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ISO 14001:2015 Clause 4.4 Environmental management system
Clause 4.4 Breakdown
4.4 Environmental management system
UNDERSTAND "YOUR" EMS
This clause is one that requires the organization to pull all parts of their EMS model together, and promotes the PDCA approach to facilitate a system which will be responsive to internal and external changes and issues.
It requires an organization to enhance its environmental performance, ensuring continual improvement is not reserved solely to the EMS processes and systems. In simple terms, this is a requirement to establish, maintain and continually improve the context of the organization for its own benefit and those of its interested parties.
Example of a combined approach (some would refer to this as a TQM management system)
Top management within the organization has the authorization and accountability to determine how to satisfy the requirements of the 14001:2015 standard. Because the context of an organization will differ in many and varied ways, top management, whilst maintaining compliance to the standard has the freedom to model their EMS as appropriate for their business, taking into account the needs of interested parties.
The clause talks about "processes needed and their interactions." The way each organization defines its procedures, and their complexity are entirely down to the management team. This can be written procedures and instructions, flow-charts, mind-maps, value stream mapping, TQM Diagram, etc., but what is clear is the need for these to interact within the EMS system as a whole and not be stand-alone. Once an organization has mapped out its EMS system in its preferred format, it will be easier to identify the needs for adequate resources (materials, staff, supervision, competencies, impacts and aspects, etc.).
Mind-map of ISO 14001:2015 clause 4.4 PDCA Approach
Useful integrated management system cross references
ISO 9001-2015 4.4 - QMS management system
ISO 45001-2018 4.4 - OH&S management system
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