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ISO 14001:2015 EMS

Learn about ISO 14001 - What is ISO 14001, Who needs ISO 14001, Lead Auditor Course & More

iso 14001 certified
certified iso 14001

What is ISO 14001?

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 and the trust of stakeholders. For more information refer to ISO.ORG.

What is an Environmental Management System?

An environmental management system helps organizations identify, manage, monitor and control their environmental issues in a “holistic” manner. Other ISO standards that look at different types of management systems, such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety, all use a High-Level Structure. This means that ISO 14001 can be integrated easily into any existing ISO management system. ISO 14001 is suitable for organizations of all types and sizes, be they private, not-for-profit or governmental. It requires that an organization considers all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency. Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement of an organization’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.

Why is ISO 14001 important and who is it for?

ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system and can be certified too. It maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.
Designed for any type of organization, regardless of its activity or sector, it can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

Can an organization be ISO 14001 certified?

There are more than 300,000 certifications to ISO 14001 in 171 countries around the world.

iso 14001 meaning
iso 14001 standard

What benefits will ISO 14001 EMS bring to my business or organization?

There are many reasons why an organization should take a strategic approach to improving its environmental performance. Users of the standard have reported that ISO 14001 helps:

1. Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements.

2. Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees.

3. Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication.

4. Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management.

5. Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs.

6. Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business

Why was ISO 14001 revised?

All ISO standards are reviewed and revised regularly to make sure they remain relevant to the marketplace. ISO 14001:2015 will respond to the latest trends, including the increasing recognition by companies of the need to factor in both external and internal elements that influence their environmental impact, such as climate volatility and the competitive context in which they work. The changes also ensure that the standard is compatible with other management system standards.

What are the key improvements to ISO 14001 Standard?

ISO 14001:2015 requires:
• Environmental management to be more prominent within the organization’s strategic direction.
• A greater commitment from leadership.
• The implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation.
• A focus on life-cycle thinking to ensure consideration of environmental aspects from development to end-of-life.
• The addition of a stakeholder-focused communication strategy It also allows for easier integration into other management systems thanks to the same structure, terms and definitions.

What is the strategic importance of ISO 14001?

Every corporate environmental policy commits the company to environmental leadership in all of its business activities. Environmental Management System EMS provides the framework needed to sustain such leadership and achieve environmental goals in a systematic and consistent manner, no matter where corporate operates. This methodical approach to environmental affairs management ensures corporations proactively focus on controlling the environmental intersections of its operations and continually improve its performance.
environmental management system iso 14001
iso 14001 environmental management system
How does ISO 14001 help fill the skills gap?

International Standards can help to bridge the gap between demand for skilled workers and supply of people with those skills. This is confirmed in LinkedIn’s latest research, which highlights that knowledge of ISO 14001 (environmental management) was identified as one of the top ten skills added to LinkedIn member profiles in the past five years. 

Clearly, International Standards are already central to this unprecedented metamorphosis of the labour market. They act as conduits for upskilling – as is the case with ISO 14001 – as well as providing foundations for effective communication and progress. To speed up the inclusion of green skills in the workplace, it is proposed to reap the benefit of International Standards more widely by incorporating green skills into their development from the ground up.  

The inclusion of green skills into ISO standards not only promotes their mass adoption, it also enables companies to clearly identify which skills are needed where, so that their workers can navigate the labour market with purpose. Thus far, reports LinkedIn, when comparing the most important green skills for employers against those most important to candidates, there is only a 50 % match. Shared standards can help to bridge the gap between skills required and skills available, and to make the green transition a success for everyone.

How does ISO 14001 interact with IEC 2430:2019 Environmentally conscious design (ECD) — Principles, requirements and guidance?

IEC 62430:2019 describes principles, specifies requirements and provides guidance for organizations intending to integrate environmental aspects into the design and development in order to minimize the adverse environmental impacts of their products. This document applies to processes on how ECD (environmentally conscious design) are integrated into the design and development. This document applies to any organization, regardless of its size, type or sector. This document does not provide requirements for assessing the conformity of individual products. For more information refer to ISO.ORG and ISO.ORG/TC207

environmental management system
What is ISO 14000 family of Standards?
  • ISO 14001 Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use.
  • ISO 14002-1 Environmental management systems – Guidelines for applying the ISO 14001 framework to environmental aspects and environmental conditions by environmental topic areas.
  • ISO 14002-2  Environmental management systems — Guidelines for using ISO 14001 to address environmental aspects and conditions within an environmental topic area — Part 2: Water.
  • ISO 14002-3 Environmental management systems — Guidelines for using ISO 14001 to address environmental aspects and conditions within an environmental topic area — Part 3: Climate.
  • ISO 14002-4 Environmental management systems — Guidelines for using ISO 14001 to address environmental aspects and conditions within an environmental topic area — Part 4: Resources and waste.
  • ISO 14004 Environmental management systems – General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques.
  • ISO 14005  Environmental management systems – Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation.
  • ISO 14006 Environmental management systems – Guidelines for incorporating ecodesign ISO 14007 Environmental management – Determining Environmental Costs and Benefits — Guidance.
  • ISO 14008  Monetary valuation of environmental impacts from specific emissions and use of natural resources.
  • ISO 14009 Guidelines for incorporating redesign of products and components to improve material circulation.
  • ISO 14053 Material flow cost accounting — Guidance for phased implementation in organizations. For more information, please visit ISO.ORG.
This chart represents how ISO 14001 link with other TC207 standards
iso 14001

How does ISO 14001:2015 support achievement of UN SDGs?

ISO 14001 in relation to environmental matters cover issues such as:

Protecting the environment

  • commit to proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation
  • protect the environment can include prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, etc.

Environmental performance

  • continual improvement focus on improving environmental performance

Lifecycle perspective

  • extend its control and influence to the environmental impacts associated with product use and end-of-life treatment or disposal

Strategic Environmental Management

  • increased focus on environmental management within organization’s strategic planning processes and understanding organization’s context
  • focus on needs and expectations of interested parties (including compliance obligations)
  • focus on local, regional or global environmental conditions that can affect, or be affected by, the organization.
  • actions to mitigate adverse risk or exploit beneficial opportunities are integrated in the EMS


  • promote environmental management within the organization

How does ISO 14001 support UN SDGs?

Using ISO 14001 as the guiding framework when considering UN SDGs, the following extracts from the UN SDG and their targets provide an indication of which UN SDGs and associated targets an organization using ISO 14001 may be supporting, dependent on the context of the organization. The italic text highlights possible compatibilities.

Note – A UN SDG target that in the first instance is not of relevance has been excluded but the target numbering remains as the numbering in the UN SDG and the language is that of the UN SDG and its targets.


UN SDGs and targets

1 – No poverty

1.5 – By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters.

2 – Zero hunger

2.4 – By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

3 – Good health and well-being

3.9 – By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

4 – Quality Education

4.7 – By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

6 – Clean water and sanitation

6.3 – By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally.
6.4 – By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.
6.5 – By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate.
6.6 – By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

7 – Affordable and clean energy

7.2 – By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
7.3 – By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

8 – Decent work and economic growth

8.4 – Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead.

9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure

9.1 – Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.
9.4 – By 2030, upgrade infrastructure and retrofit industries to make them sustainable, with increased resource-use efficiency and greater adoption of clean and environmentally sound technologies and industrial processes, with all countries taking action in accordance with their respective capabilities.

12 – Responsible consumption and production

12.2 – By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
12.3 – By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
12.4 – By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment.
12.5 – By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.
12.6 – Encourage companies, especially large and transnational companies, to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.

13 – Climate action

13.1 – Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.

14 – Life below water

14.1 – By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.
14.3 – Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.
14.4  -By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.

15 – Life on land

15.1 – By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements.
15.2 – By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.
15.3 – By 2030, combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.
15.5 – Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
15.8 – By 2020, introduce measures to prevent the introduction and significantly reduce the impact of invasive alien species on land and water ecosystems and control or eradicate the priority species.
15.9 – By 2020, integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into national and local planning, development processes, poverty reduction strategies and accounts.

What clauses does the ISO 14001 covers?

ISO 14001 Standard follows the new SL format which is given below:

  • Scope
  • Normative
  • Terms and definitions
  • Context of the organization
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance evaluation
  • Improvement

What are the Fundamental concepts that support ISO 14001:2015 Standard?

The following fundamental concepts are pivtol for the success of ISO 14001 based EMS:

  • Understanding of process approach
  • Application of process approach using PDCA cycle
  • Understanding of risk-based thinking and its application
  • Life cycle approach

Where can I purchase a pdf copy of ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 pdf can be purchased from ISO member (SCC-Canada; ANSI-USA) or any quality registrars.

How is ISO 14001 remote /face to face certification achieved for an organization?

ISO 14001 remote/face to face certification can be achieved through gap analysis, strategic plan, process identification and risk assessment, document development, EMS training, implementation, performance evaluation and external registrar auditing. Online certification is almost as effective as face to face.

What does ISO 14001 certificate mean?

An organization receives an ISO 14001:2018 certificate from the ISO Registrar following successfully passing stage 1 and stage 2 audits. An auditor receives ISO 14001 certificate following successful acceptance of his/her auditor application.

What is the purpose of ISO 14001:2015 certification?

Certification is a useful tool to add credibility, by providing assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

What Course or training does cover ISO 14001 requirements?

ISO 14001 Training or ISO 14001 course or ISO 14001 requirements or ISO 14001 EMS requirements. ISO 14001 course is 2 days long.

How have the documentation requirements changed?

Specific documented procedures are no longer mentioned; it is the responsibility of the organization to maintain documented information to support the operation of its processes and to retain the documented information necessary to have confidence that the processes are being carried out as planned. The extent of the documentation that is needed will depend on the business context.

What is risk-based thinking and why has it been introduced into the standard?

The phrase risk-based thinking is used to describe the way in which ISO 14001 addresses the question of risk. The concept of risk has always been implicit in ISO 14001, by requiring the organization to plan its processes and manage its business to avoid undesirable results. Organizations have typically done this by putting greater emphasis on planning and controlling processes that have the biggest impact on the environment. The way in which organizations manage risk varies depending on their business context (e.g. the criticality of the products and services being provided, complexity of the processes, and the potential consequences of failure). Use of the phrase risk-based thinking is intended to make it clear that while an awareness of risk is important, formal risk-management methodologies and risk assessment are not necessarily appropriate for all business situations and organizations.

How do you become an ISO 14001 Certified Auditor or ISO 14001 Certified Lead Auditor?

Certification to ISO 14001 can be achieved through the following process:

  • Complete ISO 14001 Certified Auditor or ISO 14001 Certified Lead Auditor – Course/Training-Jack Sekhon and Associates
  • Gain required minimum 5 years EMS experience.
  • Gain required minimum ISO 14001 auditing experience of 20 audit days for Auditor and additional 15 days as lead auditor for Lead Auditor application.
  • Have your experience endorsed by your Supervisor/Manager.
  • Apply to Auditor Certification body such as Exemplar Global
Why do you need ISO 14001 requirements course/or training prior to auditor course or training?

The ISO 14001 requirements course provides understanding of requirements of ISO 14001 Standard which is used as criteria or a benchmark for auditing. Without the knowledge and understanding of ISO 14001, the auditor/lead auditor will not be able to perform an effective and efficient audit.

What is your understanding of ISO 14001 Auditor Certification or ISO 14001 Lead Auditor Certification? 

ISO 14001 Auditor Certification or ISO 14001 Lead Auditor certification requires completion of 36- hour course provided by a Certified ISO 14001 Training Provider and successful demonstration of EMS experience and auditing experience with Auditor Certifying Organization such as Exemplar Global or Individual EMS Registrar. Jack Sekhon and Associates is ISO 14001 EMS Training Provider certified by Exemplar Global under TPECS scheme. Getting ISO 14001 Auditor Certification or ISO 14001 Lead Auditor certification empowers you with skillsets for ISO 14001 Management System excellence and robust company performance. You can either work as an ISO 14001 internal auditor for your organization or as ISO 14001 external auditor for a Registrar. Irrespective of internal/external auditor option, ISO 14001 certified auditors earn attractive compensation for their work. In addition, they earn higher potential for promotion being instrumental to on-going growth, due-diligence and efficiencies of the organization as an ISO 14001 auditor or ISO 14001 Lead Auditor.


ISO 14001 online lead auditor certification consists of the following courses or training:

  • ISO 14001 online training/course or ISO 14001 requirements online training/course or ISO 14001 EMS requirements online training/course- 2
  • ISO 14001 online internal auditor/auditor training/course or ISO 14001 online internal auditor/auditor training/course or ISO 14001-1 day.

ISO 14001 online training can be offered in any one of the following ways:

  • ISO 14001 online virtual or ISO 14001 online instructor led.
  • ISO 14001 on demand online.
  • ISO 14001 classroom face to face.

Certification to ISO 14001 can be achieved through the following process:

  • Complete ISO 14001 Certified Auditor or ISO 14001 Certified Lead Auditor Course/Training-Jack Sekhon and Associates.
  • Gain required minimum 5 years EMS experience.
  • Gain required minimum ISO 14001 auditing experience of 20 audit days for Auditor and
    additional 15 days as lead auditor for Lead Auditor application.
  • Have your experience endorsed by your Supervisor/Manager.
  • Apply to Auditor Certification body such as Exemplar Global

Enroll now in one of the following ISO 14001:2015 EMS Training Courses:

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