What is ISO 14001?

The ISO 14001 standard provides you with an internationally recognised framework for setting up an environmental management system (EMS). Any organisation can use the standard to reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and cut waste management costs.

ISO 14001 is the most important standard in the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards. The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has developed this series for businesses and other organisations looking to reduce their environmental impact.

What is an environmental management system?

An environmental management system (EMS) helps you manage your resources more efficiently. The ISO 14001 standard is a generic EMS, which means any organisation, of any size and in any sector can use it. This includes manufacturing and services firms, whether operating in the public or private sectors.

The standard gives you the tools to reduce the environmental impact of your processes, both internal and across your supply chain. It will help you cut the costs of resource, energy and waste management. It will also ensure you comply with environmental legislation while publicly demonstrating your commitment to protecting the environment.

ISO 14001 objectives

The ISO 14001 environmental management system has two primary goals:

  • Compliance with laws and regulations: by reaching and maintaining basic legal standards, companies can avoid fines, government intervention and sanctions against their business.
  • Reduce environmental impact: the ISO 14001 EMS can help you develop, implement, and manage your environmental policies. For instance, it can help you plan for all phases of waste reduction from product design to end-of-life recycling.

Regular updates – ISO 14001 : 2015 explained

The ISO reviews and revises its standards periodically to ensure they remain current and relevant to the market. The latest revision of the ISO 14001 standard is ISO 14001 : 2015. It reflects the latest business trends in environmental management, as well as ensuring compatibility with other widely used management systems such as ISO 9001.