How to get a free copy of ISO 14001:2015… & Why you might not want to!

If you are starting out to implement an Environmental Management System based on ISO 14001:2015 can be a perceived as a daunting experience at the best of times…

And buying your copy can seem expensive with the cost of the International Standard coming in at £240, US$ 162, CAN$ 162, AU$161 or in any other currency of your choice, it can be expensive.

Options for getting ISO 14001 for free
There are options to get a copy for free.

Interested…but should you take the free option

In this article, I will look at four options for getting a free copy of ISO 14001:2015 & why you might not want a free copy.

I am not recommending any of the options and two or three of those options are likely to be outside your risk appetite and legality.

You will need to consider the most appropriate option for your use case and criteria.

Illegal Download
Given the vastness of the Internet, it feels like almost everything available by typing your desired topic and pressing and enter on Google or any other search engine.

I thought that I would try, for the purposes of this episode to try a search for a free copy of ISO 14001:2015.

This was my experience…

The search came up with many pages of potential opportunities.

So, I clicked on three specific sites

The first site promised the ability to download a copy but then defaulted to offering a download of WinZip, a file compression tool. So, I gave up on this site.

The second site offer more prospect of a fee copy of ISO 14001:2015 provided I entered a simple Captcha number, already displayed on the webpage. Once completed I was given the free copy of ISO 14001 to download. However, it was the Final Draft International Standard (FDIS), which is the final draft version before the formal International Standard is published. So, although, this looked to be a good opportunity for a free download, it was not the final published ISO 14001:2015 that I was searching for.

The final of my three sites yielded a presentation of ISO 14001:2015 with insights into the use of the International Standard… But not what I was searching for.

As I went through further search results, I could see that the same or similar results were being presented & I was getting nowhere fast.

In summary, the “free” in downloading is in the eye of the beholder as, from my experience, it is likely to take longer to search and find a free copy of ISO 14001:2015 that it would render the process to be cost ineffective.

And, finally, it is illegal with respect to copyright and, maybe other legal requirements related to safe Internet use.

Stealing a copy
The option for sneaking into an office in the dead of night to be able to steal a copy of ISO 14001:2015 rather than to pay for it is an option that is outside the moral compass of most of us.

Again, the option of stealing is not worth considering for a number of reasons, not least of which, relates to the criminal sanctions.

Photocopy someone’s copy
Similarly, encouraging a willing accomplice to allow you access to their legal copy of ISO 14001:2015 and to photocopy it for your own purposes is not an acceptable option, even though it may appear to be common practice as other documents, usually internal document are routinely copied for a variety of purposes.

Like stealing, the option of photocopying is illegal with respect to copyright & should be discounted as a viable option.

EMAS Regulation
There is one legal way to get a copy of ISO 14001:2015, (or at least, the cause requirements – Clause 4 – 10) and that is courtesy of the European Union. Their enhanced version of ISO 14001:2015 is set out in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) Regulations.

This Regulation is freely available on the European Union Law website, EUR-Lex and is available in English as well as all the other official languages of the European Union. The download link to the English version is here.

The EMAS Regulation covers the specific requirements for EMAS and in Annex II can be found the Clause requirements for Clauses 4 – 10. However, it does not include the Terms and Definitions & the guidance in the Annex to ISO 14001:2015.

If you look at the footnote at the end of Annex II, all is explained.

The use of the text of the national standard reproduced in this annex is made with the permission of CEN, which is the European Committee for Standardization is recognized by the European Union as a European Standardization Organization.

The full text of the national standard can be purchased from the National Standardisation Bodies, the list of which is provided in the official CEN website. Any type of reproduction of this annex for commercial reasons is not permitted.

So, there you, finally, have a free copy of ISO 14001:2015 available courtesy of the European Union, which is both easy to download and legal to obtain.

Why you might not want a free copy
So, with a free copy of ISO 14001:2015 available from the European Union, is that the end of this article.

Well, YES and NO.

Yes, we have found a free copy of ISO 14001:2015 but it comes with some the caveat that it does not contain the Terms and Definitions or the supporting Annexes.

If you value these additional benefits of ISO 14001:2015 then it may be better to purchase your version from your National Standardisation Body with a selection of the main Standards Bodies given in the table below:

Standards BodyWebsite
Standards Canada
Standards Australia

Additionally, you might want to purchase a copy as it, in part, recognises the national and international work that contributes to the development of this International Standard as well as other Standards & pays it forward for the future development and enhancement of ISO 14001:2015.

Finally, I hope that this article has given you an insight into the value of obtaining a genuine copy of ISO 14001:2015 and why an illegal access to a copy is not an option.

However, you obtain your copy, make it count by implementing and maintaining your Environmental Management System using ISO 14001:2015 & leave a comment below.

If you enjoyed this article, you should subscribe to our YouTube Channel – EMSmastery, where you can watch our videos, such as our video accompanying this article on How to get ISO 14001 for free…. & Why you might not want it! and subscribe in our YouTube channel for new videos released each week.

#ISO14001, #FreeDownload, #FreeCopy, #EMASRegulation

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  1. Thanks a lot for providing the legal way how to get a copy of ISO 14001:2015 for free. I would like to add that you can find additionally the Foreword, Introduction and Terms and definitions for the ISO 14001:2015 publicly available on the
    So, the only thing we do not have publicly available in this case is actually the Annexes.
    On my opinion, considering a company level the price for the ISO is appropriate, however not for the people who want to learn it by themselves. I think it would be nice to see all standards publicly available.

  2. Great article. I never knew you auditors would even consider such risky behaviour 🙂

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