ISO14000 - Environment Management Systemm - Free Guidance

The International Standard for Environmental Management Systems

These pages should help you to understand the International Standards Organization's 14000 standard and decide how to implement it.   Click on a topic below to jump to that section.

Quick Explanation:

ISO 14001 is a new (late 1996) standard for Environmental Management Systems.  It was based upon the ISO 9000 family of specifications, so if you are familiar with the terms and structure of ISO9001/9002 you will readily grasp ISO14000.   The key aspects of ISO14000 are that it is

More any anything, it simply requires a system that cohesively integrates and documents environmental impacts, goals, objectives, and actions.

A primary component of the ISO 14001 standard is the "Environmental Policy" which must be defined by an organization's top management.  This environmental policies must include a commitment to both compliance with environmental laws & company policies, continual improvement and prevention of pollution.  A system is then created (or if already existing, documented) that ensures that the environmental policy is carried out by the organization. This involves planning, implementation and operations, checking and corrective action, and management review.

The ISO Environmental Standards for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) are a series of completely voluntary standards and guideline reference documents which include environmental management systems, eco-labeling, environmental auditing, life cycle assessment, environmental performance evaluation, and environmental aspects in product standards. It is the focus on management" that distinguishes these standards from "performance" standards.  An EMS help and organization to establish and meet its own policy goals through objectives and targets, organizational structures and accountability, management controls and review functions all with top management oversight.

EMS do not set specific requirements for environmental compliance nor do these standards establish requirements for specific levels of pollution prevention or performance.

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Dates of Standard Implementation

The following are targeted completion dates:

The EMS specification and guidance standards: were released in late 1996
Principles of Environmental Auditing - late 1996 -
Eco-labeling Principles and Practices - end of 1996
Environmental Performance Evaluation 1998?
Life Cycle Assessment 1998?

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This page was updated on 30-Mar-2016