What is ISO 14001:2015
ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard that companies seeking positive environmental outcomes (such as enhanced performance and achievement of objectives) can use to demonstrate their credentials. The 2015 standard is the latest in a series of 14001 standards that started life in 1996. Emanating from the growing demand by businesses that needed to demonstrate good environmental performance, the early versions of 14001 provided a platform for organisations to put policies and objectives in place. A subsequent version in 2004 provided a strengthening of requirements around compliance obligations.
This current version has been harmonised using the same methodology (Annex SL) which makes it easier to implement the system alongside quality, health and safety and information security.
Origins of environmental management
Four years earlier than the publication of ISO 14001, the British Standards Institute published BS 7750, which laid out core requirements for environmental management. Earlier standards incorporated environmental requirements into an overall programme of safety and sustainability such as the Responsible Care (RC14001) developed for the Chemical Industry. This work dates back to 1984 and underpins a programme that continues great work today.
The ISO 14001 Family of Standards
The ISO 14001 standard sets ouf general requirements for environmental management, but the standard sits within a family of standards that organisations can use to guide good practice on a range of topics, from greenhouse gas management, to design and development of products. Other 14000 standards set out criteria for life-cycle analysis, and provide the basis of a common language and terminology for environmental assessment and management worldwide.