Environmental Management Systems – Your A – Z guide

International Organisations

There are a number of key organisations that are involved in the development of EMS standardisation.

International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)


ISO is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental impacts, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - and at an economical cost. ISO is home to the 14000 series. The ISO 14000 family addresses various aspects of environmental management. ISO 14001 provides the requirements for an EMS and ISO 14004 gives general EMS guidelines.

The other standards and guidelines in the family address specific environmental aspects, including: labeling, performance evaluation, life cycle analysis, communication and auditing.

Technical Committee 207 on Environmental Management


Technical Committee 207 is the committee formed by ISO to develop the ISO 14000 series of standards and guidance documents. ISO/TC 207's vision is the worldwide acceptance and use of the ISO 14000 series of standards which will provide an effective means to improve the environmental performance of organisations and their products, facilitate world trade and ultimately contribute to sustainable development.

The standards and guidance documents developed by TC 207 are produced by a number of subcommittees (SC) :

SC 1 Environmental Management Systems (EMS)
SC 2 Environmental Auditing & Related Investigations (EA&RI)
SC 3 Environmental Labelling (EL)
SC 4 Environmental Performance Evaluation (EPE)
SC 5 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
TCG Terms and Definitions (T&D)

European Committee for Standardisation (CEN)


CEN (the European Committee for Standardisation) and CENELEC (the European Committee for Electrotechnical standardisation) form the specialised system for European Standardisation. National Bodies that are members of CEN or CENELEC participate in the development of European Standards through technical committees established by the respective organisation to deal with particular fields of technical activity.