Continual Improvement ISO 14001:2015
Continuous Improvement is an ongoing effort to improve your organization’s products, services, and/or processes. Continuous improvement efforts can range widely in complexity, duration, execution, and subject matter. There is always room to improve which is why it is an ongoing effort, and these improvements are determined by you.
Use information and results that you receive from internal audits, management reviews, or monitoring and measuring to help you determine where will company will benefit. If you find that you are underperforming in an area, then is an opportunity to improve it, and the easier it will be to maintain your Environmental Management System.
Consider using the PDCA cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act) to guide your continuous improvement efforts. Once you’ve identified the improvement action to take, you cycle through the PDCA phases by planning the action (plan), implementing what is planned (do), monitoring the process and reporting results (check), and taking any further actions to improve if necessary (act). Environmental performance can be enhanced by applying the environmental management system as a whole or improving one or more of its elements.
Continual Improvement Process (CIP) requirement is different from the Quality Management Systems. There are three dimensions for CIP in ISO 14001:2015.
Expansion: The EMS should grow to cover more areas within your organization.
Enrichment: More and more activities, products, processes, emissions, resources etc. get managed by the implemented EMS.
Upgrading: An improvement of the structural and organizational framework of the EMS, and an understanding of navigating business related environmental issues.
Overall, the CIP-concept was designed for organizations to gradually move away from just operational environmental measures and evolve into a more strategic approach on how to deal with environmental challenges.