ISO 14000

ISO 14000 is a family of International Standards that specify requirements for environmental management .

Environmental impact is becoming an increasingly important issue across the globe, with pressure to minimize that impact coming from a number of sources including:

  • customers;
  • employees;
  • local and national government;
  • other stakeholders.
  • regulators;
  • trade associations;

Social pressures are also building up from the growing array of interested parties and other stakeholders to address the issues of environmental management.

ISO 14001 is the Environmental Management System (EMS) standard and used to certify organizations to become an ISO 14001 certified organization.

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that sets out how an organisation can implement, manage and continuously improve an effective EMS. ISO 14001 is designed to address the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact and, with the commitment of an entire organization it can achieve both objectives.

ISO 14001 does not specify levels of environmental performance. If it specified levels of environmental performance, there would have to be a specific standard and EMS for each business. ISO 14001 gives the generic requirements for an EMS and the underlying philosophy is that whatever the organization’s activity, the requirements of an effective EMS are virtually 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;
  • other stakeholders.

Because ISO 14001 does not lay down levels of environmental performance, the standard can to be implemented by a wide variety of organizations, whatever their current level of environmental maturity, including:

  • all industry sectors including public and private sectors
  • all sizes of organisation from small single site organisations too multinational corporations;
  • all types of organisation, including manufacturing, service industries and government (local and national)

ISO 140001 follows the Deming Cycle for continuous improvement;

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

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

The ISO 14000 Family

The standards in the ISO 14000 family are below:

Standard Title / Description
14000 Guide to Environmental Management Principles – Systems and Supporting Techniques
14001 Environmental Management Systems – Specification with Guidance for Use
14004 Environmental Management Systems — General guidelines on principles – systems and support techniques
14010 Guidelines for Environmental Auditing – General Principles of Environmental Auditing
14013/15 Guidelines for Environmental Auditing – Audit Programmes – Reviews & Assessments
14020/23 Environmental Labelling
14024 Environmental Labelling – Practitioner Programs – Guiding Principles – Practices and Certification Procedures of Multiple Criteria Programs
14031/32 Guidelines on Environmental Performance Evaluation
14040/43 Life Cycle Assessment General Principles and Practices
14050 Glossary
14060 Guide for the Inclusion of Environmental Aspects in Product Standards

International Standards can be purchased from the British Standards Institutive Shop (BSi)