ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System - EMS

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) - Overview


A management system is a set of polices, processes and procedures used by an organization to ensure that it can fulfil the tasks required to achieve its objectives. These objectives cover many aspects of the organization's operations (including financial success, safe operation, product quality, client relationships, legislative and regulatory conformance and worker management).

The international standard ISO 9000:2015 (Title: Quality management systems - fundamentals and vocabulary) defines the term in chapter 3.5.3 as a "set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives".

A complete management system covers every aspect of management and focuses on supporting the performance management to achieve the objectives. The management system should be subject to continuous improvement as the organization learns.

WHAT IS ISO 14001 : 2015 Environmental Management System (EMS)

ISO 14001:2015 specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. ISO 14001:2015 is intended for use by an organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.

ISO 14001:2015 helps an organization achieve the intended outcomes of its environmental management system, which provide value for the environment, the organization itself and interested parties. Consistent with the organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include:

  • enhancement of environmental performance;

  • fulfilment of compliance obligations;

  • achievement of environmental objectives.

ISO 14001:2015 is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence considering a life cycle perspective. ISO 14001:2015 does not state specific environmental performance criteria.

ISO 14001:2015 can be used in whole or in part to systematically improve environmental management. Claims of conformity to ISO 14001:2015, however, are not acceptable unless all its requirements are incorporated into an organization's environmental management system and fulfilled without exclusion.


  • Improve resource efficiency.

  • Reduce waste.

  • Drive down costs.

  • Provide assurance that environmental impact is being measured.

  • Gain competitive advantage in supply chain design.

  • Increase new business opportunities.

  • Meet legal obligations.

  • Increase stakeholder and customer trust.