Difference Between ISO 14001 and RC 14001

“Broaden the scope of environmental management system”

 ISO 14001 and RC 14001-2023 are defined under Environment Management Systems, and on a broader understanding, both refer to the standards or mandates that most organizations must adhere to ensure environmentally friendly and responsible practices. These certifications set a bar that facilitates guidelines that ensure the authenticity and sincerity of business practices meeting its numerous criteria.

Difference between ISO 14001 and RC 14001 and its requirements

The ISO 14001 , proposed by the International Organization for Standardization in 1996, sets up a systematic approach to management that complements and conserves the environment and its values through the three pillars of sustainability – development, transparency, and accountability to deliver effective outcomes throughout all facets of the practice. This environmental management system helps and supports responsibilities systematically along the lines set by international standards, enabling organizations to implement and deliver the best probable and practical business policies and outcomes. The primary purpose of this system ultimately is to allow organizations to clarify the best methods to reduce environmental footprint through effective Environmental Management systems.

On the other hand, Responsible Care 14001 raises the potential to the next level, ensuring that the organizations under this system conform to the norms set by both ISO 14001 and Responsible Care Management Systems requirements (an initiative followed by numerous countries and set by the American Chemistry Council). It is a set of technical specifications that help manage risks in various sectors and processes.

The scope of RC 14001-2023 addresses not only environmental concerns but also those related to health, safety, and security. Originally intended for chemical companies and suppliers this certification is now adhered to by organizations outside this spectrum as well. It integrates a risk management system in a cost-effective process ensuring efficient solutions and better reaches to the community.

Requirements of RC 14001 Certificate

This certification follows a two-stage process where

Stage 1 is an Initial Visit that addresses requirements, as per ISO/IEC 17021 -1

Stage 2 is a certification audit and subsequent periodic audits.

A review is to be done of the RC 14001-2023 either at stage 1 or off-site before stage 2. It is best if the time duration between the review/pre-assessment and initial certification audit of Stage 2 not be more than 3 months. This, however, is not a mandatory requirement.

The periodic audits at Stage 2, however, are recommended to be carried out within 6 to 12 months from the initial certification audit of Stage 2. It is also a requirement to include an HQ audit in each certification cycle with the sample group of site or manufacturing facilities that are put forward. This is mandatory, especially for the companies holding American Chemistry Council membership.

The only auditable documents for the certification are the RC 14001-2023 Technical specification and RCMS Technical specification. Each new certification cycle will possibly have some adjustments that could be granted for RC 14001-2023 to be taken into account by the accreditation body and the ISO requirements. These updates, however, will have to be periodically followed up on as they can vary with each cycle.

Keeping in mind about the health and safety, security, and other responsible care requirements, ISO-Saudi will provide you the leading certification for your business needs. Our team of well qualified professionals will assist you throughout the process and we will help you on the detailed procedure.

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