Environmental management—International Standard ISO 14001
Produced in partnership with CLT Envirolaw
Environmental management—International Standard ISO 14001

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with CLT Envirolaw provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental management—International Standard ISO 14001
  • What is ISO 14001?
  • Revision of ISO 14001
  • Top management
  • Context of the organisation
  • Risk assessment
  • Interested parties
  • Objectives, targets and management systems
  • Compliance obligations
  • Environmental influence on the Supply chain
  • more

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that defines the requirements for establishing, implementing and operating an environmental management system (EMS). It is part of the ISO 14000 family of standards for managing environmental responsibilities. It aims to provide a structured approach to planning, implementing and managing an EMS. It is not a regulation or legally required standard, but a set of formal documented procedures subject to third party audit and verification.

ISO 14001 is a voluntarily standard designed to be adopted by organisations operating in any sector. Registration/certification is not mandatory. An organisation may self-declare its EMS, setting out details of any third party audit and verification that has been undertaken.

Implementation is based on a 'plan-do-check-act' (PDCA) cycle, requiring ongoing review and continual improvement, evidenced by EMS documentation and records.

Registration/certification of an organisation under ISO 14001 provides investors, lenders, insurers and employees with some comfort that the organisation has the tools and procedures to eliminate or mitigate any adverse impacts it may have on the environment.

Revision of ISO 14001

ISO 14001:2004 was substantially amended by ISO 14001:2015 issued in September 2015. The revised ISO 14001:2015 has greater implications for organisations than the 2004 version. The changes introduce a clear shift in emphasis. The revised edition separates strategic and operational environmental issues to ensure