ISO 14001 - (Section 4 - Environmental Management System)

4.4 Implementation and operation

4.4.1 Resources, roles, responsibility and authority

Management shall ensure the availability of resources essential to establish, implement, maintain and improve the environmental management system. Resources include human resources and specialized skills, organizational infrastructure, technology and financial resources.


Roles, responsibilities and authorities shall be defined, documented and communicated in order to facilitate effective environmental management.


The organization's top management shall appoint a specific management representative(s) who, irrespective of other responsibilities, shall have defined roles, responsibilities and authority for

  1. ensuring that an environmental management system is established, implemented and maintained in accordance with the requirements of this International Standard,
  2. reporting to top management on the performance of the environmental management system for review, including recommendations for improvement.

4.4.2 Competence, training and awareness

The organization shall ensure that any person(s) performing tasks for it or on its behalf that have the potential to cause a significant environmental impact(s) identified by the organization is (are) competent on the basis of appropriate education, training or experience, and shall retain associated records.


The organization shall identify training needs associated with its environmental aspects and its environmental management system. It shall provide training or take other action to meet these needs, and shall retain associated records.

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to make persons working for it or on its behalf aware of

  1. the importance of conformity with the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the environmental management system,
  2. the significant environmental aspects and related actual or potential impacts associated with their work, and the environmental benefits of improved personal performance,
  3. their roles and responsibilities in achieving conformity with the requirements of the environmental management system, and
  4. the potential consequences of departure from specified procedures.

4.4.3 Communication

With regard to its environmental aspects and environmental management system, the organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) for

  1. internal communication among the various levels and functions of the organization,
  2. receiving, documenting and responding to relevant communication from external interested parties.

The organization shall decide whether to communicate externally about its significant environmental aspects, and shall document its decision. If the decision is to communicate, the organization shall establish and implement a method(s) for this external communication.


4.4.4 Documentation

The environmental management system documentation shall include

  1. the environmental policy, objectives and targets,
  2. description of the scope of the environmental management system,
  3. description of the main elements of the environmental management system and their interaction, and reference to related documents,
  4. documents, including records, required by this International Standard, and
  5. documents, including records, determined by the organization to be necessary to ensure the effective planning, operation and control of processes that relate to its significant environmental aspects.

4.4.5 Control of documents

Documents required by the environmental management system and by this International Standard shall be controlled. Records are a special type of document and shall be controlled in accordance with the requirements given in 4.5.4.

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to

  1. approve documents for adequacy prior to issue,
  2. review and update as necessary and re-approve documents,
  3. ensure that changes and the current revision status of documents are identified,
  4. ensure that relevant versions of applicable documents are available at points of use,
  5. ensure that documents remain legible and readily identifiable,
  6. ensure that documents of external origin determined by the organization to be necessary for the planning and operation of the environmental management system are identified and their distribution controlled, and
  7. prevent the unintended use of obsolete documents and apply suitable identification to them if they are retained for any purpose.

4.4.6 Operational control

The organization shall identify and plan those operations that are associated with the identified significant environmental aspects consistent with its environmental policy, objectives and targets, in order to ensure that they are carried out under specified conditions, by

  1. establishing, implementing and maintaining a documented procedure(s) to control situations where their absence could lead to deviation from the environmental policy, objectives and targets, and
  2. stipulating the operating criteria in the procedure(s), and
  3. establishing, implementing and maintaining procedures related to the identified significant environmental aspects of goods and services used by the organization and communicating applicable procedures and requirements to suppliers, including contractors.

4.4.7 Emergency preparedness and response

The organization shall establish, implement and maintain a procedure(s) to identify potential emergency situations and potential accidents that can have an impact(s) on the environment and how it will respond to them.


The organization shall respond to actual emergency situations and accidents and prevent or mitigate associated adverse environmental impacts.


The organization shall periodically review and, where necessary, revise its emergency preparedness and response procedures, in particular, after the occurrence of accidents or emergency situations.


The organization shall also periodically test such procedures where practicable.