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ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems - Requirements with guidance for use

The ISO 14000 series of standards that includes ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) grew out of the international success of the ISO 9000 series of Standards and the emergence of excessive country and regional standards for managing the environment.  ISO and IEC formed the Strategic Advisory Group for the Environment (SAGE) in 1991. ISO created Technical Committee TC 207 to develop the 14000 series of standards. Currently there are over 20 14000 series Standards. Organizations self certify or register to only the ISO 14001 Standard. The others are used for guidance, specification, evaluation and qualification criteria.  

There are six (6) primary sections that classify the requirements in ISO 14001. Within these six sections of the Standard are the specific requirements that an organization must apply to implement an EMS. Within the six sections there are approximately 50 “shall” statement requirements.

There is now an official set of interpretations to the ISO 14001 standard that are available at http://standardsgroup.asq.org/environmental-management/. These documents can assist you and determining how the standard applies to your organization.

Please Note:  ISO 14001 is undergoing a major revision and is expected to be published in September of 2015 and eligible for registration in the fall of 2015.  Those organizations currently registered to ISO 14001:2004 will have 3 years from the publication of the ISO 14001:2015 version of the standard to become compliant to the revised standard.

ISO 14001 Comparability to ISO 9001

See Annex B of ANSI/ISO 14001 for links of sub-clauses between the two standards.

ISO 14001 was designed to allow ISO 9001 system extension.

Many sub-clauses are very similar, such as management review, document control, and corrective and preventive action.

ISO 14001 is not prescriptive, but requires specific commitments to regulatory compliance, prevention of pollution, and continuous improvement.


The application of the 14001 standard is to provide organizations with the elements of an effective EMS that can be integrated with or into other management systems requirements, to assist organizations achieve their environmental and economic goals and objectives.  The overall aim is to support environmental protection and prevention of pollution in balance with socioeconomic needs. The success of an EMS depends on a commitment from all levels and functions within an organization and especially from senior or top management.

14001 enables an organization to establish and assess the effectiveness of procedures to set an environmental policy including objectives, achieve conformance with them, and to demonstrate conformance to others, including interested external parties.

14001 is not intended to address and does not include requirements for any aspects of occupational health and safety management. Registration is limited to the applicable aspects of the documented EMS.

14001 shares common management system principles with ISO 9000 and OHSAS 18001 system standards. While the 9000 series of standards deal with customer needs, an EMS addresses the needs of a broad range of interested parties and evolving needs of society for the protection of the environment.  In a lot of cases it should be very possible to comply with the requirements of ISO 14001 by adapting the existing ISO 9000 based management system elements, procedures, policies, etc.


ISO 14001 can be applied to any type of business, organization or industry. Initial interest in applying the Standard is coming from a wide range of industries, including; Agriculture, Forestry & Mining; Petrochemicals & Plastics, Food, Tobacco, Textiles & Wood products, Electronics & Instruments, Manufacturing, Metals & Machinery.

Over 6,000 organizations in North America have adopted the ISO 14001 Standard in manufacturing, medical, transportation and a variety of service industries.

Note: Registration to ISO 14001 has become a requirement for a number of customers, such as the automotive industry requirements for registration for manufacturing facilities.


Training Offered

ISO 14001:2015 Transition Training

ISO 14001 Awareness/Overview 

EMS Internal Auditor Training

EMS Implementation

Document Writing

On-line Training Courses


Services Offered

Initial System Evaluation ("Gap Analysis")

Documentation Development

Implementation Assistance and Guidance

Final System Evaluation ("Dress Rehearsal")

Hands-on Auditing

Contract Internal Auditing Program

Compliance Auditing



Auditor Training

2015 Transition Training