C1.1 The Initial Review as part of an Environmental Management System (EMS)


ISO 14001

ISO 14001 does not specifically require an Initial Review be conducted. However, it does recommend that an organization without an existing environmental management system conduct one.

The Purpose of the Initial Review is to consider the status of the current environmental management, with a view to identifying the areas that require improvement. It is therefore, in essence, required.

ISO 14001 (the standard) and ISO 14004 (the guidance) both suggest that an Initial Review should contain:

  • The direct and indirect environmental aspects that occur during normal operating conditions, abnormal conditions (start-up and shut-down) and emergency situations.
  • The applicable legal requirements.
  • An evaluation of the environmental management.
  • An evaluation of previous emergency situations and accidents.



EMAS specifically states that an Initial Review be Conducted. It requires that the following is considered:

  • The direct and indirect environmental aspects.
  • The environmental aspects that can be controlled or that you have influence over.
  • Which of the environmental aspects are considered significant.