Regulatory compliance 'chief factor'
Costs, regulations, training and documentation reviews are among the chief factors that companies need to consider before ISO 14001 certification.
According to Det Norske Veritas Greater China (DNV), a leading certification body, one of the most important criteria for certification is the need for the management system to achieve regulatory compliance.
DNV has been accredited by Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Britain to issue ISO 14001 certification.
Companies preparing for certification require minimum investments of resources and facilities to comply with regulatory requirements.
The resources allocated can vary depending on the company, according to DNV.
Initially, a company's documentation - including management system manual, procedures and instructions - will be reviewed by the certification body.
Documents sought by the body during an initial visit include relevant licences and permits, reports on any accidents and internal audit reports.
DNV says a high level of management commitment and technical competence is necessary to implement ISO 14001. A 'paper-based' system is unable to meet requirements of the standard.
There is a need for a management review, while the internal audit system should be operational and effective.
DNV undertakes preliminary assessments, reviews and training. It also conducts courses on introduction to environmental management systems, internal audit, advanced environmental management systems auditing and the introduction to environmental engineering and science.
DNV is the world's leading classification body and, in recent years, has emerged as a major certifying body for quality and environmental management systems.
The society is accredited in 13 countries for certification to ISO 9000. In excess of 6,000 certificates have been issued in more than 40 countries.