EPA Promotes Use of ISO 14001

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Position Statement on Environmental Management Systems (EMS). The statement promotes broader use of the systems, which are described as effective management tools to help companies and other organizations fulfill their environmental responsibilities.

The use of an EMS complements needed regulatory controls and enables a facility to comprehensively manage the environmental footprint of its entire operation. This includes unregulated aspects such as energy, water use, climate change, odor, noise, dust, and habitat preservation. It encourages pollution prevention through source reduction and fosters continuous improvement of the facility’s environmental performance.

EMS are viewed as a valuable tool for accomplishing EPA’s mission, because they apply a multi-media approach, help facilities assure compliance, and promote cost savings, operational efficiency, and improved supplier performance.

The EPA will encourage the use of recognized environmental management frameworks, such as the ISO 14001 standard, as a basis for designing and implementing EMS that aim to achieve outcomes aligned with the nation’s environmental policy goals and the principles of this position statement.

The EPA commits to leading by example. The agency will implement EMS in its own facilities and operations, while encouraging widespread use of EMS across other institutions and organizations. The agency is also working with state and local governments to promote EMS. In addition, the agency will support training and research on the costs and benefits of the systems.