ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems Certification

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Certification Process
  • ISO 14001:2015 Revision

ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) is a management tool enabling an organization of any size or type to:

  • Identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services
  • Improve its environmental performance continually
  • Implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets to achieve these goals and to demonstrate that they have been met

Updates to ISO 14001 were published on September 15, 2015. For the latest information on ISO 14001:2015, including a transition guide, see the ISO 14001:2015 Revision tab below. 

For more information, call toll free (U.S. only) 888.673.9000, ext. 6881 or worldwide +1 734.827.6881 or email

Benefits of Certification

Environmental management systems (EMS) increase efficiencies in the use of energy and raw materials, resulting in reduced waste and costs. An EMS can also mitigate environmental risks and increase an organization's ability to comply with environmental regulations. Finally, an EMS creates a platform for developing integrated environmental, health and safety initiatives as well as spearheading sustainability efforts. At NSF-ISR, our experience, technical expertise and business acumen can help your organization leverage your ISO 14001 certification for increased performance.

The credibility behind an NSF-ISR certificate is unchallenged. Through our long history of EMS research, standards development and pilot projects, we have earned the respect of regulators, industry and the public. The NSF mark gives your EMS international respect and integrity.

Why Work With NSF?

Our clients tell us they value our unparalleled environmental management systems (EMS) expertise, responsive customer support, excellent value and international recognition. No other registrar has NSF-ISR's long history with EMS. We were one of the first registrars to become accredited through the ANAB National Accreditation Program, and invested early in the EMS standards process to better understand the implementation and interpretation issues important to our clients. Because we helped to write the ISO 14001 standard, we focus on what is most important in your EMS and provide you meaningful feedback for system improvements.

NSF-ISR is a leading registrar in the number of completed EMS registrations and we are the only registrar authorized to publish the ISO standards.

Our EMS auditor qualifications are among the highest in the industry. Your auditor will be an environmental professional who understands the challenges facing your organization and how you can receive the maximum benefit from your EMS. Immediately after receiving your application, we provide an experienced lead auditor to coordinate your entire audit process, who will stay with you throughout the certification process.

Our auditors are located worldwide and represent experience in all major industries including automotive, chemical, utilities, oil/petrochemical, paper, waste management, electronics and pharmaceuticals as well as in federal facilities and public organizations.

Certification Process

The NSF-ISR ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification process consists of these steps:

  1. Application and Contract
    Your company submits an application and signs a contract (master agreement).
  2. Audit Team Assignment
    NSF-ISR assigns an auditor team.
  3. Document Review
    We perform a document review (when required) for the management system (MS) and issue a report of conformance or nonconformance.
  4. On-Site Readiness Review (ORR-Stage 1 Audit)
    As the first stage of the certification process, NSF-ISR verifies readiness of the MS to continue with the certification process.
  5. Certification Audit (Stage 2)
    Our audit team conducts an on-site audit to verify conformity to the specified standard.
  6. Independent Review
    A certification board reviewer recommends the final certification /recertification decision.
  7. Notification of Certification
    We notify your organization in writing, issue the certificate and publish the certification in our online listings.
  8. Surveillance Audits
    NSF-ISR performs semiannual or annual audits to verify the MS is being maintained.
  9. Reassessment
    NSF-ISR performs reassessment audits in accordance with requirements.

ISO 14001:2015 Revision

Published on September 15, 2015, ISO 14001:2015 has an emphasis on improvements to reflect the latest industry trends. The standard is available from the NSF Bookstore

Key improvements in the 2015 version include:

  • A greater commitment from leadership
  • An increased alignment with strategic direction
  • Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
  • More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
  • Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end of life
  • More emphasis on environmental performance and measurement

In order to help organizations transition to ISO 14001:2015, NSF-ISR has developed a number of resources to simplify the process:

Readiness Assessment Tool

The Readiness Assessment Tool helps organizations determine their readiness for transitioning to ISO 14001:2015. We recognize that there are many levels of readiness, and this tool is meant to help you figure out your next steps on the journey to full compliance with the new standard. It is our hope that you can use the results from the readiness assessment to improve your environmental management systems. START NOW

On-Demand Webinars

NSF-ISR has hosted a number of webinars aimed at making the transition to the revised standard simpler. You can download the entire series of webinars on demand at no cost. DOWNLOAD THE WEBINARS

ISO 14001:2015 Upgrade Planner and Delta Checklist

NSF-ISR has developed an exclusive document that captures areas of new requirements, changes and updates from the previous version of the standard. Once completed, you can send it to our expert lead auditor who will do a half-day minimum desk audit. DOWNLOAD THE PLANNER AND CHECKLIST

Transition Guide

NSF-ISR has developed a clause-by-clause guide to the new standard. This comprehensive document contains everything you need to know about ISO 14001:2015. DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE

Top Management Letter

The new standard requires your organization’s top management involvement to further enhance your organizations policies, as well as to provide a framework and guidance to personnel assigned to manage the quality management system. We have developed a letter that can be used to help explain these new requirements to your top management team. DOWNLOAD THE LETTER

Top Reasons Not to Wait to Transition

Existing ISO 9001 and 14001 certificates must be transitioned by September 2018, but there are reasons to transfer before the deadline. In addition to the peace-of-mind that comes with successfully completing your transition, there are a number of other benefits. Read More

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