ISO 14001 EMS
4 min

What is ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification?

Posted by: TÜV SÜD Expert Date: 22 Feb 2022

What is ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Certification?

Let’s begin with what is ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS)? ISO 14001 is a widely used international standard for EMS. It is the principal management system standard that specifies the requirements concerning EMS formulation and maintenance. ISO 14001 helps companies exercise better control of various environmental aspects, ensure legal compliance and reduce impacts. As quoted by President Halimah Yacob on Tuesday (Sept 28, 2021), “Climate change can wreak "catastrophic and irreversible" damage on societies and economies, so taking action to avoid such an outcome is a responsibility that businesses must take”.

ISO 14001 is not confined to a particular industry. Companies from almost every industry can benefit from it while providing a specific framework to implement the right and sustainable practices. Incorporating ISO 14001 with other management system standards, like ISO 9001 can aid an organisation’s journey towards its organisational goals. Additionally, the ISO 14001 framework can be used as a PDCA approach to continuous improvement.


ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification

Hiring a recognised certification body to audit and approve the EMS is a crucial part of ISO 14001 certification for companies implementing an EMS and based on the needs of ISO 14001 standards.

The fundamental questions for ISO 14001 EMS are: 

  • What are the intended outcomes that an organisation is expected to achieve by implementing its EMS?
  • How is it able to demonstrate these outcomes through effective implementation of its EMS?

The three minimal intended outcomes that an organisation needs to demonstrate for ISO 14001 EMS are: 

  • Enhancement of environmental performance,
  • Fulfilment of compliance obligations, and
  • Achievement of environmental objectives

In setting its environmental objectives, it needs to consider significant environmental aspects, compliance obligations, risks, and opportunities that need to be addressed. In enhancing environmental performance, an organisation needs to demonstrate how it reduces its organisation’s adverse environmental impacts (i.e. reduce resource use, emissions, effluents, wastes etc.) or enhance its organisation’s beneficial impacts (e.g. reuse and recycling of by-products, water, energy & other resource conservation & efficiency).

An organisation can set additional intended outcomes for their environmental management system. For example, consistent with their commitment to protecting the environment, an organisation may establish an intended outcome to work towards sustainable development.

What are the Benefits of ISO 14001:2015?

Compliance with the requirements for ISO 14001 certification is an excellent approach to business strategy, even without the certification. However, it is clear that a well-defined EMS framework is crucial and brings these benefits with it:

  • Enhance resource efficiency and therefore ensure optimal use of resources
  • Foster process improvement and minimise waste
  • Lower overall operational costs
  • Measure environmental impact
  • Ensure legal compliance and efficient management of environmental obligations
  • Improve the overall environmental impact
  • Increase employee, customer, and stakeholder trust

What are the Steps to Get ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certification?

TÜV SÜD ensures that all its clients experience an efficient certification process. Achieving ISO 14001 EMS certification with TÜV SÜD is a simple 3-step process2.

Step 1:
Fill up our ‘Contact Us’ form or email us at [email protected] with your requirements to help TÜV SÜD understand your organisation and its needs. Based on the information, TÜV SÜD will define the assessment scope and develop a certification proposal.

Step 2:
Once the organisation agrees with the proposal, TÜV SÜD will arrange for an auditor to carry out a readiness review, followed by an on-site audit. The organisation should demonstrate that the environmental management system has been fully operational for at least three months and has had a management review and full cycle of internal audits.

Step 3:
TÜV SÜD makes a certification decision after a successful two-stage audit. If the result is positive, TÜV SÜD issues the ISO 14001 certification to the organisation. The organisation receives a hard and soft copy of the certificate, which remains valid for three years and is maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits and three-yearly recertification audits.

Can I Attend ISO 14001 Training Courses and be Certified as an Internal Auditor or Lead Auditor?

Yes. There are several ISO 14001 training and certifications for individuals.

CQI IRCA ISO 14001 Lead Auditor Course
Training Duration:
5 days

  • The course will provide in-depth understanding of ISO 14001 requirements, knowledge and skills required to become a registered auditor / lead auditor to assess an organisation’s environmental management system.
  • The course comprises an examination. It is only through an accredited course that you can be approved to audit for a certification body.

ISO 14001 Internal Auditor Course
Training Duration:
2 days

This course will provide you an understanding of the ISO 14001 requirements and how you can perform audits for your organisation.

ISO 14001 Awareness and Implementer Course
Training Duration:
1 or 2 days depending on the ISO 14001 course

  • It is apt for people who need an overview of the ISO 14001 standard or are involved in ISO 14001 implementation in the organisation.

What do the ISO 14001:2015 Lead Auditor & ISO 14001:2015 Internal Auditor Training Course Cover?

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems Internal Auditor Training

  • The course acquaints you with internal auditor roles and responsibilities
  • It helps you understand EMS framework
  • It enables you to prepare, conduct and follow-up ISO 14001:2015 audit activities
  • It helps you develop the skills to assess a organisation’s EMS management capabilities
  • It enables you to prepare factual audit reports

    Learn more here .

    ISO 14001:2015 EMS Lead Auditor Course
  • An understanding of auditor and lead auditor roles and responsibilities
  • The ability to conduct third-party audits
  • The skills and knowledge to conduct training for effective EMS implementation and auditing
  • Get a relevant understanding of EMS principles and ISO 14000 series of standards
  • Interpret ISO 14001 requirements in audit context
  • Identify gaps within the current EMS system in relation with the requirements specified in ISO 14001: 2015

    Learn more here.

    Related services:

    ISO 50001 Energy Management System
    ISO 46001 Water Efficiency Management System
    FSCTM Chain of Custody Certification

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