The ISO14001:2015 checklist is a self-assessment questionnaire that businesses can go through to evaluate if they fulfil the requirements to acquire the certification. The checklist contains six major components:
- The general requirements
- Environmental policy
- Implementation and operation
- Training requirements
- Corrective action recommendations
- A review for management
Small businesses can respond to the questions and self-score their responses. Kristensen, Mosgaard and Remmen, (2021) state that the benefits of ISO 14001 include reduced cost of regulation, better competitive advantage, enhanced access to investment, better profitability and enhanced brand image.
1- ISO 14001certification; Environmental statutes
The first section of the checklist asks organisations or small businesses to investigate whether they comprehend the need to comply with environmental regulations to reduce pollution. This section talks about accidental emissions released into soil, water or air during the product creation cycle, which may have harmful effects on different receptors, including vegetation, people or animals. So, businesses that have already established or maintained an environmental management system (EMS) that conforms with the requirements outlined with ISO 14001 certification can respond positively in the section.
2- ISO 14001 checklist for smal businesses; ecological courses accessible for all the members
The second section talks about environmental policy. The first assessment question that small businesses must check is if their top management has a definite, pre-defined and clear ecological policy. The following questions ask small businesses to further investigate the appropriateness of the environmental policy. For example, small businesses are asked to measure the suitability of environmental policy concerning the environmental impact based on the scale and nature. Companies are also asked if the environmental policy has a different commitment for continuous improvement to environment preservation and prevention of pollution. Hence, businesses are asked to investigate if their ecological policies have a monitoring and evaluation phase. The benefits of ISO 14001 for business are highly noteworthy; Because it understands that many businesses may state that they are committed to continual improvement but may still unconsciously or unknowingly create adverse environmental impacts. So, it makes it easier for small businesses by asking if their ecological policies are relevant to the regulations and legislations of appropriate organisations. It asks companies to investigate if there is a provision of a framework that can periodically review the organisation’s targets and objectives. Lastly, the ISO14001 checklist asks small businesses if their environmental policy is appropriately documented, implemented and communicated to all employees And if it is available for the public.
3- ISO 14001:2015; Planning and invoronmental phenomenon
The third section talks about planning. Here, planning is categorised into subcategories such as environmental aspects, legal requirements, objectives and targets and environmental management programs. The environmental aspects recommends small businesses to investigate their past, to identify if any of their products, activities or services have significantly impacted the environment and what corrective steps were taken. The legal requirement section suggests small organisations to measure if they comply with the regulatory bodies’ obligations. The subsection of objectives and targets asks small businesses to review whether technological, operational, and financial alternatives were considered during environmental policies. This subsection aims to understand if the small businesses’ objectives are consistent with minimising pollution. The last subsection, which outlines the requirements for an environmental management program, inquires if companies have specific programmes, people or activities designated for achieving their environmental commitments.
4- ISO 14001 requirements checklist; Specifing the causes and describing the regulations
The fourth section talks about implementation and operation. The checklist begins by asking small businesses to define the exact resources that have been designed to meet their environmental commitments, including financial resources, technology, specialised skills and human resources. The next section asks small businesses to identify the exact training needs necessary to meet these predefined environmental commitments. It includes defining the roles and responsibilities and emergency preparedness. Successful managers of organisations agreed that ISO 14001 cost is totally worth it; Because this certification also covers the topic of communication in the section where small businesses are asked if internal communication between various levels is transparent and how external communication is recorded. It also includes questions on document control, including the location, the framework for periodical review, competency skills of individuals reviewing the documents, document clearing method for obsolete documents and modification techniques.
5- ISO 14001 internal audit checklist; Reformative moves and prohibitive plans
The fifth section of the ISO14001 certification checklist talks about corrective action. The list begins by asking small businesses to investigate the critical characteristics of their operations, monitoring and evaluation procedures. Small businesses are also asked to reflect upon their non-conformance and preventive action plans. It includes reflecting upon what actions have to be taken to mitigate any potential impacts, what corrective actions should be taken to eliminate the causes, and how should these changes be documented. This section also covers the small businesses audit program, including results of previous audits, schedules, frequency, methodology and past concerns.
6- ISO 14001 checklist; How to adjust to situations changes
The last section focuses on the review of small business management. It talks about the documentation, effectiveness and sustainability of management reviews. It also asks small businesses to question its commitment to improvement in the light of changing circumstances. You can get a proffesional ISO 14001 consultancy to do it on your behalf.