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How to determine the scope of the EMS ISO 14001:2015

When it comes to defining the scope of your EMS, your organization must determine the boundaries and application of the environmental management system. Factors to take into consideration when determining the scope of ISO 14001:2015:

  • The organization must determine the external and internal issues that relate to its purpose and then influence its capability to achieve the intended outcomes of their EMS. The issues determined must include environmental conditions.
  • Federal, State, and Local compliance obligations
  • focusing on understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
  • The companies organizational units, actions and physical border
  • The organization’s activities, goods, and services
  • The organization’s authority and capacity to take control and perform influence

The standard also advises that each organization maintains their scope and makes it available to interested parties as “documented information”, typically in the manual of ISO 14001:2015. The definition of your EMS is critical, and your findings must be documented. The scope is more important now than it was in the 14001:2004 standard.

Examples may include:

  • Manufacturing, but not service, or vice versa.
  • Only employees or include contractors and representatives
  • A certain number of location(s)
  • etc.



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