On November 15, 2004 ISO published the revised versions of ISO 14001 and ISO 14004. The standard is now easier to understand and use than the 1996 version, has more detailed checklists for inputs and outputs from the management review and integrates effectively with ISO 9001:2008.
The Standard provides guidance to organizations for determining those environmental issues and "aspects" associated with their activities, to manage them most effectively and measure Environmental Management performance. The standard contains no specific performance requirements as benchmarks.
Elements of the standard
14001:2004 contains the core elements for an effective Environmental Management System. It can be applied to both service and manufacturing businesses. The standard requires a company to define environmental objectives and targets, and the management system necessary to attain these targets. The standard requires that the company adheres to that system's processes, procedures, and activities.
The main elements of the standard are:
· environmental policy
· implementation and operation
· checking and corrective action
· management review
Elements of an effective environmental system can be integrated with other management requirements to assist organizations to achieve their environmental and business-specific goals. ISO 14001 requires companies to commit to prevention of pollution and continuous improvement as part of the normal management cycle.