ISO 14001:2015 checklist

by Pretesh Biswas

ISO 14001:2015 GAP ANALYSIS TOOLS

The following checklist can be used for both internal audits as well as Gap Analysis tools.

ISO 14001:2015 Checklist
Clause 4: Context of the organization
4.1 Understanding the organization and its context
1 Has the organization determined external and internal issues that are relevant to your purpose and that affected its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of your environmental management system?
2 How does the organization monitor and review information about these external and internal issues and do they include environmental conditions being affected by or capable of affecting the organisation?
4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
1 Has the organization determined the interested parties that are relevant to the Environment Management System?
2 Has the organization determined the requirements of these interested parties relevant to the Environment Management System?
3 Has the organization determined which of these needs and expectations become its compliance obligations?
4.3 Determining the scope of the Environment management system
1 Has the organization established the boundaries and applicability of the environmental management system to establish its scope?
2 When determining the scope of the environmental management system has the organization considered the external and internal issues referred to clause 4.1 and also considered the compliance obligation in clause 4.2?
3 While determining the scope, has the organization determined the organizational units, functions and physical boundaries?
4 While determining the scope, has the organization determined the activities, products and services of the organization?
5 While determining the scope, has the organization considered its authority and ability to exercise control and in?
6 Have all activities, product and services been included in the scope been included in the EMS?
7 Is the organization’s scope made available to Interested Parties and maintained as a Documented Information?
4.4 Environment management system 
1 Have the organization established, implemented and have the system in place to maintain and continually improve it’s an environmental management system, including the processes needed and their interactions, in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14001?
2 Has the organization considered the knowledge gained in 4.1 and 4.2 when establishing and maintaining the environmental management system?
Clause 5 Leadership
5.1 Leadership and commitment
1 Does the top management demonstrate leadership and commitment by taking accountability for the effectiveness of its EMS?
2 Has the top management ensured that the Environment policy and Environment objective are established?
3 Are the Environment policy and Environment objective compatible with the context and strategic direction of the organization?
4 Has the organization integrated the requirements of EMS into the business processes?
5 Is the top management ensuring that the resources needed for the EMS are available?  
6 Is the importance of the effectiveness of EMS and conformance of EMS requirements communicated?
7 Does the top management ensure that the EMS is achieving its intended results?  
8 Does the Top Management direct and supports the persons to contribute to the effectiveness of the EMS?
9 Is Top Management promoting continual improvements?
10 Is Top Management supporting other relevant management roles to demonstrate their leadership as it applies to their area of responsibilities?
5.2 Policy
1 Has top Management established, implemented and maintained an Environmental Policy that is appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization, including the nature, scale and environmental impacts of its activities, products and services?
2 Does the Environment policy provide the framework for setting environment objective?
3 Does the Environment policy include a commitment to the protection of the environment, including the prevention of pollution and other specific commitment relevant to the context of organizations?
4 Does the Environment policy include a commitment to fulfil its compliance obligation?
5 Does the Environment policy include the commitment to continual improvement of the EMS to enhance environmental performance?
6 Is the environmental policy maintained as documented information, communicated within the organisation and available to interested parties?
5.3 Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
1 Has the Top management ensured that the responsibilities and authorities for relevant roles are assigned and communicated within the organization?
2 Has top management assigned the responsibility and authority for ensuring that the environmental management system conforms to the requirements of ISO14001?
3 Has top management assigned the responsibility and authority for reporting on the performance of the environmental management system including environmental performance to top management?
6 Planning
6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
6.1.1 General
1 When planning for the environmental management system, have the organization considered the issues referred to in 4.1, the requirements referred to in 4.2, the scope of the environmental management and determined the risks and opportunities related to environmental aspects, compliance obligation that needs to be addressed to give assurance that the environmental management system can achieve its intended outcomes?
2 When planning for the environmental management system, have the organization considered to prevent or reduce undesired effects, including the potential for external environmental conditions to affect the organisation?
3 Has the organisation determined potential emergency situations that have an environmental impact and are they included in the scope of the environmental management system?
4 Has the organisation documented and maintained information regarding its risks and opportunities that need to be addressed and established the processes needed to address them?
6.1.2 Environmental Aspects
1 Has the organisation determined the environmental aspects of its activities, products, and services that it can control and influence and their associated impacts considering the life cycle perspective?
2 While determining the environmental aspects, has the organization taken into accountant change including planned or new developments and new or modified activities, products and services?
3 While determining the environmental aspects, has the organization taken into accountant abnormal conditions and reasonably foreseeable emergency situations?
4 What criteria has the organisation used to determine those aspects that can have a significant environmental impact and how are these communicated at the various levels within the organisation?
5 Are aspects and impacts maintained as documented information, significant aspects including the criteria used to determine its significance?
6.1.3 Compliance Obligations
1 Has the organization determined and have access to the compliance obligations related to its environmental aspects?
2 Determined how these compliance obligations apply to the organization?
3 Has the organization taken into account these compliance obligations when establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving its environmental management system?
4 Are compliance obligations maintained as documented information?
6.1.4 Planning Action
1 Has the organization taken action to address significant environmental aspects and compliance obligations and the risks and opportunities identified in clause 6.1.1?
2 How does the organization integrate and implement the actions into its environmental management system processes or other business processes?
3 How does the organization evaluate the effectiveness of its action?
4 Have technological options, Financial, operational and business requirement been taken into account by the organization?
6.2 Environment objectives and planning to achieve them
6.2.1 Environmental Objectives
1 Has the organization established Environmental objectives at relevant functions, levels and process needed for the EMS taking into account significant aspects, associated compliance obligation and has considered its risk and opportunities?
2 Are the environment objectives consistent with the environmental policy?
3 Are environment objective measurable ( if applicable) and Monitored?
4 Are environment objectives communicated and updated as required?
5 Does the organization maintain documented information on the environment objectives?
6.2.2 Planning Actions to Achieve Environmental Objectives
1 For achieving environmental objectives does the organization determines what will be done, what resources are required, who will be responsible, when will it be completed and how are the result to be evaluated including indicators monitoring progress towards achievement of its measurable environmental objectives?
2 Have the organization considered how actions to achieve your environmental objectives can be integrated into your business processes?
7 Support
7.1 Resources
1 Has the organization determined and provided the resources needed for the establishment, implementing, maintaining and continual improvement of the EMS?
2 Has the organization considered the capabilities and constraints of existing internal resources?
3 Has the organization considered what needs to be obtained from external providers?
7.2 Competence
1 Does the organization determine the necessary competence of persons doing work under its control that affects the performance and effectiveness of the environmental management system and its ability to fulfil its compliance obligations?
2 Does the organization ensure that these persons are competent on basis of appropriate education, training or experience?
3 Has the organization determined the training needs associated with its environmental aspects and its environmental management system?
4 Does the organization take applicable actions to acquire the necessary competence and evaluate the effectiveness of action taken?
5 Does the organization retain the appropriate documented information as evidence of competence?
7.3 Awareness
1 How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of the implications of not conforming to the environmental management system requirements including not fulfilling the organization obligation?
2 How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of the significant environmental aspect and related actual and potential impact associated with their work?
3 How does the organization ensure that persons doing work under their control are aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of the environmental management system, including the benefits of enhanced environmental performance?
4 Does the organization ensure that the persons doing work under the organization’s control are aware of their contribution to the effectiveness of EMS including the benefits of improved performance and the implications of not meeting EMS requirements?
7.4 Communication
7.4.1 General
1 How does the organization determine the internal and external communications relevant to the environmental management system, including on what it will communicate, when to communicate, with whom to communicate and how to communicate?
2 When establishing its communication processes has the organization taken account its compliance obligations?
3 When establishing its communication processes has the organization take account of the information communicated is consistent and reliable?
4 Does the organization retain the appropriate documented information as evidence of communication as appropriate?
7.4.2 Internal communication
1 What information relevant to EMS including any changes is communicated internally and what levels in the organization is it communicated to?
2 How does the organization ensures its communication processes enable persons doing work under its control to contribute to continual improvement?
7.4.3 External Communication
1 How does the organization ensure that its external information is communicated as established by its communication process and also as required by the organization’s compliance obligations?
7.5 Documented Information
7.5.1 General
1 Does the organization’s EMS include documents required by ISO 14001:2015 and documents determined by the organization necessary for the effectiveness of the EMS?
7.5.2 Creating and updating
1 While creating and updating documented information, does the organization ensure it is appropriate in terms of identification descriptions?
2 While creating and updating documented information does the organization ensure that it is in proper format and in the correct media?
3 While creating and updating documented information, does the organization ensure that there is appropriate review and approval for suitability and adequacy?
7.5.3 Control of documented information
1 How does the organization control its documented information to ensure that it is available and suitable for use, whenever it is needed?
2 How is the documented information adequately protected?
3 How is the distribution, access, retrieval and use of documented information adequately controlled?
4 How is the documented properly stored and adequately preserved and it is legible?
5 How is there control of changes (e.g. version control)?
6 Are adequate control in place for retention and disposition?
7 How are external origin documented information necessary for planning and operation of EMS appropriately identified and controlled?
8 How are records protected for unintended alterations?
8 Operations
8.1 Operation planning and control
1 Does the organization establish, implement, control and maintain the processes needed to meet the requirements of the environmental management system and to implement the actions determined in Clause 6.1 and 6.2, by establishing operating criteria for the processes?
2 Has the organization implemented control of the processes in accordance with the operating criteria?
3 How does the organization control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes, including taking action to mitigate any adverse effects, as necessary?
4 How does your organization ensure that outsourced processes are controlled and are type and extend of control or influence to be applied to the outsourced processes defined in the EMS?
5 How does the organisation address the, from a life cycle perspective, appropriate controls regarding environmental requirements within its design and development process  for product or service by considering each stage of its life cycle?
6 How does the  organization address the environmental requirements for the procurement of products and services?
7 Has the organization communicates its relevant environmental requirements to external providers, including contractors?
8 How does the organization addressed provision of information regarding potential significant environmental impacts associated with transport, delivery use, and end of life treatment and  final disposal of its product or services
9 How does the organization maintain  documented information to the extent necessary to have the confidence  that processes have been carried out as planned?
8.2 Emergency Preparedness and Response
1 Has the organization  established, implemented and maintained processes needed to prepare for and respond to potential emergency situations identified in clause 6.1.1?
2 How does the organization plan action to response to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental impacts from emergency situations?
3 How does the organization responds to actual emergency situations and to take action to prevent or mitigate the consequences of emergency situations appropriate to the magnitude of the emergency and the potential environmental impact?
4 How does the organization periodically test the planned response where practicable?
5 Periodically in particular after occurrence of emergency situation or test, how does the organization  periodically reviews and revises the processes and planned response actions.
6 How does the organization provides relevant information and training related to emergency preparedness and response to relevant interested parties and persons working under its control?
7 what documented information is maintained to the extend necessary as evidence to have confidence that the processes have been carried out as planned?
9. Performance evaluation
9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation
9.1.1 General
1 How does the organization monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate its  Environmental performance?
2 How does the organization determine what needs to be monitored and measured?
3 How does the organization determine the methods for monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation  as needed to ensure valid results?
4 How does organization determine the criteria against which it will evaluate its environmental performance and appropriate indicators?
5 How does your organization determine when the monitoring and measurement shall be performed and its result shall be analyzed and  evaluated?
6 How does the organization ensure that its measuring and monitoring equipment is appropriately calibrated or verified and those equipment are used and maintained as appropriate.
7 How does the organization evaluates the environment performance and the effectiveness of the environmental management system?
8 How is the relevant environment performance information communicated both internally and externally? Is it identified in its communication process and is as required by its compliance obligation?
9 How does the organization retains appropriate documented information as evidence of  monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation results?
9.1.2 Evaluation of Result
1 Has the organization established, implemented and maintained the process needed to evaluate fulfilment of its compliance obligation?
2 Have the organization determined the frequency that compliance will be evaluated?
3 Have the organization evaluated compliance and take action if needed?
4 Have the organization maintained knowledge and understanding of its compliance status?
5 Have the organization retain documented information as evidence of the compliance evaluation results?
9.2 Internal Audit
9.2.1 General
1 Does the organization conduct internal audits at planned intervals to provide information  on whether the EMS conforms to its own requirement for EMS, ISO 14001:2015 requirements and EMS is effectively implemented and maintained  ?
9.2.2 Internal audit program
1 Did the organization plan, establish, implement, and maintain an audit program?
2 Did the audit program include the frequency, methods, responsibilities, planning requirements, and reporting of its internal audit?
3 Does the audit program take into consideration the environmental importance of the process concerned, changes affecting the organization, and the results of previous audits?
4 Did the organization define the audit criteria and scope of each audit?
5 Does the organization ensure that the audit is conducted by the auditors to ensure objectivity and impartiality of the audit process?
6 Does the organization ensure that the results of the audits are reported to relevant management?
7 Does the organization take appropriate correction and corrective action without undue delays?
8 Does the retain documented information as evidence of the implementation of the audit program and the audit results ?
9.3 Management review
1 Does the Top Management review the organization QMS at planned intervals  to  ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness?
2 Does the review take into consideration the status of actions from previous management reviews?
3 Are the changes in external and internal issues relevant to EMS considered?
4 Are the changes in the needs and expectations of interested parties including compliance obligation considered?
5 Are the changes in the significant aspects, risk and opportunities considered?
6 Does the review take into consideration information on the performance and effectiveness of the QMS?
7 Does the review take into consideration the extent to which the environmental objectives have been achieved?
8 Does the review take into consideration the environmental performance including the trends in nonconformities and corrective actions, monitoring and measurement results, fulfilment of its compliance obligations and the audit results?
9 Does the review take into consideration the adequacy of resources?
10 Does the  review takes into consideration relevant communications from interested parties including complaints?
11 Does the review take into consideration the opportunities for  continual improvement?
12 Do the outputs of the management review include decisions and actions related to conclusions on continuing suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the environmental management system?
13 Does the output take includes decisions related to continual improvement opportunities??
14 Does the output decisions related to any need for changes to the environmental management system, including resource needs?
15 Does the output includes actions, if needed, when environmental objectives have not been met?
16 Does the output includes opportunities to improve integration of the environmental management system with other business processes, if needed?
17 Do the outputs of the Management review include any implications for the strategic direction of the organization?
18 Does the organization retain documented information as evidence of the result of the management review?
10 Improvement
10.1 General
1 how does the  organization determine the opportunities for improvement as given in clause 9.1,9.2,9.3 and implement any necessary actions to achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system?
10.2 Nonconformity and corrective action
1 When any nonconformity occurs, how does the organization reacts to it by taking action to control and correct it and deal with the consequences including mitigating adverse environmental impacts?
2 When any nonconformity occurs, does the organization evaluate the need for action to eliminate the causes of the nonconformity in order that it does not recur or occur elsewhere?
3 How does the organization reviews  the nonconformity?
4 How does the organization determine the causes of the nonconformity?
5 How does the organization determine similar nonconformity exist or could potentially exist?
6 How does the organization implemented any action needed?
7 How does the organization reviewed the effectiveness of the corrective action taken?
8 Has the organization made changes to the EMS if necessary?
9 Are the corrective actions appropriate to the significance of the effects of the nonconformities encountered including  environmental impact?
10 Does the organization retain documented information on the nature of the nonconformities and any subsequent actions taken; and the result of any corrective action?
10.3 Continual improvement
1 Does the organization continually improve the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the EMS to enhance environmental performance?

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If you need assistance or have any doubt and need to ask any questions contact me at preteshbiswas@gmail.com. You can also contribute to this discussion and I shall be happy to publish them. Your comment and suggestion are also welcome.

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