EMS: Environmental Management Systems

Environmental Management Systems certification is provided by certification bodies to organisations whose management systems meet the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. 

ISO 14001 specifies the elements of an environmental management system that an organisation must have in place in order to become certified to the standard.  In order to achieve this standard a company must have an environmental policy in place that is communicated to all employees.  It must define its “environmental aspects” and set objectives and targets to improve its environmental impact and performance. These objectives and targets should be measurable and monitored closely by the organisation.  A company must also ensure it is compliant with any applicable environmental legislation. 

A Management Systems certification body must be able to demonstrate its competence to assess and certify a management system that conforms to specific requirements.

INAB accredits certification bodies to the international standard, ISO 1702,1on demonstration of its competence to carry out management system conformity assessment related to products, processes, systems or people. INAB publishes a Schedule of Accreditation for each accredited certification body which specifies industry sector codes within which the body has demonstrated its competence.

The certification body must comply with ISO 17021and its associated guidelines published by the International Accreditation Forum, IAF.  The guidance document, IAF GD2 clarifies requirements for the certification body, and enables accreditation bodies to harmonise their application of the standard.  It is available from the IAF website at http://www.iaf.nu.

ISO 17021 has a number of requirements for organisational structure; quality management system elements, competence of personnel, confidentiality, etc. and the certification nody must be able to demonstrate compliance with all of these requirements.

Once the certification body has all of the organisational and technical measures in place, has been operating a certification service for a period of time sufficient to have historical records built up, and has enabled demonstration of consistent operation can apply to INAB for accreditation.