Original Article
Environ Sci Ind J, Volume: 12( 9)

Environmental Management System According to ISO 14001 Version 2015: The Benefits and the Functioning in the Production Units in Morocco

El Hour S , Laboratory of Biotechnology, Environment and Quality, Faculty of Science, Ibntofail University, PO Box 133, 14000, Kenitra, Morocco, Tel: 212-537374052; E-mail: [email protected]

Received: August 30, 2016; Accepted: September 15, 2016; Published: September 20, 2016

Citation: El Hour S, Aouane M, Chaouch A. Environmental Management System According to ISO 14001 Version 2015: The Benefits and the Functioning in the Production Units in Morocco. Environ Sci Ind J. 2016;12(9):111.


Our paper is for describing advantages and the good functioning of the new version of ISO 14001: 2015, this standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system that can be used by an organization to develop its environmental performance. The new International Standard ISO 14001: 2015 is intended for use by organizations wishing to manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic way that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainable development and environmental improvement approach in the units of production. The new ISO 14001: 2015 ensures for the production units to achieve the results of its environmental management program, which provide added value for the environment, for the organization itself and for stakeholders. In line with the environmental policy of the organization, the expected results of an environmental management system include: 1) Development of the environmental approach in organizations and improving the environmental performance. 2) Compliance with requests obligations. 3) Achievement of environmental objectives and policies. ISO 14001: 2015 adapts to organizations of all shapes, all types and all activities, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines and has the means to control or to influence taking into account a life cycle perspective. Thus ISO 14001: 2015 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management. This new standard ensures economic, trade and other regulatory advantage as his implementation ensures better compliance with the environmental approach.


Environmental management system; ISO 14001: 2015; Benefits; Good functioning; Requirements; Implementations


Environmental issues now represent a strategic challenge for industrial companies. Long subordinated to the needs of economic activity and considered a set of unlimited resources, the natural environment has emerged as a collective concern that must be integrated in productive activities. Regulatory and societal pressures for respecting ecosystems impose constraints that businesses can’t escape without compromising the legitimacy of their activities. Consequently, openness to environmental values and investments in pollution control equipment appear as essential to ensure the survival of the company, these investments often result in very heavy expenses.

Since the introduction of ISO14001, many companies have found a driver and a methodology for the implementation of the Environmental Management System [1], also for many production units, environmental investments are not only a burden or a cost, it can also be a means to achieve certain economies of matter and energy, to improve the image of the company, or to develop a competitive advantage over the competition. Furthermore, contaminant treatment systems, process changes and the introduction of clean products, reducing environmental impacts require efforts to integrate these concerns in the daily management and to empower everyone to these questions.

By discounts in global causes it entails and the importance of staff participation, the integration process has many affinities with the quality management. Thus, environmental management systems, which continue to grow since the early 90s, are increasingly used concepts and inspired methods of quality control, "continuous improvement" control "non- conformities" prevention, reduction of losses and waste, "zero-pollution"... the interdependence between the quality management and environmental management has led some companies to integrate these concerns into a common function, with responsibilities and extensive means.

Other companies commonly use the approach and principles of quality management to develop environmental programs. So in the current environment the theme of the environment is becoming increasingly central to both the public and for businesses, communities and governments. The environmental management can improve the performance of all vis-à-vis environmental organization. And by integrating economic evolution with environmental assurance and social development and technical progress to ensure the global continuous improvement, it is therefore essential to take action to remove even reduce the negative effects. What are the environmental management benefits? And what are the best practices of ISO 14001: 2015 in the production units in Morocco?

The Interests of the Environmental Management System

Fundamentals of the environmental management system

The Environmental Management System is a tool for compliance with the regulations on environmental protection, improved relations with regulatory authorities, prevention and control of pollution and improved image company. official recognition of the Environmental Management System Company through its certification [2].

It’s a system and database which integrates procedures and processes for training of personnel, monitoring, summarizing, and reporting of specialized environmental performance information to internal and external stakeholders of a firm [3]. Thus, the environmental management system is defined as "part of the overall management system that includes organizational structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining the environmental policy" [4].

Indeed, an environmental management system is a tool created for companies or institutions, which aims to improve management and environmental performance. This is a voluntary approach: each company to decide whether to adopt an EMS. This decision will be taken at the highest level, for example that of the central management of a group. However, for these systems actually have an impact on improving the environment, all stakeholders of the company or institution should be involved and ensure the sustainability of the system.

The environmental management system is not a substitute for the legislation on the environment, the full integrating new procedures to manage daily business operations and in establishing systematic and formalized approach. This tool is not only reserved for the world of industry and multinationals: it is also accessible to SMEs, services companies and the public sector.

The benefits

Regulatory advantages: The environmental management system ensures a minimum goal of regulatory compliance. Relationships with institutional, responsible for the inspection of classified installations, are facilitated, and the company can avoid penalties for non-compliance (fines, work obligations, site closure...). In addition, the implementation process of an environmental management system promotes the anticipation of the regulation, which avoids suddenly be non-compliant, requiring research position in an emergency. A reflection on the best available technologies and investment planning are therefore possible.

Economic benefits: The most frequently mentioned barrier to the implementation of the environmental actions is related to the fear of uncontrolled costs. These costs often associated with investing in a new or little used technology, become savings when one takes on a different scale: the systemic aspect quantifies the investment costs; evaluate the savings in operation and the damping time. Indeed, the main economic benefit is improved expenditure control. Indeed, the environmental management system will always look for saving resources (raw materials), and controlling waste (waste). It can thus reduce the consumption of water, energy, and recycling waste. The integration of environmental issues also reduces the costs associated with natural hazards: the fine analysis of the inherent site environmental management system will automatically highlight the weaknesses of the site, both the risk of flooding as tectonic movements, well beyond what the zoning PLU could make. However, the idea and the way of linking environmental impact assessment in terms of energy consumption and waste generation with an accurate economic assessment is very easy to understand by any manager in industry [5].

Business benefits: The immediate commercial advantage is to improve the brand image. A company that highlights its environmental policy is a company that stands out favorably from competitors to customers. The environmental management system makes it crucial that good impression, highlighting the seriousness and rigor of the approach.

Environmental management and sustainable development: t is fashionable to avail himself, in all his actions, sustainable development. But who can say what sustainability means? Environmental care "married" to development [6], thus the most common definition is "sustainable development [that is to say sustainable] is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs".

Sustainable development is a concept formalized by the Bruntland Report (Prime Minister of Norway), and highlighted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The concept is based on a premise: the development of an entity is done in three axes, which are the economic, social and environmental. The classic management company has hitherto confined to the economic dimension of development, regardless of the other two dimensions. Environmental management can integrate a new dimension to the company's management, making "sustainable" the company's development policy.

Make environmental management is therefore able to claim sustainable development with tangible evidence.

The environmental management and quality management

For the purpose that integrating management systems to achieve quality and environmental [7], we can say that the environmental management and quality management are two similar approaches in their approach to running a business, and complementary in their implementation. In their definition, we can identify a common core, and the specificities of the environmental management system.

The similarities between the two management systems:

• The requirement of a statement of policy

• The management commitment

• Control of documentation

• Training

• The determination of non-conformities

• Corrective and preventive actions

• The management review

• Continuous improvement

Among the characteristics of the environmental management system, we distinguish 4 main, which are:

• The requirement of a specific policy

• The identification of aspects and environmental impacts

• The definition of environmental objectives and targets

• The requirement of compliance with the legislation in force for the prevention of pollution

Indeed, both the quality management streamlines work processes to increase efficiency (without determinable objective), as environmental management is a tool for achieving targets (regularly updated on the rise).

The Functioning of the Environmental Management System in Units of Production in Morocco according to the New ISO 14001 Version 2015

ISO 14001: 2015 identify requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to formulate a policy and objectives taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant environmental impacts. It applies to those environmental aspects that the organization can control and over which it is supposed to have an influence. It does not establish by itself specific environmental performance criteria. Thus it allows certification by an accredited organization.

The objectives of the ISO 14001:2015

International standards for environmental management, including ISO 14001, are intended to provide organizations with the elements of an effective environmental management system. These elements can be integrated with other management requirements to help organizations meet their environmental and economic goals. These standards, like other International Standards, are not intended to be used to create non-tariff trade barriers or to increase or change the legal obligations of an organization.

The new International Standard 14001: 2015 specifies the requirements of such an environmental management system, to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and information about significant environmental aspects. It is supposed to be applicable to all types and sizes of organizations and accommodate the geographical, cultural and social variety, whether this company is large and small, are also committed firmly in this direction [8].

Indeed, the success of the system is linked to the commitment of all levels and functions of the body, especially the highest level of management. A system of this kind enables an organization to develop an environmental policy, establish objectives and processes to meet the commitments of its policy, take the necessary actions to improve its performance and demonstrate the system compliance with the requirements of this international Standard.

The overall objective of the new International Standard ISO 14001: 2015 is to balance environmental protection and prevention of pollution to the socio-economic needs. Simultaneously it should be noted that we can address several of these requirements or return at any moment.

Indeed, the systematic approach of ISO 14001: 2015 obliges the company to thoroughly examine all areas where activities have an environmental impact.

This approach has advantages:

• Reduced Costs of waste management.

• Economies in energy and material consumption.

• Costs of lower distribution.

• Best corporate image among regulators, contractors and the public.

• Frame reference for continuous improvement of your environmental performance.

ISO 14001:2015 requirements

Based on the ISO 14001: 2015 standard inquiry the 180 requirements in clauses 4 to 10 are as follows (Figure 1):


Figure 1: The requirements in clauses and sub-clauses of the ISO 14001: 2015 standard.

• Clause 4: Context of the organization

• Clause 5: Leadership

• Clause 6: Planning

• Clause 7: Support

• Clause 8: Operation

• Clause 9: Performance evaluation

• Clause 10: Improvement

The ISO 14001 standard define the requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to formulate a policy and objectives taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant environmental impacts. It applies to those environmental aspects that organization can control and over which it is supposed to have an influence. It does not establish by itself specific environmental performance criteria.

International Standard ISO 41001 environmental management is based on the methodology known as "PDCA" (Figure 2):


Figure 2: The PDCA cycle according to ISO 14001: 2015.

• Plan

• Do

• Check

• Act

The PDCA model can be described as follows.

• Plan (Plan): establish the objectives and processes necessary to provide results consistent with the environmental policy of the organization.

• Implement (Do): implement the processes.

• Check (Check): manage and measure processes against environmental policy, objectives, targets, legal and other requirements, and report the results.

• Act (Act): Take actions to continually improve performance of the environmental management system.

• Many organizations manage their operations with the application of a system of processes and their interactions, which can be called "process approach". The ISO9001 is used to promote the process approach. Since PDCA model applies to all processes, the two methodologies are considered compatible.

Thus the requirements of ISO 14001: 2015 is based on the following:

a) The definition of an environmental policy committing to a minimum of regulatory compliance, and to the continuous improvement of the management system and environmental performance of the company.

b) Planning: completion of an environmental analysis, enabling the identification of significant impact factors and regulatory requirements. On the basis of the results, objectives are defined and an environmental management program to achieve them.

c) The organization of the implementation and operation of the system:

i. Responsibilities are defined, staff are sensitized and trained

ii. Communication: organization of internal and external communication

iii. Documentation: maintenance of system documentation

iv. Organization of operational control

d) The system monitoring allows identification nonconformities, organizes the programming of corrective action and preventive action. Records of the results are maintained.

e) Evaluation: environmental audits verifying compliance with the system requirements of the standard are periodically conducted.

f) Management review: the entire system is periodically reviewed by management in order to improve it.

ISO 14001 is the official repository of environmental management system, its implementation is facilitated by the practical advice of ISO 14004 which provides examples, descriptions and options that help to both implement an EMS, but and to consolidate its relationship with the overall management of the organization. "The two standards are complementary:" ISO 14001 [...] provides auditable requirements (the "what") of the entire system that can be used certification of the system by third party or self-declaration. The guidelines of ISO 14004 are positioned as the ideal complement of the above requirements and reveal the principles and recommendations («how") for the construction of such an environmental management system.

The implementation steps of an environmental management system

An environmental management system represents the entire system of organization that a company puts in place to ensure that the products and services it develops, manufactures and puts on the market do not threaten, directly or indirectly, the environment. It is therefore to implement the organizational structure, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources necessary to the objectives that the company sets for environmental protection, this consistently with other management criteria.

The implementation steps of an environmental management system are described below.

Environmental Analysis: inventory, comprehensive, environmental situation of the company

• Description of the initial medium

• Analysis of the company's activities and existing practices

• Identification of environmental impacts in normal and abnormal

• Identification of the applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

Unit production will analyze the nuisances of the activity of the company on several levels: water, air, soil, noise, odors, and impacts on communities. In addition, the analysis should focus on normal operating conditions and in emergency situations. It is therefore an initial inventory after which we exactly know the influence of the company on the local environment. So we evaluate the environmental performance of the company.

This step takes time. We must make accurate analyzes and obtain quantitative results in all required fields. These results need to be considered against the requirements of the Environmental Code and the targets set for the continuous improvement of environmental management system.

Development of the environmental program

• Prioritization of significant environmental impacts

• Choice of objectives and targets

• Environmental policy

The environmental analysis helps set concrete goals to specific targets to reduce environmental nuisances. They should be with a timetable specifying deadlines to meet and internal criteria of environmental performance. In this stage, compliance with legal and regulatory requirements plays a key role. Most goals are established on this basis, as the legal and regulatory requirements already set limits in most areas. The objectives may relate to products, facilities and / or processes. The program includes a list of objectives, the timetable, the organization of human and financial resources and the definition of responsibilities.

Implementation of the environmental program

• Definition of responsibilities

• Training, Awareness

• Internal and external communication

• Control of activities associated with environmental impacts

• Identification and prevention of emergency situations

And to validate this step, the cooperative leadership must to develop an assessment of the competence of personnel on the basis of predetermined skills matrix system defines the standard by which the company must comply [9].

During this stage, the human, physical and financial resources must be met to complete the organization of environmental management. This includes the definition of responsibilities (structure and responsibility), employee training (training, awareness and skills), the document management (document control and documentation of the environmental management system), communication (communication) and ability to manage disasters (emergency prevention preparedness and response).

Monitoring of the implementation

• Implementation of a dashboard

• Control

• Non-environmental compliances Treatment

• Audits

• Executive Magazines

These activities are subject to a control procedure (monitoring and measurements, the environmental management system audits) which includes compliance with the objectives and legal and regulatory requirements. Nonconformities are detected, corrective actions are taken. Finally, a final check intervenes to prevent nonconformities do not recur. Then the results are communicated to all staff. All this is formalized by procedures. Taking into account the results of the internal assessment and the entire journey as a whole, management evaluates the environmental management system. It decides important guidelines, such as changing technology for such production process or of certain commodities within specific time frames. It also determines the measures to remedy the non-compliance.

The company can be certified even if, at first, it does not comply with legal requirements. But then it must:

• Describe the non-compliance

• Give a deadline for compliance


It is futile to try to identify a totally human activity respectful of the environment. However, we can find ways to limit the environmental impact of certain economic activities or companies. The environmental management system is a process that allows to consider the interactions between business and the environment, and it comprehensively.

Thus, an Environmental Management System (EMS), as specified by ISO 14001: 2015, requires the establishment of practices and documents system, also an EMS refers to structures, practices and control that an organization uses to manage its environmental aspects and impacts and to achieve its performance objectives [10] such as:

• An environmental policy and an environment manual (which can be coupled with the quality and / or safety).

• A number of procedures (Assessment of environmental impacts, update and control of legal requirements, Document Management, Emergency Situations, Monitoring and Measurement, ...), These procedures shall include the documentation of information to monitor the performance of the applicable operational controls and compliance with environmental objectives and targets companies [11].

• An action plan and / or environmental management plan.

• Positions of sheets, a training plan, a definition of responsibilities.

• (Capa) Corrective action, preventive action sheets, traceability, monitoring.

• Companies shall document this information and keep it up to date [12].

• Develop a training system of personnel on the basis of predetermined skills matrix system defines the standard and process by which the company must comply.

• Reviewing the effectiveness of corrective actions and preventive actions implemented [13].

• Perform conduct reviews of Environmental Management System at least once a year [14].

Finally, The ISO 14001 standard prescribes how a company can improve an environmental process and policy, identify environmental aspects and impacts of their activities, products and services, define the significance of these impacts; rank them, identify legal and other requirements governing the organization's operation, establish objectives and targets, implement programs to meet those standards, establish an auditing system and procedures for management review, and implement corrective action, if needed, based on audit findings [15].