ISO 14000 is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc.) negatively affect the environment (i.e., cause adverse changes to air, water, or land); (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements; and (c) continually improve in the above.

The ISO standard that can be implemented by companies and against which companies can be certified is ISO 14001 Environmental management systems. ISO 14004 gives guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques for the implementation of environmental management systems. Other standards in the ISO 14000 series are “tools” for implementing an environmental management system. These tools deal with environmental monitoring and auditing, labelling and product life cycle assessment.

As with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 certifications certify management systems and not

products. Therefore, products cannot be labelled as ISO 14001-certified. However,

an indication that the firm producing the product is ISO 14001 certified is permitted

(although the ISO logo may not be used).

ISO 14001 has been written to support implementation of environmental management systems in many different types of organizations, including manufacturing and service companies, government agencies, associations and NGOs. Requirements for certification are the development of an environmental policy, including an implementation and communication plan, definition of responsibilities, staff training activities, documentation and monitoring. Apart from compliance being required with local (environmental) rules and legislation, the standard does not set specific performance targets. Instead, ISO 14001 aims at continuous improvement.

Read more on the ISO 14000 standard in Sustainability Map a very detailed database on private standards that covers:

  • A Self-Assessment Tool
  • Relevance of the Standard for specific markets (regional and product filter)
  • Requirements of the Standrad

                Detailed by dimension of the Standard:

  • Environment
    • Forests
    • Inputs
    • Biodviversity
    • Waste
    • Water
    • Energy
  • Social
    • Human rights and Local Communities
    • Labour practices (employment)
    • Labour practices (human development and social dialogue
  • Economic
    • Economic viability
    • Supply chain responisbilities
  • Quality
    • Product / service quality management
    • Food management systems
  • Ethics  
    • Ethics and Integrity

- Process of Implementing the Standard  

  • Audit details
  • Conformity Assessment procedure
  • List of Verification and Certification bodies
  • Duration of audit
  • Frequency of surveillance audits
  • Requirements for group certification
  • Process for getting verified/certified
  • Policy for Labelling
  • Eligibility – who in the value chain can join
  • Costs and Fees