Achieving environmental focus and performance with ISO 14001

ISO 14001: Environmental management systems –

Requirements with guidance for use has just been published on 15th Sep 2015.

ISO 14001 is one of the world’s most popular standards for environmental management. There are key improvements against the previous version (2004) and it is expected that the changes will make it fit for the future. The latest ISO 14001: Environmental management systems – Requirements with guidance for use have been published on 15th Sep 2015.

ISO 14001: 2015, sets out the requirements for an environmental management standard with more than 300 000 certificates currently issued around the world, it ranks high on the agenda of many organisations worldwide who place importance on their environmental impact.

The new standard has taken into consideration the latest business trends like growing need to factor in both external and internal elements that influence the impact. Lifecycle perspective and supply chain issues and stakeholders’ expectations will find more relevance now.

Other key improvements in the new version include:

A higher commitment from organisational leadership
An increased alignment with strategic direction
Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life

Revision in more detail

The new standard is based on the new high level structure (HLS) that brings a common framework to all management system standards.

This will help an organisation to be consistent and aligned with other management systems, consistency, alignment different management system standards.

The key changes in the proposed standard

The emphasis on leadership
The focus on risk management
Emphasis on objectives measurement and change
Communication and awareness
Fewer prescriptive requirements
Increased focus on lifecycle perspective

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 was developed to provide a management system to help organisations reduce their environmental impact. The standard provides the framework for organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the environmental by:
Reducing harmful effects on the environment
Providing evidence of continual improvement of Environmental Management
An ISO 14001 system helps an organisation by providing the framework to meet increasingly high customer expectations of corporate responsibility as well as legal or regulatory requirements.