Home » Compliance Management Blog- ESG, EHS, EHSQ » ISO 14001 Compliance Obligations

ISO 14001 Compliance Obligations

Jonathan Brun

As the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards, ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) aims to promote global material exchanges and mutual assistance, as well as to expand cooperation in knowledge, science, technology and economy. It covers all industries and subjects from manufactured products and technology to environment, health and safety.

There are many benefits to getting your organization ISO certified. Common reasons why companies choose to follow standards are:

  • Improve efficiency
  • Reduce operational costs and waste
  • Meet customers’ and shareholders’ requirements
  • Achieve international quality recognition
  • Develop a positive company culture
  • Becoming more sustainable

The standards also serve as a safeguard for consumers and end-users, ensuring that certified organizations have developed a management system that guarantees:

  • A commitment to enhancing their environmental performance – ISO 140001

Now more than ever, organizations are understanding the importance of investing in environmental sustainability. The trend of environment, social adn governance reporting reinforces the importance of environmental management systems such as ISO 14001. Environmental stewardship is increasingly becoming a core value for many companies, and it is also a common expectation from shareholders. Following standards such as ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) have become prevalent in many industries. These management systems allow companies to remain ahead of the curve, by following best practices in terms of environment impact reduction. However, implementing them can sometimes be tricky and time-consuming.

Nimonik specializes in helping organizations comply with the following ISO 14001 (2015) requirements:

  • Section 4.2 – 4.4, 
  • Section 5.2,
  • Section 6.1.3 – 6.1.4,
  • Section 7.3,
  • Section 9.1.2 – 9.2

A full list of ISO 14001 requirements can be found in this Nimonik Audit Template for ISO 14001

Broadly speaking, Nimonik helps organizations to establish and identify all their external & internal obligations (legal and other requirements); to build and implement their register in the Nimonik system; to keep it up to date; as well as to assess regulations for applicability. Nimonik’s built-in auditing tools also help organizations conduct internal audits against environmental requirements and requirements within your management system.

ISO 14001 (2015) Compliance Obligations: Sections 6.1.3

Building a CO (compliance obligation) Register in Nimonik allows organizations to maintain documented information on their compliance obligations. Nimonik does this by giving an organization access to documents related to its environmental aspects and allowing an organization to determine which of these contain compliance obligations. An organization can also assess and mark documents as applicable in the system and leave comments and notes regarding compliance requirements.

Nimonik also allows you to upload your own obligations that have been created through your commitments to stakeholders. This can come from environmental permits and licenses you have obtained, stakeholder engagements you have made or ESG commitments. Once your organization has adopted these documents, they become obligations that must be managed under the umbrella of ISO 14001.

In other words, based on your external (regulators and industry bodies) and internal obligations (permits, licenses, policies), Nimonik allows you to plan, create, assign, manage and evaluate your actions to ensure ongoing environmental compliance. You will also receive actions when regulations and industry standards change that might impact your compliance status.

ISO 14001 (2015) Evaluation of Compliance: Section 9.1.2 

Nimonik assists an organization in establishing, implementing, and maintaining the processes needed to evaluate the fulfillment of its compliance obligations. Through an automatic actions notification system, an organization will be made aware of any changes to regulations that may affect its compliance obligations, and can then determine how often to evaluate these changes and take action if needed.

Nimonik also helps an organization maintain knowledge and understanding of its compliance status in a centralized and easy-to-use system. Updating the assessment of a document within Nimonik tracks this information in the “Assessment History” field, giving organizations a way to retain documented evidence of compliance evaluation results. With Nimonik, you can conduct risk assessments and apply controls to your obligations – allowing you to demonstrate compliance and reduce risk of non-compliance.

ISO 14001 (2015) Internal Audit Requirement Details: Section 9.2

Nimonik empowers you to plan, conduct, and evaluate your internal audits generated from your external and internal obligations, ensuring that you are in compliance with all of your obligations. You can develop your own custom audit templates, or create an audit directly against a regulation or industry standard, allowing you to evaluate your compliance.

Nimonik can help organizations achieve ISO certifications and build a robust Comprehensive Compliance Program with our 3 core modules: Obligations; Actions; and Audits. Nimonik structures your approach to compliance in a single easy-to-use software to help you ensure that you have a comprehensive compliance program.

In summary, the Nimonik solution moves your organization from messy and out-of-date Excel files to a streamlined compliance management tool where you can manage these key sections of ISO 14001 (2015). This will help reduce surprises and risk and free up valuable resources to focus on your core business.