The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Iso 14001 Environmental Sciences Essay

July 29, 2017 Environmental Sciences

Over clip, the demand for the protection of the environment has increased as different industries, companies and establishments have contributed to environmental debasement in different grades depending on the activities carried out by these administrations. Therefore, as the construct of sustainable development emerged in the late 1980 ‘s, environmental direction tools such as Environmental Impact Assessment ( EIA ) , Strategic Environmental Assessment ( SEA ) and Environmental Management Systems ( EMS ) have been progressively utilised to seek to cut down the force per unit area on environmental impacts and resources in a systematic mode.

The British Standard Institute defines environmental direction system ( EMS ) as “ the organizational construction, duties, processs, procedures and resources for finding and implementing environmental policy ” ( in Welford 1998 pg 38 ) . It is besides defined as “ a set of direction procedure and process that allow an administration to analyze, control and cut down the environmental impacts of its operations and services to accomplish cost nest eggs, greater efficiency and inadvertence and streamlined regulative conformity ” ( Schaltegger et al 2003 p 296 ) . In other words, it puts a cheque on the activities of an organisation and its impact the environment and at the same clip, improves public presentation.

There are several sorts of EMS criterions but the recognized 1s are the BS 7750 British criterions, The EMAS which is a European Regulation and the ISO 14001 criterion which is voluntary ( Sheldon 1997 pg 128 ) . As at December 2005, 111,162 ISO 14001 certifications had been issued in 138 states to different administrations runing from heavy fabrication industries to hotels and local governments ( R.

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DEFRA ( 2005 ) defines ISO 14001 as “ the international criterion for EMS which specifies the characteristics and demands necessary for administrations consistently identify, evaluate, manage and better the environmental impacts of their activities, merchandises and services ” . ISO 14001 was developed and is managed by the International Organization for Standardization ( ISO ) which is a non-governmental administration and is supported by other guidelines which are ISO 14004, 19011 and 14031 but the 14001 series is the lone ISO that requires enfranchisement ( Arimura et al 2008 ) .

Design OF ISO 14001

Sambasivan & A ; Fei ( 2007 ) states that ISO 14001 has no legal demands that it should be adopted but voluntary which is an effectual tool for proactive administrations as it acts as a benchmark to better environmental public presentation thereby run intoing statute law demands and besides reassuring stakeholders and regulators. Sheldon ( 1997 ) notes that a cardinal rule for planing ISO 14001 was to make a consensus with all interested parties on a voluntary footing. Welford ( 1996 pg 63 ) provinces that ISO 14001 is a specification criterion that requires the acceptance and care of an EMS and has been documented in such a manner to guarantee conformance can be verified and this can be done through ego declaration or by an independent 3rd party certifier. It is designed in such a manner that it can be applied to any administration worldwide and by and large provides a model that a house can establish an EMS and it is voluntary in the sense that any administration would follow ISO 14001 merely if it ‘s possible benefits outweighs its cost and fight is non lost as the administration reduces pollution in the best manner they see fit ( Delmas 2000, Bansal and Hunter 2003 ) .

Bansal and Hunter ( 2003 ) notes that ISO 14001 is the preferable EMS because of its legitimacy and easy acknowledgment by external stakeholders as it is externally certified which requires an audit procedure to guarantee that the EMS meets its set marks. They farther added that it has a flexible procedure that focuses on the procedures carried out by the administration instead than environmental public presentation.


The strength of ISO 14001 as a generic and voluntary criterion that can be adopted by all administrations is as follows:

Because it is generic, administrations can follow it in such a manner that is best for the administration to better environmental public presentation and can hence be built around the organizational civilization and construction as Sambasiran & A ; Fei ( 2007 ) writes that the true value and benefits of ISO 14001 is gotten when it follows the company ‘s strategic way. Administrations have reported fiscal benefits from following ISO 14001 e.g. in the UK, Akzo Nobel chemicals reduced one-year ingestion of energy by 18 % while National Power made ?26,000 net income from better waste direction ( Sheldon 1997 ) . Birds wall ice-cream mill in Gloucester invested ?115,000 on enfranchisement and started salvaging ?250,000 per twelvemonth from waste decrease and energy preservation ( ENDS 1997 ) .

USB, a big fiscal establishment with subdivisions worldwide, implemented ISO 14001 in the subdivision in Sweden and stated that it is a utile tool as environmental aims and operational processs were integrated into concern units and civilization hence bring forthing an efficient EMS for the administration ( Hillary 2000 pg 75 ) .

Because it is voluntary, proactive industries use it to tout concern by improved processs and at the same clip environmental public presentation and meet regulative demands. Rondenelli & A ; Vastag ( 2000 ) states that the with the voluntary attack, administrations can develop an EMS that is appropriate to activities, location and degree of hazard which in bend leads to demands of enfranchisement for providers and contractors as Ford motors and IBM have done. In their survey of Alumax Mt Holly which is an aluminum works in South Carolina USA and the execution of ISO 14001 led to improved environmental consciousness, enhanced works repute, improved recycling and waste decrease and overall, it improved the attitude of staff toward environmental protection and even though it had good environmental patterns, ISO 14001 strengthened and improved efficiency of production. ENDS ( 2006 ) studies that axial rotation Royce is giving developing and support to 6 of its provider so that they can be ISO 14001 certified

Because it can be adopted by all administrations from big fabricating industries with 50,000 employees to SME ‘s with 20 employees in all sectors, heavy industries with high environmental pollution can implement ISO 14001 to run into statute law, cut down environmental impacts and fix for exigencies in instance of accidents. Hotels in Hong Kong like the Grand Stanford Intercontinental Hong Kong and Hotel Nikko are ISO 14001 certified to construct positive image, better environmental public presentation and for economic benefits ( Hillary 2000 ) .


The failing that ISO 14001 is a generic and voluntary criterion that can be adopted by all administrations is as follows:

Because it is generic, the administration and implement ISO 14001 in a manner that it sees fit and most administrations get the ISO 14001 enfranchisement without altering their organizational civilization which is a critical success to the execution of an EMS as Balzarova et Al ( 2006 ) looks at a instance survey of a steel fiction company who had been certified but lost it because focal point was on enfranchisement instead than bettering environmental public presentation and employees were non involved in the direction procedure. Re-implementing ISO 14001 the organizational civilization had to alter and Malmborg ( 2003 ) concluded that most administrations do non see an EMS as a tool but a replacement for human actions which leads to jobs.

There is trouble in the reading of the administrations environmental facets as Hilary ( 2000 pg 44 ) confirms in her survey of local governments in New Zealand found it hard to place indirect effects such as buying policy, contractor and provider direction e.t.c.

Because it is voluntary, most administrations adopt ISO 14001 believing it would “ miraculously ” better their environmental system without top direction committedness from an early phase.

Research workers have criticised ISO 14001 saying that it does non see SME ‘s and developing states. The cost of implementing ISO 14001 has flawed the fact that it can be adopted by all organisations as the mean cost of enfranchisement is $ 10,000- $ 128,000 and care cost is between $ 5,000- $ 10,000 per twelvemonth depending on the size ( Bansal and Hunter 2003 ) . This makes it hard for SME ‘s to implement and they contribute about 70 % of environmental pollution ( Hillary 2000 ) .


The design of ISO 14001 has weak sets of way compared to BS7750 and EMAS because it sets environmental ends and are continuously improved but ISO 14001 does non and this is as a consequence of concerns in the US scared of possible judicial proceeding ( ENDS 1997, Streger 2000 ) . Because of deficiency of resources, and cognition, the precedence of environmental impact is reduced


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