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ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems Standard Update

March 06, 2017

As I have recently completed the ISO 14001:2015 transition course, I thought I would share my understanding of the changes to this Standard.

This is good timing as certified companies have one more year, until March 2018, to get their systems recertified prior to the end of the transition period.

Updates to the Standard

Standardising the Standard:

Previously there was very little similarity in the content and format between the ISO standards. The standards have now been standardised. This includes 10 clauses with the same order and elements as the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Standard and the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Standard to be released later this year.

More Emphasis on Leadership and Commitment:

It is widely recognised that a successful management system requires commitment and support from top management. More emphasis on leadership by top management is required in the new Standard. This includes integration of environmental management into the organisation’s core strategies, processes and priorities.

Risk Approach to Management:

The new Standard requires the identification, determination and inclusion of aspects that can have a significant environmental impact as part of a risk based management approach. Although similar to previous requirements, the organisation now must also specify the criteria used to determine risk.

Improved Context of the Organisation:

Consideration of the external and internal issues that can affect the intended outcomes of the system need to be included. The needs and expectations of interested parties should also be considered in regards to environmental management.

Life Cycle Perspective:

Thinking of each stage of a product or service as part of a life cycle perspective has been introduced. This includes considering the organisation’s control or influence during procurement through to end-of-life treatments.

More Information

If you would like a summary of the changes to the Standard, and guide to implementing these requirements into your business, please contact us: