This International Standard specifies requirements for an environmental management system, to enable an organization to formulate a policy and objectives taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant environmental impacts. It applies to those environmental aspects which the organization can control and over which it can be expected to have an influence. It does not itself state specific environmental performance criteria.
This International Standard is applicable to any organization that wishes to
(a) implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system;
(b) assure itself of its conformance with its stated environmental policy;
(c) demonstrate such conformance to others;
(d) seek certification/registration of its environmental management system by an external organization;
(e) make a self-determination and self-declaration of conformance with this International Standard.
All the requirements in this International Standard are intended to be incorporated into any environmental management system. The extent of the application will depend on such factors as the environmental policy of the organization, the nature of its activities and the conditions in which it operates. This International Standard also provides, in annex A, informative guidance on the use of the specification.
The scope of any application of this International Standard must be clearly identified.
NOTE - For ease of use, the subclause of the specification and annex A have related numbers; thus, for example, 4.3.3 and A.3.3 both deal with environmental objectives and targets, and 4.5.4 and A.5.4 both deal with environmental management system audit.