Life Cycle Management
Product Stewardship
Environmental Management Systems
ISO 14001 
Stage-GateŽ model
Corporate Social Responsibility

ISO 14001

The ISO 14001 standard "Environmental management systems- Specification with guidance for use" is the standard within the ISO 14000 series that specifies the requirements of an environmental management system. The EMS standard ISO 14001 is the cornerstone document of the ISO 14000 series of standards, and is modeled after the highly successful ISO 9000 quality management system standards. 

The key elements of an ISO 14001 EMS are

Environmental Policy
- the environmental policy and the requirements to pursue this policy via objectives, targets, and environmental programs 

- the analysis of the environmental aspects of the organization (including its processes, products and services as well as the goods and services used by the organization) 

Implementation and operation
- implementation and organization of processes to control and improve operational activities that is critical from an environmental perspective (including both products and services of an organization) 

Checking and corrective action
- checking and corrective action including the monitoring, measurement, and recording of the characteristics and activities that can have a significant impact on the environment 

Management Review
- review of the
EMS by the organization's top management to ensure its continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness 

Continual improvement
- the concept of continual improvement is a key component of the environmental management system; it completes the cyclical process of plan, implement, check, review and continually improve

The following two ISO documents have been developed to support the implementation of the ISO 14001 standard:

  • ISO 14001 Environmental management systems- Specification with guidance for use, 1996-09-01 
  • ISO 14004 Environmental management systems- General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques, 1996-09-01 

ISO 14001:1996 is going to be replaced by ISO 14001:2004 but the difference between the two versions are minor and does not change how the environmental management system is implemented.

Changes in  ISO 14001:2004 are made to: 

  • clarify ambiguities of the old standard 
  • closer correspondence to ISO 9001 (quality control system)

The ISO 14001:2004 has a clearer focus on:

  • significant environmental aspects 
  • outcome rather than the EMS system