An overview of this standard is covered.

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In today's global marketplace of increased competition, government regulation and community expectations, the need to maintain a comprehensive quality system is a major focus of any forward-thinking company. This focus on quality is broadening to include environmental quality standards. Companies expecting to compete at the highest levels need to include the environment as part of their existing quality systems. These better business practices can equate to increased profits.

ISO 14001 focuses on improving the management of an organization's environmental performance through the creation of an environmental management system (EMS) that conforms to the strict requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. An EMS is used by an organization to develop and implement its environmental policy and manage its environmental aspects. ISO 14001 is granted exclusively to organizations that have an EMS in place and that meet the strict requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized standard, which specifies a process for controlling and improving a company's environmental performance. A company's environmental performance takes into account environmental impacts, regulatory/legal compliance and environmental improvement. Adherence to the standard results in reduced waste and energy consumption, minimizing environmental damage. This distinction is awarded exclusively to organizations that have an environmental management system in place and are able to meet the strict conformance criteria.

Those companies who strive to achieve ISO 14001 are expected to demonstrate high environmental standards, regulatory/legal compliance and continuous improvement, and can expect to see a reduction in operating costs and improved


The international standard applies to any organization that wishes to:

  • Develop, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system.

  • Assure itself of its conformance with its stated environmental policy.

  • Demonstrate such conformance to others.

  • Assure itself of regulatory/legal compliance.

  • Demonstrate compliance to


  • Show stakeholders its strong commitment to sustaining the environment.

  • Seek certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization.

    There are a number of key steps to consider in implementation:

  • Gain familiarity with the standard.

  • Assemble a team, including senior management, and agree a strategy.

  • Develop the environmental policy, including sections on legal demands, continual improvement and pollution prevention.

  • Review and produce objectives for environmental improvement.