ISO-14001 is the internationally recognized standard for the environmental management of businesses. It prescribes controls for those activities which can adversely affect the environment. These include the use of natural resources, handling and treatment of waste, and energy consumption.
ISO-14001:2004 specifies requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and adopt objectives, which take into account legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes. It applies to those environmental aspects that the organization identifies as those which it can control and those which it can influence.
ISO 14001:2004 is applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, to assure itself of conformity with its stated environmental policy, and to demonstrate conformity with ISO 14001:2004 by:
1) Making a self-determination and self-declaration, or
2) Seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers, or
3) Seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organization, or
4) Seeking certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization.
The standard was developed in Amsterdam by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1996.The ISO 14000 series, currently being developed by the International Organization for Standardizations (ISO), is a collection of voluntary standards that assists organizations to achieve environmental and financial gains through the implementation of effective environmental management. The standards provide both a model for streamlining environmental management, and guidelines to ensure environmental issues are considered within decision making practices.