ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001:2015

What is ISO

ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets
out the requirements for an environmental management system.

It helps organizations improve their environmental
performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste,
gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.

What is an
environmental management system?

An environmental management system helps organizations identify,
manage, monitor and control their environmental issues
in a holistic

Like other ISO management systems, it uses a High-Level
Structure. This means it can be integrated easily into any existing ISO
management system.

It also includes the need for continual improvement of an
organization’s systems
and approach to environmental concerns.

Who is ISO
14001 for?

ISO 14001 is suitable for organizations of all types and
, be they private, not-for-profit or governmental.

It requires that an organization considers all environmental
issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage
issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and
adaptation, and resource use and efficiency.


ISO 14001 has recently been revised, with key improvements
such as:

increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s
strategic planning processes

input from leadership

stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental

benefits will it bring to my business or organization?

Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001:2015

compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements

leadership involvement and engagement of employees

company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic

ISO 14001:

strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business

a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced

better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the
organization’s business systems

Why was ISO
14001 revised?

All ISO standards are reviewed and revised regularly to
make sure they remain relevant to the marketplace.

ISO 14001:2015 will respond to the latest trends, including
the increasing recognition by companies of the need to factor in both external
and internal elements that influence their environmental impact, such as
climate volatility and the competitive context in which they work.

The changes also ensure that the standard is compatible with
other management system standards.

What are
the key improvements?

ISO 14001:2015 now requires:

management to be more prominent within the organization’s strategic direction

greater commitment from leadership

implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm
and degradation

focus on life-cycle thinking, to consider the environment from development to

addition of a stakeholder-focused communication strategy

It also allows for easier integration into other management
systems thanks to the same structure, terms and definitions.

I am
certified to ISO 14001:2004. What does this mean for me?

Organizations are granted a three-year transition period
once the revision has been published to migrate to the new edition of the
standard. After this period, if third-party certification is desired, you will
have to seek certification to the new version.

For further information and guidance, refer to the
International Accreditation Forum’s transition planning guidance document at

Should I be
certified to ISO 14001?

Accredited certification to ISO 14001 is not a requirement
and there are many benefits from using the standard without going through the
accredited certification process.

However, third-party certification – where an independent
certification body audits your practices against the requirements of the
standard – is a way of signalling to your stakeholders that you have
implemented the standard correctly

For some organizations, it helps to show how they meet
regulatory or contractual requirements.

ISO does not perform certification. For more information
about the certification process and how to find a certification body, please
visit the “certification” section on our Website (

Examples of
success with ISO 14001

Organizations using ISO 14001 have found success across a
range of areas, including reduced energy and water consumption, a more
systematic approach to legal compliance and an improved overall environmental

Premier Foods

Enhancing relationships with stakeholders and staff

“Since 2001, we have used ISO 14001 to make big improvements
such as increasing our organization’s recycling rate. We have now been at “zero
landfill” since March 2013 and are recycling and reusing 100 % of our site

“We have continued to improve our relationship with
neighbours because we have the processes in place to respond quickly to any
concerns. Among other benefits, our processes and the appointment of Green
Matters Champions ensure that staff are environmentally engaged and aware of the
site’s potential impact on the environment.”

Richard Giles

Premier Foods, UK

UPCON Corporation

Boosting confidence and competitivity

“UPCON provides services to lift up sunken concrete floors
using its unique UPCON method. Achieving certification to ISO 14001 in 2008
allowed us to document effectively the details of our method for all staff to
share and standardize the quality of work at every site.

“In addition to boosting our competitiveness through more
accurate quality control,  ISO 14001 also
strengthens our confidence in our method by demonstrating that it produces 90 %
less CO2 emissions when compared to concrete replacement. What’s
more, since our certification, staff engagement and motivation have increased,
safe in the knowledge that they are contributing positively to the environment
through our products and services.”

Nobukazu Matsudo

UPCON, Japan

How do I
get started with ISO 14001:2015?

A number of resources provide detailed guidance on how to
use the standard, but here are a few tips to get you started:

Tip 1 Define your objectives. What do you want to achieve
with this standard?

Tip 2 Get buy-in from senior management. It is essential
that the leaders of your organization support the objectives of an effective
environmental management system and are committed to the process.

Tip 3 Get a good overview of existing processes and systems
relevant to your environmental impact. This will allow you to more easily
identify gaps.

standards in the ISO 14000 family

The ISO 14000 family comprises a number of standards that
complement ISO 14001, some of which are listed below. Get more information in
the brochure Environmental management – The ISO 14000 family of
International Standards
, a basic introduction to the ISO 14000 series of

ISO 14004 provides guidance on the establishment,
implementation, maintenance and improvement of an environmental management
and its coordination with other management systems.

ISO 14006 is intended to be used by those
organizations that have implemented an environmental management system in
accordance with ISO 14001, but can help integrate eco-design into other
management systems.

ISO 14064-1 specifies principles and requirements at
the organizational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions and removal.


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