Steps to Certification

Implementing a management system of any kind is a significant undertaking for any organization. However, there are some common tools you can use and a common process to follow during implementation and the route towards certification.

Get familiar with the ISO 14001:2004 standard and set up your environmental management team. It is crucial to have senior management committed to this endeavor.
  • Perform an environmental review to identify how your operations impact the environment. Consider both normal operations, anomalies, and other risks.
  • Identify the significant impacts and set improvement objectives
  • Learn the legislation regarding environmental impacts and issues in all areas where you do business
  • Determine what documentation you need
  • Perform assessment of current utility usage, discharge, emissions. Identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Review past accidents or emergency situations to ensure you have contingency plans in place
Develop Your EMS Policy

The environmental policy is the foundation of your EMS.

Here you will state your company’s commitment to comply with applicable requirements, to prevent pollution, and to continually improve your EMS.


Identify Environmental Aspects, Legal Requirements, Set Objectives, Targets, and the corresponding programs to carry out achievement of objectives and targets.

As with any endeavor, planning is a key element.

The more thorough you are when identifying your environmental aspects and impacts, more successful your EMS will be.

Legal requirements will vary, however you may want to consider adhering to voluntary guidelines, even if they are not required.

Lastly, setting objectives and targets should involve consideration of the entire lifecycle of your product or service.

Targets should be specific and measurable without requiring the addition of costly tools to verify data.


Training should be provided to all people with the responsibility and authority to perform work tasks.

ISO 14001 requires training on tasks specific to upholding the requirements of the EMS.

It is also important that you provide education to the staff that will be responsible for maintaining your EMS.

Communication of the mechanics of an EMS will help your employees to be more effective at keeping the EMS running smoothly and aware of what issues need to be addressed in their particular work areas.

McDCG can provide your organization with training customized and specific to the operation and maintenance of your company’s EMS.


It is a good idea to have an external review done of your implementation efforts before you have the registration audit.

A pre-assessment or mock audit will prevent any surprises when the registrar visits.

The pre-assessment auditor can also help you to correct any findings and get you on your way with your improvement opportunities.


Keeping up the Momentum

Don’t let your registration be the end of your efforts.

There are many ways your organization can keep the spirit going when it comes to your Environmental Management System and Environmental policies.

Stay on top of measuring financial savings.

Offer incentives and rewards for employees who have ideas on environmental improvement.

Be sure your customers are kept aware of your commitment, and informed of all new measures you are taking.

Look at what other companies are doing and try to raise the bar.

Are you ready to get started on EMS Certification for your organization?

Contact The McDonald Group today to gain access to our proven system of EMS implementation – and join the list of satisfied customers who save time and money by utilizing McDCG!

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