ISO 14001 & UN Sustainability Development Goals

Learn about ISO 14001 & how it helps achieve UN Sustainable development goals.

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.
iso 14001 & UN SDG's

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.

EMS Resources



Case Studies

Wastech Services Ltd

Jack Sekhon & Associates was retained to assist Wastech Services Ltd in the development, implementation and registration of their business management system to ISO 14001 Standard for all Transfer Stations and Cache Creek Landfill.

Ridley Terminals

Jack Sekhon and Associates assisted Ridley Terminals in achieving transformation and evaluation to Integrated Management System (IMS) consisting of QMS, EMS and OHSMS and compliance evaluation for environmental and OHS legal obligations.


Jack Sekhon and Associates assisted Certainteed in getting certification for EMS.
Frequently Asked Questions

Check out answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

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.

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.

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

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.

Scroll to Top