This standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which takes into account legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and information about significant environmental aspects.
It applies to those environmental aspects that the organization identifies as those which it can control and those which it can influence. It does not itself state specific environmental performance criteria.
ISO 14001 is applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, to assure itself of conformity with its stated environmental policy.
All the requirements in ISO 14001 are intended to be incorporated into any environmental management system.
The extent of the application will depend on factors such as the environmental policy of the organization, the nature of its activities, products and services, the location and the conditions in which it functions.
The ISO 14001 requirements are practical tools for organizations who are not satisfied with mere compliance with legislation – which may be perceived as a cost of doing business. These practical tools are for organizations with a vision to understand that implementing a strategic approach can bring return on investment in environment related measures.
The systematic ISO 14001 approach requires the organization to take a hard look at all areas where its activities have an environmental impact.
And it can lead to benefits like the following: