ISO 14001:2004 specifies requirements for an environmental management system to enable an organization to develop and implement a policy and objectives which take into account legal requirements and other requirements to which the organization subscribes, and information about significant environmental aspects.
ISO 14001:2004 is applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, to assure itself of conformity with its stated environmental policy, and to demonstrate conformity with ISO 14001:2004
1) Making a self-determination and self-declaration
2) Seeking confirmation of its conformance by parties having an interest in the organization, such as customers
3) Seeking confirmation of its self-declaration by a party external to the organization
4) Seeking certification/registration of its environmental management system by an External Organization.
Because ISO 14001:2004 does not lay down levels of environmental performance, the standard can to be implemented by a wide variety of organizations, whatever their current level of environmental maturity. However, a commitment to compliance with applicable environmental legislation and regulations is required, along with a commitment to continual improvement – for which the EMS provides the framework.