The term ESG means Environment, Social and Governance. It is an index used for investment decisions, mainly for companies listed on the stock exchange or with the potential to be listed. ISO 14001, obviously, comes as a framework for the letter E (Environment).
ISO 14001 is an Environmental Management Systems standard created in 1996, currently in version 2015. It is the only global framework on environmental management that has requirements, and therefore is subject to certification.
As the growth on the market demand that organizations use ESG practices, ISO 14001 is gaining strength and being driven by this new reality. Previously, the standard had a strong industrial bias, mainly in chemical and petrochemical industries. However, with this new demand for ESG practices, all branches of activity are seeking certification in the Standard, from banks to technology companies, regardless of the industry.
An interesting feature of this new scenario is the integration of ISO 14001 with other Standards that make up the management framework for ESG companies, so we can mention the ISO 26000 for social responsibility, ISO 45001 for Occupational Safety and Health and the entire ISO 37000 series Corporate Governance Standards .
The main requirements of ISO 14001 that can support an organization in the pillar E (Environment) of the ESG are:
In this requirement, the company will assess the context with respect to Environmental Management, therefore, all internal and external issues of the organization about the environment, and also its related parties as the community center, employees, stakeholders and others.
Environmental Aspects and Impacts
In this requirement, the organization makes a detailed study on all aspects and environmental impacts of its activities, whether positive or negative. A complete risk assessment on the topic, which ISO 14001 provides for organizations.
Applicable Legal Requirements
Increasingly, organizations seek to be compliance in all areas, this is the demand of the ESG index. In ISO 14001 it is necessary to list all applicable environmental legal requirements, that is, laws, decrees and any legal statute on the environment. In addition to this, there is another requirement in the Standard that establishes the verification of compliance, that is, the organization must guarantee and monitor compliance with these legal requirements.
ISO 14001 certification at the end of the implementation process and the certification audits will promote companies to be more robust in continuous improvement and, consequently, a credibility certificate on the environmental issue. The ISO 14001 certification together with other standards mentioned here will demonstrate to the investors, society and the market in general the organization’s concern with the theme, in addition to proof that the company complies with global standards of environmental practices, and that it is managing its risks and seeks to mitigate them within the PDCA cycle (plan, do, check, act).
The trend is for the market to charge more and more companies to be ESG companies, and ISO 14001 presents itself as a tool already validated for a pillar of this tripod.