ISO 14001 describes the global standard for environmental management systems. It was published by the International Organization for Standardization in 1996 and amended in 2015. It focuses on a continuous improvement process to achieve an organization’s previously defined environmental goals. (The organization could be a company, service provider, public authority, etc.) In Germany, some 8,000 companies have implemented an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001.
The central components of ISO 14001 are planning, execution, control, and improvement. During the planning phase, environmental objectives and corresponding measures, responsibilities, and procedures are defined. The planned measures are carried out and validated with a corresponding check. Any weaknesses identified are addressed by adapting responsibilities, procedures, and measures and, where appropriate, adjusting environmental objectives.