ISO 1400011th February 2020
ISO 14000 is a set of rules and standards created to help companies reduce industrial waste and environmental damage. It’s a framework for better environmental impact management, but it’s not required. Companies can get ISO 14000 certified, but it’s an optional certification. The ISO 14000 series of standards was introduced in 1996 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and most recently revised in 2015 (ISO is not an acronym; it derives from the ancient Greek word ísos, meaning equal or equivalent.)
ISO 14000 is part of a series of standards that address certain aspects of environmental regulations. It’s meant to be a step-by-step format for setting and then achieving environmentally friendly objectives for business practices or products. The purpose is to help companies manage processes while minimizing environmental effects, whereas the ISO 9000 standards from 1987 were focused on the best management practices for quality assurance. The two can be implemented concurrently.
ISO 14000 includes several standards that cover aspects of the managing practice’s inside facilities, the immediate environment around the facilities, and the life cycle of the actual product. This includes understanding the impact of the raw materials used within the product, as well as the impact of product disposal.
The most notable standard is ISO 14001, which lays out the guidelines for putting an environmental management system (EMS) in place. Then there’s ISO 14004, which offers additional insight and specialized standards for implementing an EMS.
Here are the key standards included in ISO 14000:
- ISO 14001: Specification of Environmental Management Systems
- ISO 14004: Guideline Standard
- ISO 14010: ISO 14015: Environmental Auditing and Related Activities
- ISO 14020: ISO 14024: Environmental Labeling
- ISO 14031 and ISO 14032: Environmental Performance Evaluation
- ISO 14040: ISO 14043: Life Cycle Assessment
- ISO 14050: Terms and Definitions