What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is an international standard for environmental management system legislated by ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
To be more specific, ISO 14001 is a management system that has to be equipped by an organization for continually removing or reducing environmental hazards faced by the organization, by systematically identifying, evaluating, controlling and improving an environmental aspect that is generated in the course of managing an organization.
Requirement of environmental management system in the global trade is now spread over the whole of the industrial fields, and the environmental management system is required in some industrial fields as an important obligatory factor for successful business opportunity.
The standard may be applicable to any organizations across the all industries regardless of size just like that of ISO 9001 (QM). /p>

ISO14001 Model - effectiveness

A systematic approach to environmental management can provide top management with information to build success over the long term and create options for contributing to sustainable development by:

  • - protecting the environment by preventing or mitigating adverse environmental impacts
  • - mitigating the potential adverse effect of environmental conditions on the organization
  • - the fulfilment of compliance obligations
  • - enhancing environmental performance
  • - controlling or influencing the way the organization’s products and services are designed, manufactured, distributed, consumed and disposed by using a life cycle
  • - perspective that can prevent environmental impacts from being unintentionally shifted elsewhere within the life cycle
  • - achieving financial and operational benefits that can result from implementing environmentally sound alternatives that strengthen the organization's market position
  • - communicating environmental information to relevant interested parties.

Success factors in ISO14001:2015

The success of an environmental management system depends on commitment from all levels and functions of the organization, led by top management. Organizations can leverage opportunities to prevent or mitigate adverse environmental impacts and enhance beneficial environmental impacts, particularly those with strategic and competitive implications. Top management can effectively address its risks and opportunities by integrating environmental management into the organization’s business processes, strategic direction and decision making, aligning them with other business priorities, and incorporating environmental governance into its overall management system. Demonstration of successful implementation of this International Standard can be used to assure interested parties that an effective environmental management system is in place. Adoption of this International Standard, however, will not in itself guarantee optimal environmental outcomes. Application of this International Standard can differ from one organization to another due to the context of the organization. Two organizations can carry out similar activities but can have different compliance obligations, commitments in their environmental policy, environmental technologies and environmental performance goals, yet both can conform to the requirements of this International Standard. The level of detail and complexity of the environmental management system will vary depending on the context of the organization, the scope of its environmental management system, its compliance obligations, and the nature of its activities, products and services, including its environmental aspects and associated environmental impacts.

Relationship between PDCA and the framework in ISO14001:2015

Life cycle in ISO14001:2015

consecutive and interlinked stages of a product (or service) system, from raw material acquisition or generation from natural resources to final disposal.

  • - The life cycle stages include acquisition of raw materials, design, production, transportation/ delivery, use, end-of-life treatment and final disposal.

Contact Person

Yoon, Ji Hyuck

yjh@icrqa.com