What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management outlining the requirements for organisations to maintain in their environmental systems and to meet the requirements for ISO 14001 certification.

An environmental management system or EMS effectively establishes risk controls to reduce an organisation’ environmental impacts resulting from everyday operations.

The Concept of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management system or EMS

In concept an environmental management system or EMS is relatively simple. The EMS emphasis from September 2015 will be simpler. The new standard still uses the PDCA cycle, however the new ISO 14001 is more explicit on application of the process approach.

  • Key ISO 14001 changes introduced from September 2015:
  • ISO 14001 Annex SL based (new common higher level structure)
  • Greater emphasis on leadership
  • Greater emphasis on objectives measurement and change
  • Focus Communication and awareness
  • Fewer prescriptive requirements
  • Focus on risk management


Risk management has always been integral to ISO 14001, including the identification and control of significant environmental aspects, reduction of environmental impacts etc however, with ISO 14001:2015 this becomes explicit expanded to include the entire EMS.

Transition and phasing in of ISO 14001:2015

The IAF and UKAS have issued information that specifies that organisations will have up to three years to complete the transition from ISO 14001:2004 to ISO 14001:2015. The transition period will be between September 2015 and September 2018.

ISO 14001:2004 will continue to be recognised and can be assessed against until the end of the three years transition period. However, most certification bodies are likely to stop issuing new certifications against the 2004 version eighteen months after the publication of ISO 14001:2015. At the end of the transition period in September 2018 ISO 14001:2004 will be withdrawn.

DAT Performance through its experienced team of consultants is able to offer highly effective consultancy for your effective transition to ISO 14001:2015.