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Homepage>ISO Standards>ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems - Requirements
Released: 2015/09

ISO 14001:2015

Environmental management systems -- Requirements with guidance for use

ISO 14001 : 2015/09 - Immediately download PDF / Hardcopies delivered within 48 hours
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Standard´s number:ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001: 2015 EMS

ISO 14001 : 2015

ISO 14001:2004 was canceled and replecad by this new standard ISO 14001:2015

The ISO Standards are checked every 5 years, to achieve maximum relevance to the commercial market. Therefore is important standard ISO 14001 was revised.






Updated version ISO 14001:2015 is available NOW!. The new version will better respond to the latest trends and will be and better correspond with other standards for management and environmentalsystems, for exmple ISO 9001, ISO 14004 etc...

ISO 14001:2015 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. ISO 14001:2015 is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability. ISO 14001:2015 helps an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties. Consistent with the organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include: · enhancement of environmental performance; · fulfilment of compliance obligations; · achievement of environmental objectives. ISO 14001:2015 is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence considering a life cycle perspective. ISO 14001:2015 does not state specific environmental performance criteria. ISO 14001:2015 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management. Claims of conformity to ISO 14001:2015, however, are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization's environmental management system and fulfilled without exclusion. 

 Compliance with the requirements of this standard and obtaining ISO 14001 quality certificate guarantees your customers high quality products and services.


If your organization already certified according to ISO 14001:2004, you have a three-year transitional period for compliance with the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and obtaining a EMS certificate .


Introduction to EMS ISO 14001: 2015

Organizations of all kinds are increasingly concerned with achieving and demonstrating sound environmental performance by controlling the impacts of their activities,products and services on the environment, consistentwith their environmental policy and objectives. They do so in the context of increasingly stringent legislation,the development of economic policies and other measuresthat foster environmental protection, and increased concern expressed by interested parties aboutenvironmental matters and sustainable development.


Many organizations have undertaken environmental”reviews“ or ”audits“ to assess their environmentalperformance. On their own, however, these ”reviews“and ”audits“ may not be sufficient to provide anorganization with the assurance that its performancenot only meets, but will continue to meet, its legal and policy requirements. To be effective, they need to be conducted within a structured management system that is integrated within the organization.


International Standards covering environmental management are intended to provide organizations with the elements of an effective environmental management system (EMS) that can be integrated with other management requirements and help organizations achieve environmental and economic goals. These standards, like other International Standards, are not intended to be used to create non-tariff trade barriers or to increase or change an organization's legal obligations.


ISO 14001 specifies requirements foran environmental management system to enable anorganization to develop and implement a policy andobjectives which take into account legal requirementsand information about significant environmental aspects. It is intended to apply to all types and sizes oforganization and to accommodate diverse geographical,cultural and social conditions. The basis of the approachis shown in Figure 1. The success of the systemdepends on commitment from all levels and functions ofthe organization, and especially from top management. A system of this kind enables an organization to develop an environmental policy, establish objectives and processes to achieve the policy commitments, take action as needed to improve its performance and demonstrate the conformity of the system to therequirements of this International Standard. The overallaim of this International Standard is to supportenvironmental protection and prevention of pollution inbalance with socio-economic needs. It should be notedthat many of the requirements can be addressed concurrently or revisited at any time.


There is an important distinction between this InternationalStandard, which describes the requirements for an organization's environmental management system and can be used for certification/registration and/or selfdeclaration of an organization's environmentalmanagement system, and a non-certifiable guidelineintended to provide generic assistance to an organization for establishing, implementing or improving an environmental management system. Environmental management encompasses a full range of issues, including those with strategic and competitive implications. Demonstration of successful implementation of this International Standard can be used by an organization to assure interested parties that an appropriate environmental management system is in place.


Guidance on supporting environmental managementtechniques is contained in other International Standards,particularly those on environmental management in thedocuments established by ISO/TC 207. Any reference to other International Standards is for information only.

NOTE This International Standard is based on the methodologyknown as Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). PDCA can be brieflydescribed as follows:

  • Plan: establish the objectives and processes necessary to deliver results in accordance with the organization's environmental policy.
  • Do: implement the processes.
  • Check: monitor and measure processes against environmental policy, objectives, targets, legal and other requirements, and report the results.
  • Act: take actions to continually improve performance of the environmental management system.

Many organizations manage their operations viathe application of a system of processes and theirinteractions, which can be referred to as the ”processapproach“. ISO 9001 promotes the use of the processapproach. Since PDCA can be applied to all processes,the two methodologies are considered to be compatible.


This International Standard contains only thoserequirements that can be objectively audited. Thoseorganizations requiring more general guidance on a broad range of environmental management systemissues are referred to ISO 14004.


ISO 14001 does not establish absoluterequirements for environmental performance beyondthe commitments, in the environmental policy, to complywith applicable legal requirements and with otherrequirements to which the organization subscribes, toprevention of pollution and to continual improvement.Thus, two organizations carrying out similar operationsbut having different environmental performance can both conform to its requirements.


The adoption and implementation of a range ofenvironmental management techniques in a systematicmanner can contribute to optimal outcomes for allinterested parties. However, adoption of this InternationalStandard will not in itself guarantee optimal environmentaloutcomes. In order to achieve environmental objectives,the environmental management system can encourageorganizations to consider implementation of the bestavailable techniques, where appropriate and where economically viable, and fully take into account the cost - effectiveness of such techniques.

This International Standard does not include requirementsspecific to other management systems, such as thosefor quality, occupational health and safety, financialor risk management, though its elements can be aligned or integrated with those of other management systems. It is possible for an organization to adapt its existingmanagement system(s) in order to establish an environmental management system that conforms to the requirements of this International Standard. It is pointed out, however, that the application of various elements of the management system might differ depending on the intended purpose and the interested parties involved.


The level of detail and complexity of the environmentalmanagement system, the extent of documentation andthe resources devoted to it depend on a number of factors, such as the scope of the system, the size of an organization and the nature of its activities, products and services. This may be the case in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises.

More information you will find in original text of ISO 14001:2015

Contents of ISO 14001



  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
    • Terms related to organization and leadership
    • Terms related to planning
    • Terms related to support and operation
    • Terms related to performance evaluation and improvement
  • Context of the organization
    • Understanding the organization and its context
    • Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
    • Determining the scope of the environmental management system
    • Environmental management system
  • Leadership
    • Leadership and commitment
    • Environmental policy
    • Organizational roles, responsibilities and authorities
  • Planning
    • Actions to address risks and opportunities
      • General
      • Environmental aspects
      • Compliance obligations
      • Planning action
    • Environmental objectives and planning to achieve them
      • Environmental objectives
      • Planning actions to achieve environmental objectives
    • Support
      • Resources
      • Competence
      • Awareness
      • Communication
        • General
        • Internal communication
        • External communication
      • Documented information
        • General
        • Creating and updating
        • Control of documented information
      • Operation
        • Operational planning and control
        • Emergency preparedness and response
      • Performance evaluation
        • Monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation
          • General
          • Evaluation of compliance
        • Internal audit
          • General
          • Internal audit programme
        • Management review
  •  Improvement
    • General
    • Nonconformity and corrective action
    • Continual improvement

Annex A (informative) Guidance on the use of this International Standard

Annex B (informative) Correspondence between ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 14001:2004


Alphabetical index of terms


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