EHS Management

ISO Standards Environmental Professionals Should Know About

Note: Each ISO standard is part of a series of related documents. This article will give a brief review of the first standard in the series. The year noted with each standard represents the last time the standard was revised, e.g., ISO 9001:2008 is the current standard for quality management systems and was last revised in 2008. A standard may have been reviewed more recently and not revised.

ISO 9001:2008—Quality Management

ISO 9001 is the standard that provides a set of generic requirements for a quality management system, regardless of what your organization does, its size, or whether it is in the private or public sector. It is the only standard in the family against which organizations can be certified—although certification is not a compulsory requirement of the standard. ISO 9001 is in the process of being revised. Revisions are due by the end of 2015.

ISO 50001:2011—Energy Management

ISO 50001 specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving an energy management system (EnMS). Certification to ISO 50001 is possible but voluntary. In the United States, manufacturing plants and commercial buildings are implementing ISO 50001 through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Superior Energy Performance® (SEP) projects. SEP is a certification program that verifies improvements in energy management and performance in industrial facilities. According to the DOE, industrial facilities can take advantage of SEP tools, resources, and protocols to set energy performance targets and then achieve and measure sustained savings to earn certification at the silver, gold, or platinum level.

ISO 31000:2009—Risk Management

The purpose of ISO 31000 is to provide a framework and guidance for managing risk.  The scope of this approach to risk management is to enable all strategic, management, and operational tasks of an organization throughout projects, functions, and processes to be aligned to a common set of risk management objectives. ISO 31000 is not intended for certification.


Join us for the Environmental Management Systems Under the New ISO 14001 Standard webinar on April 23 to assess the ISO 14001 process as it relates to your organization. Learn more.


ISO 26000:2010—Social Responsibility

ISO 26000 is a guidance and not a management system with requirements, so it cannot be certified to. It is meant to raise awareness about how goods and services are produced. The standard provides guidance for organizations that voluntarily want to analyze and strengthen their social responsibility.

ISO 24510:2007—Drinking Water and Wastewater Services

ISO 24510 specifies the elements of drinking water and wastewater services of relevance and interest to users. It also provides guidance on how to identify water users’ needs and expectations and how to access whether they are being met. ISO 24510, and its sister standards ISO 24511:2007 (for wastewater utilities) and ISO 24512:2007 (for drinking water utilities), are being used in the developing world to help elevate the performance of water utilities.

ISO 27001:2013—Information Security

ISO 27001 provides a systematic approach to securing sensitive company information. Certification to ISO 27001 is possible, but voluntary.


Environmental Management Systems Under the New ISO 14001 Standard: A Systematic, Cost-Effective Approach to Ensuring Compliance

Learn cost-effective strategies for updating existing EMS or preparing an EMS that is certifiable to ISO 14001:2015. Register now!


ISO 19011:2011—Management System Auditing

ISO 19011 (guidelines for quality and/or environmental management system auditing) provides guidance on combined management system audits. Whatever the reason for the audit (certification, internal review, contract compliance, etc.), it is intended that organizations can move efficiently through the process by applying these guidelines.

ISO 20121:2012—Sustainable Events

ISO 20121 provides guidance and best practices for organizations that put on conferences or other types of events such as festivals. It is intended to help organizers manage events to control social, economic, and environmental impacts.

OHSAS 18001:2007—Occupational Health and Safety

Although not an ISO standard, Occupational Health & Safety Advisory Services (OHSAS) 18001 is the internationally recognized assessment specification for occupational health and safety (OH&S) management systems to enable a company to control its OH&S risks and improve its performance.

OHSAS 18001 was developed to be compatible with the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 management systems standards in order to facilitate the integration of quality environmental and occupational health and safety management systems by organizations.

Note: ISO is in the process of developing a standard (ISO 45001) for an OH&S management system. The first draft of ISO 45001 is currently available. It is slated to be published in 3rd quarter 2016. It is anticipated that ISO 45001 will replace OHSAS 18001.