ISO 14001 & ISO 50001

ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 are two commonly-used environmental standards that help organisations to set up and run effective energy and environmental management systems. They provide a model to follow and are designed for companies and organisations of any type that require practical tools to manage their energy and environmental responsibilities.


In this guide, we explain these standards in a way that can be understood by all sectors, not just those in the low-carbon field. Our team is well-versed in ISO 14001 and ISO 50001, being audit specialists in both. So, we have clarified what the standards mean, why employing them is of benefit to a wide range of businesses and organisations, what you need to do to adopt them, and how Hillside can support you in doing so. 

Who are ISO?

In their own words:

"An independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 165 national standards bodies.

Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges."

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 provides a framework for organisations to follow to set up an effective environmental management system. 

An environmental system is a set of processes and practices that enable an organisation to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency.

Any type of business or institution, private or public, can use it and it is designed to assure management, employees, and external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

Watch the video to find out more

What is ISO 50001?

ISO 50001 enables organisations to improve energy use by providing a model for the development of an energy management system (EnMS).


An energy management system is a group of computer-aided tools used to monitor, control, and optimise energy usage. 

Much like ISO 14001, the ISO 50001 is designed to support organisations in all fields and makes it easier to integrate energy management into their overall efforts to improve environmental management.


Watch the video to find out more


So, what's the difference between the two?

Whereas ISO 14001 helps you to systematically identify and manage all of your environmental impacts in the broadest sense, ISO 50001 specifies the energy management system (EnMS) requirements that an organisation has to develop and implement to form an energy policy.

The ISO family of standards all follow a common structure to enable the integration of different aspects, including Environment and Energy. They also cover Quality Management Systems, and Health and Safety.

Benefits of adopting ISO 14001

As the standard allows you to set up an effective environmental management system, when adopted successfully, you will see improved sustainability for your organisation. You can also become accredited and receive a certification in ISO 14001.


Improving sustainability and environmental performance as part of your business plan can result in the following benefits:

  • Improve company reputation and CSR credentials

  • Generate better brand affinity from your audience as the general public are becoming more invested in protecting the environment

  • Improve the confidence of stakeholders in the longevity of the business since improved sustainability helps to increase resilience

  • Reducing carbon emissions and footprint often goes hand in hand with increased cost savings and revenue due to opportunities for improved efficiencies

  • Provides a structure for leadership and helps to engage employees


Benefits of adopting ISO 50001

The main aim of ISO 50001 is to develop a policy for more efficient use of energy. From which, you can measure results and continually improve energy management. Like ISO 14001, you can achieve certification in ISO 50001, to add to your climate-friendly credentials.


Adopting the standard comes with a host of benefits: 

  • It helps with target and objective setting so you can effectively measure your energy usage and efficiencies

  • Likewise, it also enables effective results measurement so you can communicate your successes


  • Communicating these successes can improve reputation, CSR credentials, and also stakeholder trust

  • Continuous improvement of energy management often leads to an improved bottom line thanks to reduced costs

  • Reducing energy consumption results in longevity and resilience as organisations rely less on finite resources

  • The standard allows you to reduce energy consumption in a sustainable way, minimising risk






Hillside can help you to adopt the ISO standards

Hillside are qualified ISO 14001 & 50001 lead auditors and implementation practitioners. We utilise the standards in all of our environmental and energy management projects and are able to support your journey to ISO certification.

We are qualified by CIBSE and IEMA to provide audit and implementation support covering policy, planning, training, monitoring, and management system development to support continuous improvement. Our team of specialist, independent environmental experts use the Plan, Do, Check, Act working practice and can support you in adopting ISO 14001 and 50001 by:

  • Identifying gaps in working practice and building an action plan to address these

  • Identifying energy-saving measures and renewable solutions

  • Establishing policies, developing a plan and measurement tools to adopt 14001 and 50001

  • Supporting with leadership engagement, staff training, and awareness

  • Developing systems to monitor and track progress and facilitate ongoing improvement

  • Supporting the accreditation process to enable you to become certified

Our flexible, simplified approach means you can engage us at any stage of the project process and our aim is always to innovate and provide the most effective plan. With over 30 years of experience, we work collaboratively and flexibly with clients' teams to kickstart and accelerate environmental, sustainability, and renewable energy plans.

Image by Jorge Franganillo
Image by Jason Abdilla

Do your bit,

get the toolkit to help combat the environmental crisis.

Sign up to our newsletter, ‘A breath of fresh air’, and let us guide you through the transition to sustainable energy.

Image by Jorge Franganillo

Take the first step

to protecting the planet and our future generations.

Our Go Green Tools arm you with the solutions to becoming sustainable in your business and at home.