ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organisations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.
It requires that an organisation considers all environmental issues relevant to its operations, such as air pollution, water and sewage issues, waste management, soil contamination, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and resource use and efficiency.
Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement of an organisation’s systems and approach to environmental concerns. The standard has recently been revised, with key improvements such as the increased prominence of environmental management within the organisation’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.