Exploring Timescales for ISO 14001 Implementation

Exploring Timescales for ISO 14001 Implementation

When you decide to implement an ISO 14001 environmental management system or EMS in your business, many questions may come into your mind concerning the process. One of these will surely concern the timing of the implementation and how long it will take to achieve ISO 14001 certification.

How long will it take to implement ISO 14001?

A good rule of thumb is that the larger your organisation or business is, the longer the implementation process could take. Those with fewer employees – perhaps 20 or less – may be ready in a few months. However, if you employ 50 or more people, you should expect the implementation of ISO 14001 to take more than six months. In this instance, a year or more would not be unusual. Remember, it is more important to implement the environmental management standard correctly than to rush through it and increase the chances of making mistakes. The EMS should also be designed around your organisation to support what you do, not the other way round.

The timescale will also likely depend on other factors, several of which are mentioned below.

What type of business do you operate?

Different industries and businesses will doubtless have different requirements and things to think about when assessing how to implement ISO 14001. Some may come up against challenges that wouldn’t affect other, very different businesses.

How much training will be required?

If you intend to train your employees to achieve proper awareness of the 14001 standard and how it will be implemented, you must allocate enough time and resources to achieve this aim. This will likely be easier in a business with four or five employees compared with one that has four or five thousand.

Looking inward or outward?

Another factor that has a key bearing on implementation timings is whether you intend to do everything in-house. If so, you will be starting from a position of minimal knowledge. Conversely, if you allocate funds to hire in an experienced consultant like QMS who are expert on ISO 14001 implementation in businesses of all shapes and sizes, you will reach your goal much faster, and probably achieve a more workable system than if you decided to go it alone. It would also have a bearing on internal staff training, as mentioned in the point above.

How long will it take your business to achieve ISO 14001?

While the above suggestions on timings will give you a rough idea of what to expect, they can vary markedly depending on various factors, as we have seen above. So, by assessing your business, what you do and the various factors that may come into play when implementing ISO 14001 (and indeed, any other ISO standard), you can get a far more accurate idea of what to expect.

World-class environmental management frameworks

Quality Management Systems deliver a comprehensive range of world-class management systems including the development and implementation of ISO 14001 based environmental management frameworks, auditing, training and software solutions to organisations wishing to minimise their environmental impact, reduce waste, improve regulatory compliance, and achieve ISO 14001 certification quickly and efficiently.

If you would like to learn more about our environmental management systems, and how we can help you develop world-class environmental processes please get in touch today.

Further reading…

More information about ISO 14001 environmental management … here →