific regulatory publication that is of issue, the associated investigations, corrective actions, and mitigation plans to minimize the potential social and financial impact
  • Integrate with STP or ENHESA to maintain a regulatory content library that would be applicable for different locations

Related Insights

Webinars