ISO 14000 Consultant


ISO 14000 consultants plan and implement an organization’s ISO 14000 (International Organization for Standardization) systems. These systems allow the organization to better manage its environmental risks by providing standard, established, and documented procedures to follow. ISO 14000 consultants focus on a number of areas, including environmental management systems, environmental auditing, evaluation of environmental performance, environmental labeling, and life cycle assessment. 

Man with a hardhat on holding a laptop with a refinery in the background

At a glance

Imagine you have been contracted to work with a small oil and gas company to plan and implement the ISO 14000 environmental standards. ISO 14000 sets a standard for environmental management systems, stating the requirements and guidelines for these systems, as well as addressing specific environmental aspects. Your first job with this oil and gas company will be to document its current processes. This will indicate where the deficiencies lie, and what you need to do to bring processes to the ISO 14000 level. You will design systems and integrate them into the company.

As an ISO 14000 consultant, you help organizations achieve business excellence by ensuring compliance with environmental laws and regulations. You provide implementation, auditing, and training assistance that companies can easily understand and maintain. You work on a contract basis, with numerous different client companies throughout the year.

Your consulting service should be a part of any organizations environmental management programs. You ensure organizations are proactive, rather than reactive in terms of environmental related issues. This can greatly reduce incidents and the liability that they would face. You also help them to conserve energy and materials, and allow them to provide evidence of their regulatory compliance. At the end of each day, you are proud to have helped an organization reach a level of environmental excellence. 

Job duties

Duties vary significantly from job to job, but the following list includes typical job duties one might encounter as an ISO 14000 consultant:

  • Direct a firm's ISO 14000 system toward continuous improvement
  • Coordinate, research, and document ISO 14000 preparation processes
  • Design and implement environmental management systems and/or integrate existing systems
  • Conduct environmental impact assessments and internal audits (i.e., pre-assessment of existing practices and procedures)
  • Evaluate a firm's environmental health and safety programs and provide recommendations for improvement
  • Establish and monitor training requirements and environmental health and safety criteria
  • Coordinate auditors, suppliers, and customers 

Work environment

ISO 14000 consultants work in a variety of locations, including, but not limited to:

In the field:

  • Carry out environmental impact assessments
  • Observe and record observations
  • Consult and solicit input from stakeholders and implement solutions for better natural resource management
  • Participate in public forums

In the office:

  • Develop and apply planning models to explore possible environmental scenarios
  • Develop the organization’s environmental policies
  • Write reports

Where to work

  • Federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal government departments
  • Consulting firms
  • Self employed

Education & requirements

In most cases, the minimum education requirement to work as an ISO 14000 consultant is a college technical diploma. The following post secondary programs are most applicable to a career in this field:

  • Environmental science
  • Environmental management
  • Occupational health and safety,
  • Law

Knowledge of ISO certification processes and experience with ISO 9000 and OHSAS (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series) 18001 standards are beneficial.

If you are a high school student considering a career as an ISO 14000 consultant, you should have a strong interest in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Legal studies
  • English