ISO 14001 2015 is an environmental management standard. It defines a set of environmental management requirements with guidance for use that relate to environmental systems. It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). There are more than 300,000 certifications to ISO 14001 in 171 countries around the world. These requirements can be found in the following seven sections:
The purpose of this standard is to help organizations to protect the environment and to respond to changing environmental conditions. According to ISO 14001, any organization can achieve these objectives if it establishes an Environmental Management System (EMS) and if it continually tries to improve the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of this system.
An environmental management system (EMS) is one part of a larger management system and is a set of interrelated or interacting elements that organizations use to implement their environmental policy, to achieve their environmental objectives, to meet their environmental compliance obligations, to manage their environmental aspects, and to address their environmental risks and opportunities. These elements include structures, programs, procedures, processes, practices, plans, rules, roles, responsibilities, relationships, contracts, agreements, documents, records, methods, tools, techniques, technologies, and resources.
ISO 14001 applies to all types of organizations. It does not matter what they do or what size they are. It can help any organization to protect the environment and to respond to changing environmental conditions.
According to ISO 14001 2015, your organization's EMS must meet every requirement if you wish to claim that it complies with this standard. However, how you choose to meet ISO's requirements, and to what extent, will depend on and be influenced
by many factors. It will depend on your organization’s context, its structure, its activities, its objectives, its compliance obligations, and its products and services; and will be influenced by its environmental risks and opportunities and by its environmental aspects and impacts. Consequently, environmental management systems can vary quite a bit.
To enhance your environmental performance.
To facilitate and support sustainable development.
To meet your compliance obligations.
To achieve your environmental objectives.
According to ISO 14001, any organization can achieve these important goals by establishing an EMS and then using it to manage the environmental aspects and impacts of its activities, processes, products, services, and systems.
Enhance your Environmental Performance:
According to ISO 14001, an EMS will enhance your organization's environmental performance because it will:
Reduce your environmental risks.
Implement your environmental policy.
Achieve your environmental objectives.
Meet your environmental compliance obligations.
Take advantage of your environmental opportunities.
Support Sustainable Development:
You can also use an EMS to support sustainable development. Why? Because an EMS will show you how to take a systematic approach to environmental management. Such an approach will not only contribute to your organization's long-term success but it will also facilitate sustainable development. It will do all of this by helping your organization to:
Prevent or reduce adverse environmental impacts.
Implement environmentally sound practices and programs.
Mitigate the adverse impact that environmental threats can have.
Control how products and services are managed throughout their life cycle.
Coordinate and communicate environmental initiatives with interested parties
The ISO 14001 Standard is comprised of 10 clauses/sections which describe the universe of requirements that must be met by an organization seeking certification of their organization’s Environmental Management System (EMS).
ISO’s environmental management requirements are described in ISO 14001 sections 4 to 10. The following material will introduce these seven sections.