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ISO 14001 is a standard that guides companies in implementing an effective environmental management system. Furthermore, ISO 14001 certification can assure stakeholders, employees, and the public that a company is committed to controlling its environmental impacts.

ISO 14001 Enviropass Services

ISO 14001 Implementation and Environmental Compliance Audit

With its certified environmental auditor (CEA), Enviropass can assist you in every step of your ISO 14001 implementation and maintenance. We perform regulatory monitoring and environmental compliance audits (ECA) across the USA and Canada.

ISO 14001 Certification

The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) can be implemented in virtually any organization to manage environmental aspects. Before earning the ISO 14001 certification from an external auditor, you must comply with every applicable section of the ISO 14001 standard.

Thanks to the support of its Certified Environmental Auditor (CEA) by the AQVE, Enviropass can help you implement, maintain, or audit your environmental management system every step of the way in the following fields:

ISO 14001 Symbol
  • The Environmental Compliance Auditing (ECA) according to CSA Z773 / ISO 19011 standard – Guidelines for auditing management systems
  • The environmental policy
  • The identification and management of environmental aspects
  • The identification of applicable legal requirements
  • Control of documents
  • Internal Audit
  • Management Review

The Environmental Management Standard

In short, ISO is an international organization located in Geneva, Switzerland. Its mission is to provide standards of the best-recognized practices to various industries worldwide. The objective is to enhance transparency, trust, and trade worldwide.

The ISO 14000 family focuses on environmental management.  The ISO 14001 standard of the family is probably the best known. 

Specifically, ISO 14001 – Environmental management systems –  gives practical guidance on organizations’ environmental aspects and impacts.

Various organizations have implemented ISO 14001 environmental management systems worldwide: manufacturers, service providers, farms… even municipalities!

EMS Requirements

Just like ISO 9001 on quality, ISO 14001 follows the Deming Wheel principles, with the P-D-C-A approach:

  1. Plan – You detail how you manage your environmental aspects, following the ISO 14001 requirements.
  2. Do – You execute the initial plan.
  3. Check – You verify whether Plan and Do work properly.
  4. Act – You make decisions to improve your system.

With ISO 14001, apply the PDCA system to the environmental interactions of the organization.

Chiefly, the 4 PDCA steps are iterative and tend to the organization’s continuous improvement. They apply to its activities, products, and services within a predefined scope.

To comply with the ISO 14001 standard, the organization should, among other elements, achieve the following milestones:

  • Determine its scope and the interested parties, such as stakeholders, neighbors, employees, local authorities, etc. The former must be consistent with the organization’s legal entity and structure.
  • Draft, sign, and publish its environmental policy.
  • Define the roles, responsibilities, and authorities within the organization.
  • Find and address its environmental risks and opportunities.
  • Identify the environmental aspects and impacts in normal conditions, abnormal situations, and emergencies.
  • Evaluate which environmental aspects are significant and which ones are regulated.
  • Control the significant environmental aspects.
  • Set environmental management action plans.
  • Allocate human, organizational, and financial resources.
  • Make sure to have the appropriate competencies.
  • Raise awareness among its employees and subcontractors on the environmental policy, the EMS, and the significant environmental aspects.
  • Develop an internal and external communication plan.
  • Have a plan that includes environmental aspects in emergencies, such as fires, explosions, floods, snowstorms, pandemics, etc.
  • Plan internal and external, as well as environmental compliance audits.
  • Organize periodic management reviews to discuss and establish the environmental management system.

ISO 14001: the Environmental Aspects

Above all, the environmental aspects are the backbone of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System.

Namely, environmental aspects describe the interaction of the organization with at least one of the environmental elements, which are:

  • water
  • air
  • soil
  • fauna
  • flora
  • human beings
  • natural resources
ISO 14001 production floor

Significantly, an environmental aspect must cause at least one impact and be well detailed for all an organization’s activities, sub-activities, and tasks, in every type of situation: normal, abnormal, or an emergency. Some of these activities are temporary, while others are permanent.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of activities to consider when listing environmental aspects:

  • Employee transportation to the office
  • Building maintenance
  • Air conditioning
  • Heating system
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Video conferencing
  • Showrooms
  • Fires and explosions
  • Cafeteria management
  • Catering
  • Parking lighting
  • Recycling
  • Composting
  • Reuse
  • Construction work
  • Christmas party
  • Research and Development
  • Storage of Hazardous Substances
  • Printing
  • Shipping
  • Receiving
  • A new material approval process
  • Assembly lines
  • Sales operations
  • Subcontracting
  • Etc.

Once listed, the environmental aspects of every activity are associated with their environmental impacts. Typically, companies manage them via a so-called aspects matrix, which shows:

  • Significant aspects
  • Regulated aspects
  • Risks
  • Opportunities
  • Actions to control significant environmental aspects


The Annex A of ISO 14004 standard – Environmental management systems — General guidelines on implementation gives insightful examples of the aspects in a matrix.

ISO 14001 and Product Life Cycle

The environmental aspects must also cover:

  • services, like after-sale services or maintenance, and
  • manufactured products. 

Considering the finished goods is particularly important if the organization is a manufacturer of any type.

Interestingly, the latest version of the ISO 14001 standard requires that you consider the product life cycle (PLC). The idea here is to evaluate every environmental impact that stems from a specific product, throughout its life. 

Life Cycle Assessment

To illustrate, here is an example of electronic equipment, showing how PLC is related to environmental aspects:

Stages of life (examples)

Associated requirements (examples)



Choice of materials


Materials extraction

Conflict minerals reporting

Parts production and assembly

Environmental certificates of authorization

Finished product use

Energy efficiency

Final disposal


Enviropass has developed unique expertise in the ISO 14001 certification and product requirements like RoHS and REACH.

Environmental Compliance Audits

Three types of audits are required to maintain a certified ISO 14001 environmental management system:

  • An environmental compliance audit of the regulated environmental aspects for all the organization’s products, activities, and services
  • An internal audit of the environmental management system
  • An external audit for the registration of the environmental management system


Note that businesses must conduct these audits periodically, and auditors should meet the highest standards, such as:

  • ISO 19011 – Guidelines for auditing management systems
  • CSA Z773 – Environmental compliance auditing


Such standards provide principles and guidance on how to conduct an environmental audit.

Enviropass can assist you with a Certified Environmental Auditor. Contact Enviropass!