Introduction:

This template is designed to be used to perform a self-audit in accordance with requirements of ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management systems (EMS).

Requirements are presented in the form of tasks with form fields to record various information about the status of each of the 10 high level clauses as outlined in the Annex SL standard for management systems:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Context of the organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation
  10. Improvement

These clauses are then further broken down into the Plan, Do, Check, or Act segments of the PDCA cycle.

This checklist can be used as an effective tool for implementing the environmental management system and for self-assessment of the system.

Self-auditing can help to define a high-level overview of an organization's performance, and determine the effectiveness (or not) of its various management systems.

What's more, it can help to identify problem areas and successfully apply principles of continuous improvement.

Self-auditing is best used as a tool to discover the potential opportunities for innovation and continuous improvement; it is not a replacement for a 3rd party CB (Certified Body) audit and will not necessarily result in an ISO certification.

This checklist was designed to factor in repeat audits, so that continuous improvement principles could be applied over the course of multiple audits, with each successive audit contributing to the inputs of the next.

The framework outlined in this checklist can be used as is, or edited and customized to suit your specific needs.


Guidelines for success

In order to maximise the success of the organization, consider the following audit guidelines:

  • Prioritizing and fulfilling the needs and expectations of interested parties
  • Establishing and maintaining beneficial relationships with relevant interested parties where possible, and constantly seeking to develop new beneficial relationships.
  • Utilizing policies, strategies, and objectives to further business goals
  • Effectively and efficiently managing resources with regard to business processes
  • Adequately collecting and assessing metrics of performance within the organization
  • Constantly seeking to identify and implement improvements across the organization
  • Enforcing a company culture based on trust, transparency, and worker empowerment

Performance can be reviewed against the criteria outlined here and in this checklist, ultimately identifying current "maturity" levels with the goal of outlining strengths, weaknesses, risks, and opportunities.


Additional resources

For more ISO-related templates for various management systems (quality management, environmental management, etc.) we have the following resources available for you to use:


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Enter checklist details

Using the form fields below, record some basic details about the audit, including details of who is to perform the audit, reasoning for the audit, audit start date, and any additional notes.

Scope:

Assess EMS scope

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of the EMS scope.

Environmental policy:

Assess if environmental policy is adequately defined

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of the environmental policy.

Plan:

Assess environmental aspects of planning

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of the environmental aspects of planning.

Consider whether the organization has established, implemented and maintained a procedure to identify the environmental aspects of activities, products or services that are within the scope of its EMS.

This will include environmental aspects that:

  • 1
    The organization has direct control over
  • 2
    The organization has a limited degree of influence

Consider whether or not this includes planned or new developments, or new or modified activities, products and services.

Consider how the procedure determines those aspects that have or can have significant impacts on the environment (ie. are details of assessment methodology included?).

For each of the procedures included in the EMS, ensure the following has been adequately considered:

  • 1
    Documentation
  • 2
    Communication
  • 3
    Emergency response procedures
  • 4
    Internal audit procedures

Assess objectives, targets, and strategies

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of environmental objectives, targets, and strategies.

Consider whether the organization has established, implemented and maintained documented environmental objectives and targets.

Consider whether the organization established, implemented & maintained a strategy for achieving its objectives and targets.

Ensure that objectives and targets are measurable (where practical) and that they are they consistent with the following:

  • 1
    Environmental policy
  • 2
    Legal and other requirements
  • 3
    Prevention of pollution
  • 4
    Continuous improvement

Also assess the following:

Do:

Assess resources, roles, responsibility, and authority

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of resources, roles, responsibility, and authority.

When assessing resources, be sure to consider the following:

  • 1
    Human resources
  • 2
    Specialised skills?
  • 3
    Organizational infrastructure
  • 4
    Technology
  • 5
    Financial resources

Assess whether the roles of the EMS representative include the defined roles, responsibilities and authority for:

  • 1
    Ensuring that environmental management system requirements are established, implemented and maintained in accordance with ISO 14001:2004
  • 2
    Reporting on the performance of the environmental management system to top management including recommendations for improvement

Assess competence, training, and awareness

Using the form fields below, record details of your assessment of employee competence, training, and awareness.

Consider whether or not a procedure has been established, implemented and maintained to ensure that the people working for, or on behalf of your organization are aware of:

  • 1
    The importance of conformity with the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the environmental management system
  • 2
    The significant environmental aspects and related actual or potential impacts associated with their work activities and the environmental benefits of improved personal performance
  • 3
    Their roles and responsibilities in achieving conformity with the requirements of the environmental management
  • 4
    The potential consequences of departure from specified operating procedures

Assess communication

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of communication of and within the context of the EMS.

Firstly, as relevant to the EMS, has the organization established, implemented and maintained procedure(s) for:

  • 1
    Internal communication between the various levels and functions of your organization
  • 2
    Receiving, documenting and responding to relevant communication from external interested parties

Assess documentation systems

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of documentation systems.

To begin with, consider how the organization’s environmental management system documents the following:

  • 1
    Environmental policy, objectives and targets
  • 2
    Description of the scope of the environmental management system
  • 3
    Description of the main elements of the environmental management system, their interaction and reference to related documents
  • 4
    Documents and records required by the Standard
  • 5
    Documents, including records, necessary for the effective planning, operation and control of processes related to its significant aspects

Assess control of documents

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of control of documents in the EMS.

Consider how SOPs for control of documents account for:

  • 1
    Who approves the documents for adequacy before they are issued
  • 2
    How they are periodically reviewed, updated and re-approved as necessary
  • 3
    How changes and the current revision status are identified
  • 4
    How current versions of relevant documents are made available at points of use
  • 5
    How the legibility and identification of the documents is ensured
  • 6
    How external documents, as determined by the organization for effective planning and operation of the environmental management system are identified and controlled
  • 7
    How to prevent obsolete documents against unintended use, and apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose

Assess operational control

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of operational control.

Consider how operational activities are planned in order to ensure that they are carried out under specified conditions such as:

  • 1
    Establishing, implementing and maintaining documented procedures to cover situations where their absence could lead to deviations from the environmental policy and the objectives and targets
  • 2
    Stipulating operating criteria in the procedures
  • 3
    Establishing, implementing and maintaining procedures related to the identified significant environmental aspects of goods and services used by the organization and communicating applicable procedures and requirements to suppliers and contractors

Assess emergency preparedness and response

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of emergency preparedness and response.

Consider how the organization has established, implemented and maintained a procedure(s) to identify the potential emergency situations and potential accidents that can have an impact on the environment

Check/Study:

Assess monitoring and measurements

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of monitoring and measurements.

Consider how this procedure monitors the following:

  • 1
    Performance
  • 2
    Relevant operational controls
  • 3
    Conformity with the organization’s environmental objectives and targets

Assess compliance

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of compliance.

Assess non-conformity, corrective, and preventative action

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of non-conformity, corrective, and preventative action.

Consider whether the organization has established, implemented and maintained a procedure(s) for the following:

  • 1
    Dealing with actual and potential nonconformities
  • 2
    Corrective and preventive action

Consider whether the procedures define requirements for:

  • 1
    Identifying and correcting non-conformities and taking action to mitigate the resulting environmental impacts
  • 2
    Investigating the non-conformities, determining their causes and take action to avoid their recurrence
  • 3
    Evaluating the need for actions to be taken to prevent non-conformities, and implementing appropriate actions
  • 4
    Recording the results of corrective and preventive actions taken
  • 5
    Reviewing the effectiveness of corrective and preventive actions

Assess control of records

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of control of records.

Consider whether or not these records include those that are necessary to demonstrate conformity to the requirements of the standard and include (for example), records of:

  • 1
    Competence, training & awareness
  • 2
    Communication
  • 3
    Evaluation of compliance with legal and other requirements
  • 4
    Monitoring and measurement
  • 5
    Corrective & preventive action
  • 6
    Internal audits
  • 7
    Management review

Assess procedures for internal audit

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of the procedure for conducting an internal audit.

Consider if these internal audits determine whether or not the environmental management system:

  • 1
    Conforms to planned arrangements for environmental management including the requirements of this standard
  • 2
    Has been properly implemented and maintained

Does the audit procedure cover:

  • 1
    (a) the responsibilities and requirements for planning and conducting audits, reporting results and retention of associated records?
  • 2
    (b) The determination of audit criteria, scope, frequency and methods?

Act:

Assess management review

Using the form fields below, record your assessment of management review.

Consider whether the inputs to management review include:

  • 1
    Results from internal audits and evaluations of compliance with legal and other requirements
  • 2
    Communication from external parties, including complaints
  • 3
    The environmental performance of the organization
  • 4
    The extent to which the objectives and targets have been met
  • 5
    The status of corrective and preventive action
  • 6
    Follow-up actions from previous management reviews(g) Changing circumstances, including developments in legal and other requirements related to its environmental aspects
  • 7
    Recommendations for improvement

Provide an overview of the audit

Use this section to summarize recommendations for improvement of the organization's operations based on the understanding of the maturity levels across different areas of the organization.

Use the file upload or website link form field below to attach or link to a more comprehensive set of recommendations, if applicable.

See results of the audit

Audit completed by: {{form.Auditor_first_name}} {{form.Auditor_second_name}}

Commencing: {{form.Start_date}}

Scope

EMS scope:

Scope of EMS: {{form.Scope_of_EMS}}

Scope being assessed for certification: {{form.Scope_being_assessed_for_certification}}

Scope includes environmental aspects out of company's control: {{form.Scope_includes_environmental_aspects_out_of_company's_control?}}

Scope adequately defined within EMS documentation: {{form.Scope_adequately_defined_within_EMS_documentation?}}

Additional processes excluded from scope: {{form.Additional_processes_excluded_from_scope}}

Reasons for exclusion: {{form.Reasons_for_exclusion}}

Comments on EMS scope: {{form.Comments_on_EMS_scope}}

Environmental policy

Definition of environmental policy: 

Policy consistent with EMS scope: {{form.Policy_consistent_with_EMS_scope?}}

Policy appropriate to the nature of company activities: {{form.Policy_appropriate_to_the_nature_of_company_activities?}}

How is policy committed to continuous improvement: {{form.How_is_policy_committed_to_continuous_improvement?}}

How is policy committed to prevention of pollution: {{form.How_is_policy_committed_to_prevention_of_pollution?}}

How is policy committed to comply with relevant environmental legislation: {{form.How_is_policy_committed_to_comply_with_relevant_environmental_legislation?}}

How are environmental objectives and targets set and reviewed: {{form.How_are_environmental_objectives_and_targets_set_and_reviewed?}}

How is the policy documented: {{form.How_is_the_policy_documented?}}

How is policy available to the relevant interested parties: {{form.How_is_policy_available_to_the_relevant_interested_parties?}}

Plan

Environmental aspects of planning:

Inclusive of planned or new developments: {{form.Inclusive_of_planned_or_new_developments?}}

How is the extent of environmental impact assessed: {{form.How_is_the_extent_of_environmental_impact_assessed?}}

Assessments of environmental impacts documented: {{form.Assessments_of_environmental_impacts_documented?}}

How are environmental impacts documented: {{form.How_are_environmental_impacts_documented?}}

Procedure for assessing environmental aspects maintained: {{form.Procedure_for_assessing_environmental_aspects_maintained?}}

Legal and regulatory requirements:

Process exists for identifying and implementing regulatory requirements: {{form.Process_exists_for_identifying_and_implementing_regulatory_requirements?}}

Outline procedure for identifying/implementing regulatory requirements: {{form.Outline_procedure_for_identifying/implementing_regulatory_requirements}}

How is regulatory identification/implementation process maintained: {{form.How_is_regulatory_identification/implementation_process_maintained?}}

Environmental aspects considered when identifying regulatory requirements: {{form.Environmental_aspects_considered_when_identifying_regulatory_requirements?}}

{{form.Regulatory_requirements_considered_when_designing,_implementing,_and_maintaining_EMS?}}:

Person responsible for identifying and determining impact of regulatory requirements competent: {{form.Person_responsible_for_identifying_and_determining_impact_of_regulatory_requirements_competent?}}

Objectives, targets, and strategies:

Environmental objectives and targets established: {{form.Environmental_objectives_and_targets_established?}}

Environmental objectives and targets implemented: {{form.Environmental_objectives_and_targets_implemented?}}

Environmental objectives and targets maintained: {{form.Environmental_objectives_and_targets_maintained?}}

Have these been established at relevant functions and levels within the organization: {{form.Have_these_been_established_at_relevant_functions_and_levels_within_the_organization?}}

Strategy established for reaching objectives: {{form.Strategy_established_for_reaching_objectives?}}

Comments on strategic establishment: {{form.Comments_on_strategic_establishment}}

Strategy implemented for reaching objectives: {{form.Strategy_implemented_for_reaching_objectives?}}

Strategy maintained for reaching objectives: {{form.Strategy_maintained_for_reaching_objectives?}}

Comments on strategic maintenance: {{form.Comments_on_strategic_maintenance}}

How are legal and other requirements considered: {{form.How_are_legal_and_other_requirements_considered?}}

How are significant environmental aspects considered: {{form.How_are_significant_environmental_aspects_considered?}}

How are technological options considered: {{form.How_are_technological_options_considered?}}

How are financial, operational, and business requiremnets options considered: {{form.How_are_financial,_operational,_and_business_requiremnets_options_considered?}}

How are the views of interested parties considered: {{form.How_are_the_views_of_interested_parties_considered?}}

Who is responsible for implementing which strategies: {{form.Who_is_responsible_for_implementing_which_strategies?}}

What are the means of achieving different objectives: {{form.What_are_the_means_of_achieving_different_objectives?}}

What are the timeframes of achieving different objectives: {{form.What_are_the_timeframes_of_achieving_different_objectives?}}

How does the organization ensure that strategies are updated as a result of new developments: {{form.How_does_the_organization_ensure_that_strategies_are_updated_as_a_result_of_new_developments?}}

Do

Resources, roles, responsibility, and authority:

How are roles, responsibility and authorities defined, documented and communicated: {{form.How_are_roles,_responsibility_and_authorities_defined,_documented_and_communicated?}}

How does management determine allocation of resources: {{form.How_does_management_determine_allocation_of_resources?}}

Has a specific management representative for the EMS been assigned: {{form.Has_a_specific_management_representative_for_the_EMS_been_assigned?}}

Comments on EMS representative: {{form.Comments_on_EMS_representative}}

Competence, training, and awareness:

How is worker competence assessed: {{form.How_is_worker_competence_assessed?}}

Has the organization retained competency records: {{form.Has_the_organization_retained_competency_records?}}

How does the organization identify training requirements for the EMS: {{form.How_does_the_organization_identify_training_requirements_for_the_EMS?}}

Has training been delivered, and associated records retained: {{form.Has_training_been_delivered,_and_associated_records_retained?}}

Comments on worker competency, training, and awareness: {{form.Comments_on_worker_awareness}}

Communication:

Are environmental aspects communicated externally: {{form.Are_environmental_aspects_communicated_externally?}}

Has this decision been documented: {{form.Has_this_decision_been_documented?}}

Has the method of communication of environmental aspects been standardized: {{form.Has_the_method_of_communication_of_environmental_aspects_been_standardized?}}

Comments on EMS communication: {{form.Comments_on_EMS_communication}}

Documentation systems:

How is the documentation system maintained: {{form.How_is_the_documentation_system_maintained?}}

Comments on the documentation system(s): {{form.Comments_on_the_documentation_system(s)}}

Control of documents:

Is there a standardized procedure for controlling all documents in the EMS: {{form.Is_there_a_standardized_procedure_for_controlling_all_documents_in_the_EMS?}}

Comments on control of documents: {{form.Comments_on_control_of_documents}}

Operational control:

How are operations identified and planned in the context of the EMS: {{form.How_are_operations_identified_and_planned_in_the_context_of_the_EMS?}}

Comments on operational control: {{form.Comments_on_operational_control}}

Emergency preparedness and response:

Does a procedure exist for identifying potential emergency situations: {{form.Does_a_procedure_exist_for_identifying_potential_emergency_situations?}}

Are environmental aspects considered in the emergency preparedness and response procedure(s): {{form.Are_environmental_aspects_considered_in_the_emergency_preparedness_and_response_procedure(s)?}}

Does the procedure(s) cover how the organization will respond to these situations: {{form.Does_the_procedure(s)_cover_how_the_organization_will_respond_to_these_situations?}}

How do these procedures account for adverse environmental impacts of emergency situations: {{form.How_do_these_procedures_account_for_adverse_environmental_impacts_of_emergency_situations?}}

How are emergency preparedness and response procedures reviewed: {{form.How_are_emergency_preparedness_and_response_procedures_reviewed?}}

Are these procedures periodically tested: {{form.Are_these_procedures_periodically_tested?}}

Comments on emergency preparedness and response: {{form.Comments_on_emergency_preparedness_and_response}}

Check/Study

Monitoring and measurements:

Is there a procedure(s) to monitor and measure environmental impacts: {{form.Is_there_a_procedure(s)_to_monitor_and_measure_environmental_impacts?}}

How is monitoring and measuring equipment calibrated, verified, and maintained: {{form.How_is_monitoring_and_measuring_equipment_calibrated,_verified,_and_maintained?}}

Are calibration or verification records retained: {{form.Are_calibration_or_verification_records_retained?}}

Comments on monitoring and measurements: {{form.Comments_on_monitoring_and_measurements}}

Compliance:

Does the organization have a procedure(s) for compliance evaluation: {{form.Does_the_organization_have_a_procedure(s)_for_compliance_evaluation?}}

Are the records of the results of these periodic evaluations maintained: {{form.Are_the_records_of_the_results_of_these_periodic_evaluations_maintained?}}

Comments on compliance: {{form.Comments_on_compliance}}

Non-conformity, corrective, and preventative action:

Are the responsibilities and authorities for this process defined: {{form.Are_the_responsibilities_and_authorities_for_this_process_defined?}}

How is the procedure updated: {{form.How_is_the_procedure_updated?}}

How are decisions made regarding action taken to eliminate causes of non-conformity, etc: {{form.How_are_decisions_made_regarding_action_taken_to_eliminate_causes_of_non-conformity,_etc?}}

How are changes such as corrective and preventative action documented in the EMS: {{form.How_are_changes_such_as_corrective_and_preventative_action_documented_in_the_EMS?}}

Comments on non-conformity, corrective, and preventative action: {{form.Comments_on_non-conformity,_corrective,_and_preventative_action}}

Control of records:

Is there a standardized process for updating environmental records: {{form.Is_there_a_standardized_process_for_updating_environmental_records?}}

How are environmental records updated and disposed of: {{form.How_are_environmental_records_updated_and_disposed_of?}}

Are the records legible, identifiable and traceable: {{form.Are_the_records_legible,_identifiable_and_traceable?}}

How are environmental records stored: {{form.How_are_environmental_records_stored?}}

Comments on control of records: {{form.Comments_on_control_of_records}}

Procedures for internal audit:

Is there a standardized process for internal audits: {{form.Is_there_a_standardized_process_for_internal_audits?}}

How are previous audits integrated into current strategies: {{form.How_are_previous_audits_integrated_into_current_strategies?}}

How does the organization provide information on the results of audits to management: {{form.How_does_the_organization_provide_information_on_the_results_of_audits_to_management?}}

How are auditors selected in an objective and impartial manner: {{form.How_are_auditors_selected_in_an_objective_and_impartial_manner?}}

How is auditor competency determined: {{form.How_is_auditor_competency_determined?}}

Comments on internal audit procedures: {{form.Comments_on_internal_audit_procedures}}

Act

Management review:

Is the EMS regularly reviewed by management: {{form.Is_the_EMS_regularly_reviewed_by_management?}}

Does the review include assessing opportunities for improvement: {{form.Does_the_review_include_assessing_opportunities_for_improvement?}}

Are the records of the management reviews retained: {{form.Are_the_records_of_the_management_reviews_retained?}}

Comments on management review: {{form.Comments_on_management_review}}

Audit overview:

Describe the maturity level of the organization: {{form.Describe_the_maturity_level_of_the_organization}}

Identify the strengths of the organization: {{form.Identify_the_strengths_of_the_organization}}

Identify the areas for improvement based on maturity scores: {{form.Identify_the_areas_for_improvement_based_on_maturity_scores}}

Recommendations summary: {{form.Recommendations_summary}}

Sources:

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