One of the requirements of ISO 14001 is establishing a Communication procedure with interested parties about the organization’s EMS. It provides framework organizations can use to develop and implement an EMS(Environment management system). The standard is designed to help organizations in all sectors reduce their environmental impact and improve their environmental performance. This requirement is intended to ensure that interested parties have the opportunity to give feedback on the EMS and to provide input on the organization’s environmental performance.
Types of communication procedure
There are two basic types of communication that an organization needs to consider when establishing its ISO 14001 communication procedure:
- Communication with interested parties about the EMS itself- The first type of communication is designed to ensure that interested parties can understand the EMS and provide input on its development and implementation. To meet ISO 14001, it is essential to establish a procedure for communicating with interested parties about the EMS. The purpose of this communication is to ensure that interested parties have the opportunity to understand the EMS and to provide input on its development and implementation. An organization can communicate with interested parties about its EMS in several ways. The most common method is through public meetings or open houses. Other methods include newsletters, website postings, and press releases. It is essential to note that the frequency and method of communication will vary depending on the level of interest shown by the interested parties. For example, if there is a high level of interest, the organization may need to communicate monthly. However, if there is a low level of interest, the organization may only need to share annually. To ensure that communication with interested parties is effective, it is essential to:
- Identify who the interested parties are
- Determine what information they need; and
- Select the most appropriate method for communicating with them.
- Communication of the organization’s environmental performance- The second type of communication is designed to keep interested parties informed about the organization’s progress in achieving its environmental objectives and targets. Communication of the organization’s environmental performance should include the following:
- Information about the organization’s environmental objectives and targets.
- Data on the organization’s environmental performance; and
- An explanation of the data’s meaning about the organization’s environmental objectives and targets.
How to communicate ISO 14001 procedure?
Clear and effective communication is essential for any organization seeking to implement an ISO 14001 procedure. Without it, employees will be unclear about their roles and responsibilities, and the procedure will be less effective. Here are a few tips on how to effectively communicate your ISO 14001 procedure:
- Make sure everyone understands the ISO 14001 procedure and its role.
- Hold regular meetings to discuss the procedure and any changes or updates.
- Encourage open communication and feedback from employees.
- Use visual aids like diagrams and flowcharts to help employees understand the procedure.
- Ensure all employees have access to the ISO 14001 procedure and regularly update it.
- Train employees on the procedure and how to implement it effectively.
How to implement the communication procedure
There are a few critical steps to implementing a communication procedure that meets the requirements of ISO 14001.
- First, you must identify all relevant parties who need to be informed about your EMS. This includes employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, and the wider community.
- Once you have identified all relevant parties, you must decide how to communicate with them. Will you use meetings, emails, newsletters, or social media? It would help if you considered each party's communication channels most effective.
- The next step is to develop a plan for communicating your EMS. This plan should include what information you will communicate, when, and who will be responsible for doing so.
- Finally, you must implement your communication plan and ensure that all relevant parties are up-to-date on your EMS.
Benefits of Communication procedure
The benefits of an effective communication procedure include the following:
- Improved environmental performance – By ensuring that all employees are aware of the organization’s environmental policy and objectives, they will be more likely to work in a way that reduces the negative impact on the environment.
- Improved employee morale – When employees feel that they are part of a team working towards common goals, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to increased productivity and improved organizational efficiency.
- Improved customer satisfaction – When customers see that an organization is committed to reducing its environmental impact, they are more likely to have confidence in the company and its products or services. Sales growth and better profitability may result from this.
Instructions to use the template
All yellow indicated numbers in the communication procedure are ones that need action to be taken. Below are the details:
1. Provide the Revision History of the document
- Revision Number: in the order of 00,01,02, etc
- Date: Revision Date of Document in dd-mmm-yyyy
- Prepared By: Name of the person who prepared the document
- Reviewed By: Name of the person who reviewed the document after revision
- Approved By: Name of the person who approved the document after revision
- Description: Describe the revision
3. Type either of the below as applicable
- IMS – Integrated Management system i.e ISO 9001:2015, 14001:2015, 45001:2018 all
- QMS – Quality Management system, i.e., ISO 9001:2015
- EMS – Environmental Management system, i.e., ISO 14001:2015
- OHSMS – Occupational Health and Safety Management system, i.e., ISO 45001:2018
5. Change as per the organization’s practice
6. Modify Training requirements as per Organizational requirements
7. Modify as per the organization’s requirements
8. Sample Communication Plan filled with all three standards, which can be used and modified per the organization’s practice and actual scenario.
9. Environmental/ Occupational Health and Safety