ISO 14001 is an environmental management system (EMS) standard. This standard exists to minimise your company’s negative environmental impact while increasing positive impact. An ISO 14001 certification shows your customers that you care about your impact on the world around you.


With the global commitment from companies aiming for zero carbon emissions this standard is being asked for more and more on tenders and contract work.


ISO 14001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS).

It provides a framework that an organisation can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements.

Part of the ISO 14000 family of standards on environmental management, ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that organisations can certify to. Integrating it with other management systems standards, most commonly ISO 9001, can further assist in accomplishing organisational goals.


The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) defines an environmental management system as “part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfil compliance obligations, and address risks and opportunities.” The framework in the ISO 14001 standard can be used within a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach to continuous improvement.


  • Who should use the 14001:2015 revision?
  • What are the benefits of ISO 14001?
  • ISO 14001 certification




ISO 14001:2015 should be used by any organisation that wishes to set up, improve, or maintain an environmental management system to conform with its established environmental policy and requirements. The requirements of the standard can be incorporated into any environmental management system, the extent to which is determined by several factors including the organisation’s industry, environmental policy, products and service offerings, and location.


ISO 14001:2015 is relevant to all organisations, regardless of size, location, sector, or industry.

What topics does ISO 14001:2015 cover?


At the highest level, ISO 14001:2015 covers the following topics with regard to environmental management systems:


  • Context of the organisation
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement


Integrating ISO 9001 and ISO 14001


Integrating management systems standards can increase focus while reducing the potential for confusion. Elements of ISO 9001 can be enhanced with corresponding components of ISO 14001.

Responsibilities for the combined standards might include:


  • Drafting a policy statement and quantifiable objectives
  • Setting up organisational charts and job descriptions
  • Providing adequate resources
  • Managing documentation for both standards in a single document control system
  • Appointing a management representative as well as coordinators for the quality and environmental managements systems

When adding ISO 14001 components to those of ISO 9001, planning must be expanded to deal with environmental impacts, and the inspection and test systems modified to cover environmental conformance. The organisation must meet the environmental expectations of customers and the government, and it must incorporate environmental management elements into internal audit programs and training sessions.

ISO 14001 can be integrated with standards besides ISO 9001 in order to provide synergy with other systems, such as ISO45001 and ISO 13485.




Using ISO 14001:2015 has many benefits for organizations with environmental management systems. Organisations and companies find that using the standard helps them:


  • Improve resource efficiency
  • Reduce waste
  • Drive down costs
  • Provide assurance that environmental impact is being measured
  • Gain competitive advantage in supply chain design
  • Increase new business opportunities
  • Meet legal obligations
  • Increase stakeholder and customer trust
  • Improve overall environmental impact
  • Manage environmental obligations with consistency 


Once the structure is in place and the system has been audited Aequalis consultants can check your system and send out your certificate.

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