Caltha is often asked if there are any other options rather than meeting ISO 14001 standards for an operation’s EMS. The simple answer is both yes and no, depending on why the EMS was being developed.
First, the answer is no if the purpose is to satisfy a requirement or commitment to develop an ISO 14001-conforming EMS. For many of our clients, the obligation to develop an EMS meeting the ISO standard comes from customers, agreements with regulatory agencies, or is required from corporate organizations. The alternates an organization can consider are whether to 1) self certify that their EMS conforms to ISO 14001, or 2) have the EMS reviewed and approved by an external registrar, and to have a registered ISO 14001 EMS. In many cases, the party requiring the EMS will also specify if the EMS must be registered or can be self-certified.
The answer is yes if the purpose of the EMS is to evaluate the environmental issues associated with the operation and to develop a better program to manage potential impacts and to maintain compliance with the laws and regulations that apply. In this case, organizations have a number of alternate specifications for EMS development that could be considered. This can include industry sector specific EMS designs (chemical industries, food industries, agricultural sector, etc.) or other alternate approaches.
Caltha LLP is an expert ISO 14001 consultant that provides technical guidance to operations that are considering developing a new EMS or wish to revitalize and improve an existing EMS. This includes ad hoc technical support, determining legal and other requirements, conducting an EMS Gap Analysis, preparing an EMS Manual, conducting compliance audits, training internal EMS audit teams, and preparing written programs and procedures to control significant activities.