ISO 14001 – the internationally most successful environmental standard. It all started in 1991 when ISO first pondered the idea of developing a standard that would allow private-sector organizations to implement a suitable environmental management system applicable in all countries and all business sectors. After the need for such a standard was determined, Technical Committee ISO/ TC207 was created in 1993, which then proceeded to work on the development of this new environmental management system standard. Finally, in 1996, ISO 14001 was published.
The current version, ISO 14001:2015, came out in September 2015 following a comprehensive revision. It introduces requirements imposed by the new high-level structure for ISO management system standards as well as several updates specific to environmental management.
The main principles are:
- Top management commitment and involvement.
- Emphasis on risk-based thinking
- Need to understand the context of the organization, the needs and expectations and requirements of interested parties
- Consideration of a life cycle perspective
- Increased flexibility on the use of documentation