Phased EMS

ISO has published ISO 14005 to help organizations, and especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), use a phased approach to implement an environmental management system (EMS).

Organizations increasingly take into account environmental management requirements in their activities. However, even if they clearly see the benefits, implementing an EMS is not always an easy task, particularly for SMEs.

The job is now made easier by ISO 14005:2010, Environmental management systems – Guidelines for the phased implementation of an environmental management system, including the use of environmental performance evaluation.

The purpose of this standard is to provide guidance on the phased development, implementation, maintenance, and improvement of an environmental management system to meet ISO 14001 requirements. ISO 14005 also includes advice on the integration and use of environmental performance evaluation techniques.

ISO 14005 is applicable to any organization, regardless of its level of development, its activities, or its location.

A phased approach offers several advantages:

  • Users can readily evaluate how the time and money put into an EMS provides a return
  • They can see how environmental improvements help to reduce costs, improve their community relations, assist them in demonstrating compliance with legal and other requirements, and help them live up to customer expectations
  • They can track the benefits of their EMS while they implement their system step by step, adding or expanding elements as they provide value to the organization
  • They can focus on the issues that are critical for them and their customers or supply chain

The model outlined in the standard was developed to help an organization implement an EMS in a flexible way. It focuses on the organization’s needs, while growing the extent and scope of the system, through time, in line with the organizational objectives and available resources.

An EMS meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:2004 is a management tool enabling an organization of any size or type to:

  • Identify and control the environmental impact of its activities and products or services
  • Continually improve its environmental performance
  • Implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives, achieving these objectives, and demonstrating that they have been achieved
  • Ensure legal compliance

Although certification to ISO 14001 is not a requirement of ISO 14005 or of ISO 14001, many organizations choose to seek certification as an independent confirmation that their EMS meets the requirements of ISO 14001.