ISO 14000 is a series of generic environmental management systems (EMS) standards created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a federation of 132 national standards bodies based in Geneva, Switzerland. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the member body representing the United States. The goal of these standards is to give top management of any organization a framework for managing its environmental aspects and impacts.
An environmental aspect is defined by ISO 14001 Section 3.6 as an “element of an organization’s activities, products or services that can interact with the environment.” ISO 14001 Section 3.7 defines an environmental impact as “any change in the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organization’s environmental aspects.”
The ISO 14000 series of standards attempts to harmonize environmental management activities for industries all over the world. The series promotes a common approach to environmental management that can be used by any organization, of any size, anywhere in the world.