What the ISO 14004 Can Do for Your Company

Learn how you can follow the ISO 14004 standard to help reduce your environmental impact.

waste water condition check by engineer

Published 8 Jul 2022

What is the ISO 14004?

ISO 14004 is a set of environmental management guidelines that businesses can follow in order to reduce their environmental impact. It's not a requirement, but it can be very helpful in organizing and improving your company's green efforts.

ISO 14004 was first published in 1996 and has been revised several times since then. Its most recent edition, ISO 14004:2016, was published in 2016. The standard is divided into three parts:

  • Environmental management systems (EMS): This section covers the requirements for setting up an EMS, and how to make sure it’s effective.
  • Environmental performance assessment: This section explains how to measure and report your company’s environmental performance.
  • Environmental management principles: This section covers the basic principles of sustainable environmental management.

How Did the ISO 14004 Come About?

ISO 14004 is an environmental management standard that helps companies manage their environmental impacts. It originated from a need to improve communication and cooperation between companies and the environmental agencies that regulated them.

ISO 14004 is not a regulatory standard, but rather a performance-based standard. This means that it sets out the requirements for an organization to achieve environmental excellence, but does not dictate how they must do this. This gives companies the freedom to find their own solutions to environmental problems, making the best use of their resources and capabilities.

Why is ISO 14004 Essential to Your Business?

The ISO 14004 standard is essential for any company that wants to be environmentally responsible. If your company is looking to reduce its environmental impact, improve its compliance with environmental laws and regulations, or simply become more sustainable, then the ISO 14004 standard can help. It provides a framework for setting up and managing an effective EMS, and it’s been adopted by thousands of companies around the world.

How Can this Standard Benefit Your Company?

So, what is the ISO 14004? Simply put, ISO 14004 a standard that sets out the requirements for an effective EMS. An EMS is a system that helps companies manage their environmental impact, and the ISO 14004 standard is the most widely recognized and respected EMS standard in the world.

Some of the benefits of ISO 14004 include:

  • Reduced waste and emissions
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Reduced water usage
  • Reduced packaging materials

All of these benefits can lead to cost savings and a more sustainable business.

The Difference Between ISO 14001 and ISO 14004

ISO 14004 is an auditing standard that provides guidance on how to develop and implement an environmental management system. It supplements the ISO 14001 standard and is less prescriptive and offers more flexibility for companies to tailor their system to meet their specific needs.

ISO 14004 can help your company to improve its environmental performance, reduce its environmental impact, and demonstrate its commitment to sustainable practices. It also helps to ensure that your environmental management system is compliant with legal and regulatory requirements.

How Can You Implement ISO 14004 in Your Company?

ISO 14004 provides guidance on how to develop and implement an effective environmental management system and outlines the steps that need to be taken to achieve and maintain compliance with the standard.

If your company is looking for a way to improve its environmental performance, ISO 14004 could be the solution you’re looking for. By implementing the requirements of the standard, your company can:

  • Save money by reducing energy and water usage.
  • Improve communication and coordination within the organization
  • Meet customer and regulatory requirements.

The standard is designed to be flexible, so it can be adapted to meet the specific needs of your organization. And because it’s based on best practices, you can be confident that you’re implementing best-in-class environmental management practices into your operations.

Shella Marie Ang

SafetyCulture staff writer

Shella Marie Ang

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.

Shella Marie Ang is a content contributor for SafetyCulture. Cultivating her experience in social media marketing, virtual assistance, and SEO has helped her create compelling content for websites and blogs. Her medical background also has given her an edge when it comes to writing medical and health-related content. She loves reading in her free time and being around other creatives.