The ISO 14000 environmental management standards exist to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment (cause adverse changes to air, water, or land), comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and continually improve on the above.
ISO 14000 is similar to ISO 9000 quality management in that both pertain to the process (the comprehensive outcome of how a product is produced) rather than to the product itself. As with ISO 9000, certification is performed by third-party organizations rather than being awarded by ISO directly. The ISO 19011 audit standard applies when auditing for both 9000 and 14000 compliance at once.
The material included in this family of specifications is very broad. The major parts of ISO 14000 are:
- ISO 14001 is the standard against which organizations are assessed. ISO 14001 is generic and flexible enough to apply to any organization producing any product or service anywhere in the world.
- ISO 14004 is a guidance document that explains the 14001 requirements in more detail. These present a structured approach to setting environmental objectives and targets and to establishing and monitoring operational controls.
These are further explicated by the following:
- ISO 14040 discusses pre-production planning and environment goal setting.
- ISO 14020 covers labels and declarations.
- ISO 14030 discusses post-production environmental assessment.
- ISO 14062 discusses making improvements to environmental impact goals.
- ISO 14063 is an addendum to 14020, discussing further communications on environmental impact.
- ISO 19011 which specifies one audit protocol for both 14000 and 9000 series standards together. This replaces ISO 14011 meta-evaluation—how to tell if your intended regulatory tools worked. 19011 is now the only recommended way to determine this.
ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted specification for an environmental management system. It specifies requirements for establishing an environmental policy, determining environmental aspects and impacts of products/activities/services, planning environmental objectives and measurable targets, implementation and operation of programs to meet objectives and targets, checking and corrective action, and management review.