ISO 14001:2015
Environmental management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use

ISO 14001 Environmental management   (EMS)

ISO 14001 improves environmental performance

Whether you’re developing or formalizing your environmental management system (EMS), ISO 14001 certification can deliver more than regulatory compliance and the ability to meet supplier requirements. 

ISO 14001 helps businesses of all sizes across all sectors make their day to day operations more sustainable. Sustainability can ultimately save money, improve brand reputation, engage employees and build resilience against uncertainty as well as the ability to rapidly adapt to change.

ISO 14001 standard provides guidance on how to consider multiple aspects of your business procurement, storage, distribution, product development, manufacturing, etc.- so that it reduces its impact on the environment. It also drives you to evaluate how you manage emergency response, customer expectations, stakeholders and your relationships with your local community.

Depending on how your organization operates today, this may not require a lot of change beyond documenting what and how you do or it may mean a number of changes that can result in a more efficient business, cost or waste reductions and give stakeholders peace of mind.

Top tips for implementing ISO 14001

  1. Get commitment and support from senior management.
  2. Engage the whole business with good internal communication.
  3. Compare your existing quality systems with ISO 14001 requirements.
  4. Get customer and supplier feedback on current environmental management.
  5. Establish an implementation team to get the best results.
  6. Map out and share roles, responsibilities and timescales.
  7. Adapt the basic principles of environmental management to your business.
  8. Motivate staff involvement with training and incentives.
  9. Share ISO 14001 knowledge and encourage staff to train as internal auditors.

10. Regularly review your ISO 14001 system to make sure you are continually improving it.

ISO 14001 standard

The ISO 14001 standard specifies a process for the control and the continuous improvement of an organisation’s environmental performance. The management tool enables an organisation to identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products and services; to continuously improve its environmental performance; and, to implement a systematic approach to set and achieve environmental objectives and targets.

The ISO 14001 standard applies to those environmental aspects identified and controlled or influenced by the organisation.  The ISO 14001 standard does not specify environmental performance criteria but merely how to develop an EMS.

Currently within Australia there are over 2,000 organisations certified to the highly recognisable ISO 14001 standard. At the end of December 2008 there were over 188,000 organisations globally that had been issued ISO 14001 certificates. A total of 155 countries had organisations participating in the scheme. The diagram below illustrates the ISO 2008 Survey results for ISO 14001:2004 standard.

The ISO 14001 standard differs from ISO 14000. This is because ISO 14000 refers to the standards of the environmental management series developed by the International Standards Organisation while the ISO 14001 standard is the document containing specific EMS requirements.

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