ISO 14001

ISO 14000 essentials

The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management.

An ISO 14001:2004-based EMS

An EMS meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 is a management tool enabling an organization of any size or type to:

  • identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services, and to
  • improve its environmental performance continually, and to
  • implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets, to achieving these and to demonstrating that they have been achieved.

How it works

ISO has many other standards dealing with specific environmental issues. The intention of ISO 14001:2004 is to provide a framework for a holistic, strategic approach to the organization's environmental policy, plans and actions.

ISO 14001:2004 gives the generic requirements for an environmental management system. The underlying philosophy is that whatever the organization's activity, the requirements of an effective EMS are the same.

This has the effect of establishing a common reference for communicating about environmental management issues between organizations and their customers, regulators, the public and other stakeholders.

The EMS standards

ISO 14004:2004 provides guidelines on the elements of an environmental management system and its implementation, and discusses principal issues involved.

ISO 14001:2004 specifies the requirements for such an environmental management system. Fulfilling these requirements demands objective evidence which can be audited to demonstrate that the environmental management system is operating effectively in conformity to the standard.

What can be achieved

ISO 14001:2004 is a tool that can be used to meet internal objectives:

  • provide assurance to management that it is in control of the organizational processes and activities having an impact on the environment
  • assure employees that they are working for an environmentally responsible organization.

ISO 14001:2004 can also be used to meet external objectives:

  • provide assurance on environmental issues to external stakeholders – such as customers, the community and regulatory agencies
  • comply with environmental regulations
  • support the organization's claims and communication about its own environmental policies, plans and actions
  • provides a framework for demonstrating conformity via suppliers' declarations of conformity, assessment of conformity by an external stakeholder - such as a business client - and for certification of conformity by an independent certification body.