ISO 14001 - What kind of costs could we be expected to face?


Mike Murphy

We are considering start-up of ISO14000 but top mgt. are going to need some convincing.
We have ISO9001 & QS9000 in place already. What kind of costs could we be expected to face in setting this up and going?

I guess combining 9k and 14k would be the way to go?

Aser there any enviro. gurus out there who can help with this one?!


Jon Shaver

There are 2 types of costs - internal & external. Since you already have a management system in place the initial costs will be lower than starting from scratch. But bear in mind that ISO14001 is a lot more prescriptive & you will need to correct deficincies, not just re-write procedures.
Internal include time from your people. Typically it takes 3 to 6 mos. & you should consider at least one person "dedicated", about 20% of the time for Dept Heads, a few days for management and a week or so for other line personnel (production/maintenance staff). External costs would include audit & registration process & you likely have a good handle on that from ISO-9001. If you use a consultant reduce the internal costs by at least 1/2 & add consulting costs to external.
If you decide, based on objective review of your env'l aspects / impacts that a change in processes is needed, then the cost of making these changes should be added.
There are lots of $ benefits that will occur, but you didn't ask for these.
Re merging ISO9K & 14K - suggest you do this only where the standards have common elements such as mgmnt review, document control & recordkeeping. Eventually you can do more harmonizing but its easier to understand 14K if you put it in beside, not inside, your existing system.

Mike Murphy

Thanks Jon for your response.
This has given me a lot to get started on.
This will provide me with some 'coated armor'.

You mentioned $ benefits. What benefits have you seen or experienced. I have short list but everything helps. Thanks again!


Christian Lupo

My company has published specific information in regard to the costs involved with ISO 14000, check out We have published studies in conjunction with the EPA that you can download for free. The documents include how to implement, and what costs you can expect. Its everything you need to know.

Mike Murphy

Thanks Christian........looked through the site and found a lot of info. Hmmm, interesting.
Well, thanks again for your help. I'm sure I'll have more questions once I digest all this.

Jon Shaver

Mike: With all due respect to the Registrars, I think there's an easier way to consider cost/benefit for an effective EMS (ISO14001 or any other).
Assuming you don't have a regulatory compliance problem & are not puting an EMS in as part of a consent decree (a whole different set of $ benefits), then
1. Do energy & mass balances on your processes. Find out what "wasted" material & energy costs you have. Your EMS should be directed at reducing these to zero. Yes zero!
2. Flowchart your processes & measure time to create prioducts/services. Look for faster/more efficient ways to do things. The difference is certainly a $ benefit. We typically tell clients to set ultimate targets at 40% reduction in these time/labor costs.
3. What sales $ can you gain from demonstrating an effective EMS? Green market? Customer demands? This is probably smaller than the first two, but should be included. An ISO14001 registration is one way to provide this demonstration.
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