ISO 14001 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. ISO 14001 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 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 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 does not state specific environmental performance criteria.
ISO 14001 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management. Claims of conformity to ISO 14001, however, are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization’s environmental management system and fulfilled without exclusion.