ISO 14001 – Environmental Management System

The choice of companies to develop and certify the Environmental Management System comes from an increasing responsibility regarding monitoring and reduction of their environmental impact and the willingness to respond to the growing interest shown by the public and environmental main customers.

The UNI EN ISO 14001 standard specifies the requirements of an environmental management system to allow an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives that consider legal requirements, other requirements that the organization subscribes and information regarding significant environmental aspects.

An important aspect to underline is the strong integration that can be developed between an environmental management system according to the UNI EN ISO 14001 standard and a quality management system according to the UNI EN ISO 9001 standard. In fact, some processes are common (ex. Audit, Review, Improvement, Resources, etc.), while others must be appropriately made coherent (design and development with evaluation of the environmental aspects related to the product and its life cycle, production with operational control of the environmental aspects, etc. ).

The integrated Quality-Environment systems allow to optimize resources and activities, develop synergic improvement plans, reduce documents and records.


  • Application of the “High Level Structure” (HLS) (new structure, according to the ISO annexe SL directive)
  • Strengthening leadership requirements (context, strategy, results, integration)
  • Strengthening of risk-based thinking, in order to support and improve the management of applicable environmental aspects
  • Greater involvement of the organizational context (relevant issues, stakeholders)
  • Greater attention to the involvement of use of product and end-of-life management, where applicable the life cycle of the product / service
  • Clarifications regarding the definition of the scope of the management system
  • Less emphasis on documents
  • Greater attention to external communication
  • Greater attention for the achievements of results set by the management system


The Environmental Management Systems Development/Adjustment Advisory Program is developed in the following steps:

  • Identification and assessment of the significance of environmental aspects;
  • Environmental analysis (external context, internal context, stakeholders and their expectations, SGA scope, legal aspects, environmental issues);
  • Analysis of the Life Cycle and the Value Chain;
  • Risk analysis and assessment for environmental management;
  • Adjustment/issuance of system documents (Manual and Procedure) and its module to the new ISO 14001 standard;
  • Review of Environmental Policy;
  • Preparation and identification of responses to environmental emergencies;
  • Planning and conducting audits to assess environmental legislative compliance;
  • Planning and conducting audits to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of the SGA (with a particular focus on significant environmental aspects);
  • Support for the identification of the corrective and preventive actions necessary to remove the causes of non-compliance resulting in verification of their implementation and effectiveness;
  • Support for the planning and registration of training interventions related to the SGA;
  • Verification and improvement of the performance indicator system (KPIs) consistent with improvement priorities and applicable environmental aspects;
  • Support in defining targets and related environmental programmes in relation to the performance indicator system (KPIs);
  • Support for monitoring the progress of environmental programmes and achieving the objectives set;
  • Conducting and verbalizing the Management Review.
  • Operational assistance during audits conducted by the chosen certification body and management of relationships and communications with the same.


Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 (“EMAS III”) defines the requirements of the community System of Ecomanagement and audit (EMAS, to promote, on voluntary participation, a rationalization of the management capabilities of companies in the environment, based not only on respecting the limits imposed by the laws, which remains an obligation, but on the continuous improvement of their environmental performance, on the creation of a new and trusting relationship with institutions and with the public and on the active participation of employees.

The credibility of the EMAS system is based on criteria of absolute rigor on the part of all actors operating within the system itself:

  • It is a case of companies and, more generally, organisations choosing this route on a voluntary basis.
  • Accredited environmental controller, who must interpret their task rigorously and professionally
  • The accreditation bodies of environmental auditors and the relevant national bodies, which must play the role entrusted to them by the state with absolute competence, independence and impartiality

These assumptions have led authorities in Italy, especially local authorities, in recent years to pay particular attention to the introduction of specific benefits for EMAS companies into the legislation.

The EMAS Regulation No.1221/2009, which is currently in force, is the result of an evolution that has accentuated its ability to encourage big changes in the behaviour of companies and organisations in the direction of a focus on environmental issues, which goes beyond simply controlling the impact they generate.

The goal of EMAS is to promote continuous improvements in organizations’ environmental performance through:

  • Legal compliance
  • The introduction and implementation of an environmental management system that complies with ISO 14001 Sec. 4
  • The commitment to continuously improve its environmental performance by defining appropriate environmental indicators (see EC Recommendation 532 of 10 July 2003)
  • Open dialogue with the public and other stakeholders
  • Active employee participation
  • The inclusion of the significant environmental aspects associated with suppliers in the Environmental Management System and their involvement, so that they comply with the organisation’s environmental policy when carrying out the activities covered by the contract.

Today, EMAS presents itself as a formidable broad-spectrum tool to implement the principles of sustainable development in practice.

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