ISO 14001 Implementation in 29 Steps

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A valuable aid to your developing a viable Environmental Management System (EMS) Project Plan - to aid you to start on time, finish on time and leave nothing vital out

The ISO 14001 Implementation Model developed by deGRANDSON Global

The 29 Steps to ISO 14001:2015 Implementation is the model we have developed for implementing an environmental management system (EMS) to meet the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and to securing accredited certification.

It is the foundation on which our Lead Implementer Course is built.

ISO 14001 Implementation Model

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) has published two standards that focus on developing and implementing an organization's EMS:

  • The environmental management system standard: ISO 14001:2015. This standard is the specification for an EMS.  It specifies the requirements of an environmental management system for organizations seeking to establish implement and maintain a framework to contribute to sustainable development by: 
    • protecting the environment, including preventing pollution
    • demonstrating their commitment to satisfying compliance obligations, and
    • delivering environmental performance improvement.
  • ISO 14004: 2016, EMS – General guidelines on principles, systems and support techniques. This standard provides an extensive body of knowledge on all aspects of an EMS and has copious examples from which you can draw.

To help make sense of it all from an EMS Implementer or Project Manager’s viewpoint we have developed the 29-Step Infographic.


29 Steps to ISO 14001:2015 Implementation

ISO 14001 Implementation Infographic

  1. Obtain Management Support (Clause 5.1)
  2. Assemble EMS Project Team
  3. Gap Analysis and Project Plan
  4. Identify the environmental Context of the Organisation (Clause 4.1)
  5. Identify Legal and Other Requirements (Clause 4.2 and Clause 6.1.3)
  6. Other Interested Party's Needs (Clause 4.2)
  7. Define Scope of EMS (Clause 4.3)
  8. Prepare Environmental Policy (Clause 4.4 and Clause 5.2)
  9. Define Key Roles and Responsibilities (Clause 5.3)
  10. Processes, risks, opportunities, and emergencies (Clause 6.1.1)
  11. Identify and evaluate environmental aspects (Clause 6.1.2)
  12. Environmental Programme (risks and opportunities) Clause 6.1.4
  13. Establish EMS Objectives (Clause 6.2.1)
  14. Environmental Plan to achieve objectives (Clause 6.2.2)
  15. Operational Controls (specific responsibilities) Clause 8.1
  16. Identify Monitoring and Measurement Needs (Clause 9.1)
  17. Establish Operational Controls Monitoring (Clause 9.1)
  18. Develop Mandatory and Other Documentation (Clause 4.4 and 7.5)
  19. Secure required resources (Clause 7.1)
  20. Initial Employee Awareness (Clause 7.3)
  21. Establish Internal and External Communication (Clause 7.4)
  22. Finalise and Issue EMS Documentation (Clause 4.4 and Clause 7.5)
  23. Complete Job-specific Training (Clause 7.2)
  24. Go Live! Procedures and Environmental Plan (Clause 8.1 and Clause 10.1)
  25. Conduct Emergency Drills (Clause 8.2)
  26. Conduct periodic EMS Performance evaluations (Clause 9.1)
  27. Conduct Internal Audits (Clause 9.2)
  28. Conduct Management Reviews (Clause 9.3)
  29. Implement Continual Improvement (Clause 10.2)


Download the ’29-Steps to ISO 14001:2015 Certification’ PDF file

For ease of understanding, the 29 steps have been set out in a simple sequence. In reality, you will frequently be working on several steps simultaneously.  This will help reduce the overall timescale for the project.  When project planning with your project team, you should seek out and document such opportunities. If you want a copy of the 29-step ISO 14001 Guide, just click on the download button above.

 Visit Select your ISO 14001:2015 Auditor Course to see all training program options or check out ISO 14001 Certification: 21 FAQs answered to learn more about ISO 14001 training and certification. 


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Written by Dr John FitzGerald

Director & Founder of deGRANDSON Global. He spent 15 years in the manufacturing industry and 25 years training, consulting & auditing management systems

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