ISO 14001-2015 4.2 Interested parties


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ISO 14001:2015 Clause 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties







ISO 14001:2015 Clause 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties


Clause 4.2 Breakdown


4.2     Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties


Who are interested parties, what do they need and expect?


These are interrelations that go beyond the normal customer supplier relationship. The standard is looking for an organization to managed interested parties to aid in their sustained success.


These may include; (both internal and external)


by dependency:


Suppliers (materials)

Suppliers (utilities)




by responsibility:

Share holders          



Landlord / Land Owner          


by proximity:

Neighbouring communities

Neighbouring businesses          


by authority:

Local / Public Authorities


Regulatory Bodies

Statutory Agencies


by influence:

Non-governmental organisations

Action groups


Community groups

Share holder groups


by representations:

Industry membership associations

Standard organizations



Note:  Those parties relevant or related to the EMS system.


ISO 14001:2015 Clause 4.2 Organization Interested Parties



The organization is expected to determine the needs and expectations of all interested parties which pose a significant risk to the business should their needs not be met.  This would normally be at a high-level, and not be overly detailed, depending on the size and complexity of the organization and the nature of its activities.


ISO 14001:2015 Clause 4.2 Context of the Organization


In ISO 14001 speak "the organisation should determine its interested parties and their needs and expectations, related to their environmental management system...", "In order to determine those it has to comply with and those it chooses to comply with..."


Like clause 4.1 context of the organisation, there is no requirement for documented information for clause 4.2.  However, once a group of interested parties and their expectations has been identified, the organization should be able to demonstrate how these are incorporated into the EMS system. Where the needs and expectations of interested parties become compliance obligations the organisation will need to observe the requirements of clause 6.1.3 compliance obligations, which does require specific documented information.


Changes to the context of the organisation can result in changes to the interested parties and vice versa.


For example changes in:




Global Markets

Top management


Investors (owners)

Shareholders (takeovers, particularly aggressive ones)


Useful integrated management system cross references


ISO 9001-2015 4.2 - Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties


ISO 45001-2018 4.2 - Understanding the needs and expectations of workers and other interested parties


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