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ISO 14001 Knowledge base

List of Environmental Management Standards and Frameworks

Author: Mark Hammar

The ISO 14000 Family of Standards

The ISO 14000 family of standards has two main documents, with one additional supplementary document attached to the family. ISO 14001 and ISO 14004 comprise the family of ISO 14000 documents with ISO 19011, guidelines for auditing management systems, attached as it is the auditing requirements document used to audit an ISO 14001 environmental management system. See http://www.iso.org/iso/iso14000 for more details and access to the standards.

ISO 14001: The most commonly used set of requirements for designing an environmental management system; it includes requirements to establish, document, implement, maintain and continually improve an environmental management system. ISO 14001 provides the information necessary for a company to implement an environmental management system, and an EMS certification against ISO 14001 is recognized worldwide. The requirements are aligned in the format of a PDCA improvement cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle) to Plan the work of the EMS, Do (implement) the work of the EMS, Check (monitor and review) the work of the EMS against requirements and Act to correct any problems that occur. This will feed back into the next round of planning. For more information on how this works see Plan-Do-Check-Act in the ISO 14001 Standard.

To find out more about the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard see What is ISO 14001? and ISO 14001 Certification.

ISO 14004: Is a standard that can accompany the ISO 14001 standard for implementing an environmental management system, but is not necessary to do so. This document is designed to provide guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques that can be used by an organization to help implement their environmental management system. The standard is a good reference to turn to for ideas in how to make your implementation of ISO 14001 more effective and successful. Unlike ISO 14001, ISO 14004 is not intended for certification, regulatory or contractual use. This means that you cannot certify your EMS to ISO 14004, and the use of ISO 14004 is not intended to be mandated as a legal or contract requirement. For more information on this standard see ISO 14004 which explains the structure more.

ISO 19011: This is also a standard published by the international organization for standardization and includes the requirements for auditing a management system. The standard defines all the requirements for an audit program as well as how to conduct successful audits. It is used as a resource to train anyone who audits quality and environmental management systems, and the auditors who certify that companies have met the requirements of standards such as ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and the like are trained using ISO 19011.

Standards for Specific Environmental Management

Included in the ISO 14000 standards that are maintained by the International Organization for Standardization are several other documents that provide guidelines for incorporating very specific elements of environmental management which include:

  • ISO 14006: Environmental Management Systems – Guidelines for incorporating ecodesign
  • ISO 14020: Environmental labels and declarations – General principles
  • ISO 14040: Environmental Management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and Frameworks
  • ISO 14050: Environmental Management – Vocabulary
  • ISO 14064-1: Greenhouse Gases – Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals
  • ISO 14066: Greenhouse Gases – Competence requirements for greenhouse gas validation teams and verification teams

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