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ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management systems (EMSs). ISO 14001 is aimed at providing guidelines for the management of the environmental impacts of organisational activities, products and services.

All companies registered under ISO 14001 are fully committed to improving the environment in which they operate.

301,000 companies worldwide are registered to ISO 14001. A total of 13,851 of these are from GCC countries, according to the ISO Survey 2015. The same survey shows there are 9,305 certifications in the UAE, 1,657 in Saudi Arabia, 1,221 in Qatar, 587 in Kuwait, 558 in Oman and 523 in Bahrain.

ISO 14001 is for companies that want to:

  • Register their EMS;
  • Implement, maintain and improve their EMS; and
  • Assure clients and stakeholders of their conformity to environmental policies.

ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001 was revised and a new, improved version of the Standard was made available in September 2015. ISO 14001 helps organisations create policies that are well integrated and take a holistic approach to implementing and managing an EMS.

The changes of ISO 14001:2015

  • A greater involvement of interested stakeholders and parties.
  • A strong emphasis on sustainability.
  • Improvement of the quality of data and quality assurance.
  • A guideline for procurement plans and the delivery of products and services.
  • The introduction of Annex SL, which is common to a number of management system standards.
  • Risks associated with the opportunities and threats relating to external factors have been included

The advantages of complying with ISO 14001

  • Reduce the cost of managing waste and improve ways of managing it.
  • Reduce energy and material consumption.
  • Reduce the costs of distribution.
  • Improve the corporate reputation.
  • Gain an edge over competitors and win projects.
  • Enhance compliance and corporate risk management.
  • Enhance the relationship with stakeholders.
  • Comply with environmental laws and regulations.

What are the requirements for transitioning from ISO 14001:2005 to ISO 14001:2015?

All organisations that have implemented ISO 14001:2005 are expected to bring their operations into line with the requirements of the revised standard. A three-year transition period has been established by the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

The process of registration with ISO 14001 helps compliance with some environmental laws. A 2013 survey showed that ISO 14001 is useful in meeting legal requirements and improving environmental standards.

Products and resources

ISO 14001 EMS toolkit

The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Documentation Toolkit is made up of templates that you can use to implement an EMS that complies with ISO 14001.


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