ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system (EMS). An environmental management system is “part of the management system used to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations, and address risks and opportunities.” The certification process adds the independent third-party approval that adds credibility to the actions taken to improve environmental performance.
ISO 14001 is designed for any type of organization, regardless of its activity or sector and maps out a framework to follow to set up an effective environmental management system. The framework for the standard can be implemented within a plan-do-check-act (PDCA) approach to continuous improvement.
Our environment, or Mother Nature as she is sometimes called, supplies all the resources on which all life and by extension businesses depend. Consequently as the impacts of human activity increase exponentially, protecting our environment from negative impacts and promoting positive ones, are two of the most important challenges facing businesses today. An effective EMS can achieve this and create better relationships with customers, the public, and the community at large as well as save money by reducing incidents and liabilities, lowering insurance costs and conserving input materials and energy through reduction efforts.