ISO 14000 vs ISO 14001: Difference and Comparison

Environmental Standards issued by ISO have their importance in everyday life. These Standards are not compulsory to adhere to by every organization. For a sustainable life, Both certifications are necessary.

ISO 14000 and ISO 14001 are published and issued by International Organization for Standardization. They are globally designed and accepted for the betterment of the Environment. 

Key Takeaways

  1. ISO 14000 is a series of international standards that provide environmental management and sustainability guidelines. At the same time, ISO 14001 is a specific standard within the ISO 14000 series that provides requirements for an environmental management system.
  2. ISO 14001 is a more specific and focused standard than ISO 14000, as it provides a framework for organizations to manage their environmental impact and comply with environmental regulations.
  3. ISO 14001 is designed to be compatible with other management systems standards, such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety).

ISO 14000 vs ISO 14001

The difference between ISO 14000 and ISO 14001 is that ISO 14000 is a family of multiple standards developed for organizations. On the other hand, ISO 14001 is part of ISO 14000 dealing with environmental standards. ISO 14000 has sub-committees underneath, and ISO 140001 issues certificates to qualifying firms. 

ISO 14000 vs ISO 14001

ISO 14000 helps organizations in awareness of environmental importance. It helps to minimize the negative effect of industry on trees and plants.

ISO 14000 has similarities to ISO 9000, which talks about quality management. BSI issued its first environmental guidelines in 1992. Before ISO 14000, Companies had their in-house environment management system. 

ISO 14001 refers to the developed version of ISO 14000. It defines criteria for the environmental management system. It maps out the path to be followed by organizations.

ISO 14001 series is voluntary for the companies. It is prominently called a generic management system. By using ISO 14001, companies can improve their work efficiency. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonISO 14000ISO 14001
PurposeISO 14000 is for guiding framework in the organization. On the contrary, ISO 14001 is for developing requirements in the organization. 
AgendaThe Agenda of  ISO 14000 is “What to do?”The Agenda of  ISO 14001 is “How to do?”
ApproachISO 14000 is a theoretical approach to comply.ISO 14000 is a practical approach to compliance.
ObjectiveTo develop an effective and efficient Environmental Management System.The objective of ISO 140001 is to implement the path suggested by ISO 14000.
BenefitsISO 14000 promotes competitive advantage.ISO 14001 acts as an internal management tool.

What is ISO 14000?

ISO 14000 is serving certifications to different types of organizations. Every organization can adhere to ISO 14000 irrespective of the size. 

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This series of standards were last updated in 2015. There are approximately Thirty lacs companies that have obtained the ISO 14000 certification.

It guides about the cost-effective tools in the organization. Companies can achieve their environment-friendly objective with it. 

One can minimize the harmful effects on the earth. Adoption of ISO 14000 also enhances the goodwill of the company. It helps in the achievement of competitive advantage. Customers always prefer eco-friendly products. 

Following are the Key standards covered under ISO 14000:

  • ISO 14001: Specification of Environmental Management Systems
  • ISO 14010 – ISO 14015: Environmental Auditing Activities
  • ISO 14020 – ISO 14024: Environmental Labeling
  • ISO 14031 and ISO 14032: Environmental Performance Evaluation
  • ISO 14040 – ISO 14043: Life Cycle Assessment
  • ISO 14004: Guideline Standard
  • ISO 14050: Terms and Definitions

 As per ISO 14000 certification, you can also work for the development of society. International Organisation for Standards is a non-government body.

ISO 14000 family was operational since 1996. Compliance to be followed by ISO-certified companies include Public relations as well. 

Insurance should be in place to get certified under ISO. Legal compliances too improved with these standards. It is a commitment to nature. As per ISO 14000, from manufacturing to disposal everything should be eco-friendly.

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is a road map for the implementation of the environmental management system. This approach helps them to manage things systematically.

The size of the organization does not matter in ISO 14001. It supports an organization to monitor, identify, research, archive, and overcome environmental issues. 

Following are the issues resolved by ISO 14001 standards:

  • Air pollution
  • Wastewater discharge
  • Degradation of ecosystems 
  • Loss of biodiversity
  • Waste management
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Resource utilization
  • Soil contamination
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It has numerous benefits like Obtaining financial and operational objectives from improved performance. ISO certified organizations can easily communicate the environmental issue with stakeholders, It fulfills regulatory and Statutory requirements. 

For smooth compliance management, Organisation should establish an environmental policy. ISO 14001 helps them to maintain consistency in compliance.

EMS efficiency examination is equally important for companies. Some extraordinary benefits to adhering to ISO 14001 are the following:

  1. Enhance the corporate image of a company.
  2. Built-up relationship with Government Authorities.
  3. Grow suppliers and potential consumers.
  4. Increased leadership among competitors. 
  5. Achievement of strategic goals.
  6. Framework from pollution prevention.

Environmental management policy examination can be done by comparing the actual versus desired. ISO 14001 has the advantage of risk analysis. 

Implementation of standards is not a monotonous change for the organization. Companies can achieve their environmental goals by using ISO 14001 certification.

Main Differences Between ISO 14000 and ISO 14001

  1. Restriction: ISO 14000 is not limited to a specific industry, on the flip side, ISO 14001 covers the manufacturing and trading industries only. 
  2. Elements Involved: ISO 14000 is the heading under which ISO 14001 falls and ISO 14001 is a sub-category of ISO 14000.
  3. Fragments: ISO 14000 is divided into Seven Fragments, on the other hand, ISO 14001 is divided into two Fragments only.
  4. Advantages: ISO 14000 helps in a competitive advantage over the peers, On the other hand, ISO 14001 enhances internal competency. 
  5. Perspective: ISO 14000 has a Perspective of “What to Do?” and ISO 14001 has a Perspective of “How to do?”.
Difference Between ISO 14000 and ISO 14001



Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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