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What is ISO 14005:2019?

ISO 14005 provides guidelines for implementing an EMS in phases so that organizations can establish, implement, maintain, and improve an EMS at their own pace. It is titled “ISO 14005:2019 Environmental management systems – Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation.”
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This standard was updated from the 2010 version in May of 2019. According to ISO.org, the 2019 version includes major changes to the Maturity Matrix (Annex A) to take into account the new content of the revision, including adaptations to ISO 14001:2015.

Many small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) can greatly benefit from an environmental management system (“EMS”), but it may be cost prohibitive and/or resource prohibitive to fully implement an ISO 14001 EMS all at once. The first step in the process is to document your operations. We offer several EMS packages to help reduce the time required for this so that you do not have to start completely from scratch.

Requirements broken into Phases & Stages

ISO 14005:2019 breaks the requirements of ISO 14001 into multiple phases.  The number of phases is flexible and can be determined by the organization depending on goals and scope of implementation.  Each phase is then broken out into six consecutive stages to be completed over time.

Annex A: Maturity Matrix

Annex A includes a maturity matrix with five levels to assess progress of the EMS after each phase.  Each row of the matrix corresponds to a different element of the EMS as defined by the requirements of ISO 14001.  The five columns represent each maturity level 1-5. Once an organization reaches level 5 for a particular element, the requirements for the respective ISO 14001 clause will be satisfied.

Benefits of a Phased Approach

The most obvious benefit of an Environmental Management System is to reduce an organization’s impact on the environment.  But there are many reasons a formalized EMS and systematic approach will help an organization – from compliance with regulatory agencies to meeting customer requirements.

A phased approach to implementing an EMS is a great way for an organization to eventually obtain certification while staying within financial and human-resource budgets.  A phased approach offers several advantages:

  • Review the return on investment (ROI) of an environmental management system
  • Realize the benefits of an EMS:
    • Cost savings from reduced scrap
    • Public relations improvement
    • Easier compliance with legal and other requirements
    • Meet customer expectations
  • Monitor the benefits throughout implementation, increasing the elements for more value
  • Maintain focus on critical issues for customers or supply chain


The guidelines in ISO 14005:2019 are applicable to any organization, regardless of its size, type, location or level of maturity.  A flexible approach to phased implementation of ISO 14001 by breaking the requirements of ISO 14001 into separate phases, stages, and maturity levels, makes implementation of an EMS a much less daunting task – especially for small and medium sized organizations (SMEs). 


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