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ISO 14001:2015 EMS

Learn about ISO 14001, its benefits, importance & more.

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. 

EMS Framework

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. It 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.

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 the standard 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

iso 14001 standard

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.

key improvements

The standard 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.

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.
ISO 14001

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.

iso 14001 EMS

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

standard iso 14001

What clauses does the ISO 14001 covers?

The 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

How is ISO 14001 certification achieved for an organization?

The 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 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 the standard 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.

Become an ISO 14001 Certified Auditor/ Lead Auditor

Certification can be achieved through the following process:

  • Complete ISO 14001 Certified Auditor/Lead Auditor Course/Training.
  • 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 requirements course/ training prior to auditor course or training?

The 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 the standard, the auditor/lead auditor will not be able to perform an effective and efficient audit.

JSA can help you become a Lead Auditor

ISO 14001 Auditor/ Lead Auditor certification requires completion of 36- hour course provided by a Certified 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 Auditor/ Lead Auditor certification empowers you with skillsets for ISO 14001 Management System excellence and robust company performance. You can either work as an internal auditor for your organization or as an external auditor for a Registrar. Irrespective of internal/external auditor option, 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/ Lead Auditor. Get certified today!

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.
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