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  • Lee Calver
  • 7 July 2015
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ISO 14001:2015 Final Draft is published

The Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) of ISO 14001:2015 has now been published. This is the final stage in the revision journey and organisations can be confident that the information contained in the FDIS will be in line with the final version of the Standard which is expected in September 2015.

As the world’s first and most-widely adopted international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001 has helped over 300,000 organisations improve their environmental performance.

The standard has been revised to ensure that ISO 14001 continues to serve organisations and maintain its relevance in today’s marketplace. The redraft comes from the input of 40 experts from 25 countries and will not only address changes in environmental practice, but also enable the environmental management system to be future proof.

This new standard seeks to address the 11 concerns identified through the ISO “Future Challenges Environmental Management Systems” study, which focused on users expectations for the revisions of ISO 14001. Recommendations included improving environmental performance and increasing the uptake of environmental management systems in small organisations. An additional focus has also been placed on environmental impacts on the supply chain, particularly taking the ‘life cycle perspective’, which refers to the typical stages of a product life cycle, all of which will grow in importance as businesses expand.

Looking closely at these steps will help to maintain transparency and protect the environmental health of the supply chain. Some of the key changes include:

  • A new high level structure (HLD) – featuring terms, definitions, headings and text common to all management system standards, allowing easy integration when implementing multiple management systems.
  • Increased emphasis on the role that top management have in ensuring the environmental management system is integrated into business processes and environmental performance.
  • Consideration of the risks the organisation faces (for example, the price volatility of raw materials), as well as the opportunities these risks present (greater resource efficiency).
  • Focus placed on the context of the organisation, helping businesses better understand their impact on the environment but, as importantly, the impact the environmental concerns (such as climate change) have on them.

Commenting, Marc Barnes, Managing Director, BSI Group ANZ, said:

“ISO 14001 puts environmental management at the heart of organisations’ operations enabling them to meet environmental requirements, improve efficiency and environmental performance. It is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without compromising their environmental responsibilities. It provides a framework for organisations to develop whilst reducing the environmental impact of this growth, enabling users to reduce waste, save energy, increase innovation and improve corporate reputation among investors, customers and the public.

“ISO 14001 will enable organisations to stay abreast of the changes in the environmental management arena, ensuring that they are at the crest of the information curve.”

Writing for edie on the changes to ISO 14001, Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor for the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) said:

“The revision to 14001 needs to be considered in a broad economic and environmental context - particularly as the new standard will in all probability be around until the mid-2020s.

“The economic issues are pretty straightforward - ISO 14001 has to help organisations cut costs, improve productivity, capitalise on business opportunities, maintain and enhance brand and reputation, and reduce business risks.

“However, the environmental context is changing, as is the way the businesses view the way that the environment impacts on their ability to create long-term value.”

Baxter added:

“The proposed changes are significant, and will require a much broader application of environmental management throughout the organisation, integrating environmental management into core business processes.”

Next Steps

International Workplace has recently launched a brand new course aimed at individuals that are responsible for implementing or maintaining an environmental management system based on ISO 14001. Making the Transition to ISO 14001:2015 will provide an overview of the new requirements of ISO 14001:2015 to enable learners to evaluate and implement changes and improve their organisation’s environmental management system.

To find out more about the new course, please download the course programme or feel free to give us a call on +44 (0) 871 777 8881 to discuss further.