ISO 14005:2019 on a phased EMS implementation published

The second edition of ISO 14005 (ISO 14005:2019), “Environmental management systems – Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation” has been released.

Current and potential users of a phased EMS approach will recall that BS 8555:2016 fulfils a similar role. However, there is sufficient difference to ensure that both, the British Standard & the International Standard can co-exist in the marketplace.

This revised International Standard provides guidelines for a phased approach to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system (EMS). It is, equally, relevant for all organizations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who want to enhance their environmental performance.

The phased approach provides requirements that give flexibility to how an organizations may develop their EMS and within their own implementation timescales.

Each phase consists of six consecutive stages. The system’s maturity at the end of each phase can be characterized using the five-level maturity matrix provided in Annex A.

The six stages of each phase follows the following sequence:

  1. Define intended outcomes for the phase
  2. Assess EMS status
  3. Select areas for EMS improvement
  4. Undertake a gap analysis
  5. Plan and implement EMS improvements
  6. Check and review achievements

As with ISO 14001:2015 itself, this document is applicable to any organization regardless of their current environmental performance, the nature of the activities undertaken or the locations. Indeed, the phased approach enables an organization to develop a system that ultimately can satisfy the requirements of ISO 14001.

It should be noted that the document does not cover those elements of specific systems that go beyond ISO 14001:2015 nor is not intended to provide interpretations of the requirements of ISO 14001.


  1. Consider ISO 14005:2019 as one of the options for establishing an Environmental Management System (EMS) including direct implementation using ISO 14001:2015 and the phased approach of BS 8555:2016
  2. Review the guidance given in ISO 14005:2019 and its relevance to the implementation of your EMS
  3. Consider the value of the routes to external recognition, such as certification (ISO 14001:2015) & inspection (BS 8555:2016)
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