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.
ISO 14001:2015 is the leading standard for environmental management systems. This standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) lays out requirements for environmental management systems, which companies can employ to meet their environmental goals. Organizations can apply the standard to all of the environmental aspects of their activities, products and services that they can control or influence. It helps them manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic way and in accordance with their environmental policy.
While ISO 14001:2015 describes requirements for an environmental management system, it does not include specific environmental performance criteria.
Any organization regardless of size and sector can use this international standard. This includes private, not-for-profit and governmental entities.
An organization may apply ISO 14001:2015 in whole or in part. Although some businesses may find it useful to apply only part of the standard, those that do not meet all of its requirements are not in compliance with it. Certification to the standard provides evidence to outside parties that a company has an effective environmental management system, or EMS, in place.
Benefits of ISO 14001
There are numerous benefits to implementing an EMS and achieving certification to ISO 14001. In addition to the benefits to the environment, there are also many business benefits that can be obtained. Almost any business can achieve these gains by implementing ISO 14001 either in whole or in part. Some of these benefits include:
- Improving Environmental Performance
- Demonstrating Compliance
- Increasing Leadership and Employee Engagement
- Improving Reputation
- Reducing Costs
- Improving Environmental Performance of Suppliers
- Opening up New Opportunities
- Contributing to Sustainability Goals