Sep 28, 2017

Helping Your Company’s Supply Chain Comply with ISO 14001

It is important to many companies nowadays to be ISO 14001 compliant. The positive effects that ISO 14001 compliance could have on our environment are massive. These effects can, however, be null and void if your company’s supply chain does not follow good practices, or is not aware of its environmental impact. In a perfect world, all companies would be accredited to ISO 14001, but unfortunately, that is not the case. How can we then make sure that the performance and behaviour of our supply chain don’t impact the environment negatively?

Your supply chain’s impact on the environment

In ISO 14001, it is stated that a company must consider the environmental practices and performance of its suppliers. This makes it clear that a company has a responsibility to control their suppliers’ performance, but the standard doesn’t specify which goals or objectives should be aimed for in this regard. It is however obvious that if the company complies with ISO 14001 and is environmentally aware, you are responsible to ensure that your company’s supply chain is environmentally efficient. Let’s look at how we can achieve this.

Establishing supply chain measures and objectives

Your company may have a number of environmental aspects and considerations to think through. The exact details will depend on the type of business you and your supply chain conduct. Your environmental aspects may include anything from your carbon footprint and emissions that could be potentially damaging. It might be the easiest to ask that your supplier quantify and identify their own environmental aspects. You could offer your input to assist them if they are not familiar with environmental controls. The next step is to determine how the supplier’s environmental profile matches with yours, and then identify both threats, and opportunities for improvement. KPIs can be established for the supplier and you can request that they report their results to you at agreed upon intervals. It now becomes possible to not only assess but also to have some measure of control over the environmental impacts of your supply chain. It is always good practice to let your own environmental team review these results.  Once you have Measures and objective visibility of your supplier’s environmental performance, you can start working on maintaining and improving it.

Maintaining supply chain environmental performance

If you know a bit about the ISO 9001 standard, you should be familiar with both the “plan do check act” cycle and the concept of continual improvement. A combination of these two concepts can be implemented to manage the performance of your supply chain’s environmental performance by monitoring the results they provide, analyzing these, and asking for continual improvement suggestions. Knowing the details of your suppliers’ environmental aspects will put you in a position where you can also suggest improvements. Document the improvement suggestions and measure how performance changes. Holding review meetings regularly and make sure your suppliers have internal processes in place that can be used to identify and mitigate environmental risk. Your suppliers should also be capable of driving documented corrective actions when this is needed.

If your suppliers are not ISO 14001 accredited yet, you could show them the benefits of doing this and convince them that being accredited is better for the environment and all stakeholders.

ISO 9001 quality management systems (QMS) are implemented using MyEasyISO software in Florence (Tuscany), while ISO 14001 Supply chain management and OHSAS 18001 Health Safety Management Systems (HSE) are implemented with MyEasyISO in Dublin (Ireland).

Sree vidhya

You may also like...

Most Popular
Digitize Your Calibration Management with Effivity Pro

Unlock efficiency in your calibration processes with Effivity's calibration management software.

Why Industry Leaders Choose Effivity for their EHS Software

Learn how Effivity's Environment Management Systems software offers innovative, user-friendly solutions.

Talked About
Effivity is Proud to Be A Part of Idea Pattarai

Effivity, with its user-friendly and scalable software solutions, is glad to be a part of Idea Pattarai.

Global Giants of Chemical Industry joins with Effivity Pro to enhance QHSE Compliance

Discover how Global Giants of Chemical Industry partnered with Effivity PRO to revolutionise QHSE.


Effivity is a leading QMS software for Quality Management System automation as per ISO 9001 standard, HSE software for Health – Safety - Environment Management System as per ISO 14001 & ISO 45001 standards and FSMS – HACCP software for food safety management system automation as per ISO 22000 / FSSC 22000 standards.