The ISO 14001 standard, forming part of the 14000 family of standards regarding environmental management, has been revised and the ISO 14001:2015 has now been published. The ISO 14001 Standard deals specifically with Environmental Management Systems. It is widely applied throughout the world and has a history dating back to 1992.
However, changes in the environment and policies have made it necessary to update and revise the standard to bring it in-line with current and future environmental management requirements. With the revision, the standard has gained relevancy for at least 20 years from now.
All enterprises, irrespective of size and industry, have a responsibility to ensure sustainable growth, business processes and policies to ensure that resources will be available for the future generations. ISO 14001:2015 keeps to the original focus on the environment, but with long-term sustainability in mind.
Key changes to the standard include the focus on leadership, increased importance of environmental management within enterprise strategy development and processes, focus on lifecycles, creation of communications strategy and proactive steps for protection of the environment. The standard has the same structure as many of the other management system standards, providing the organisation with a familiar framework that can easily be integrated with other management systems. This also helps to make the auditing process easier, more streamlined and quicker.
The ISO/TC207/SC1 committee, consisting of nominated persons from liaison bodies and National Standard Bodies, had the task of revising the ISO 14001 standard. If your firm has been certified to the ISO 14001:2004 standard, you will have until the end of the 36-month validity period before having to be certified under the new ISO 14001 standard. Note that certification isn’t compulsory, but it is recommended if you want to:
How the Revised Standard Benefits Industries
With the revised standard in place, your firm will be able to integrate the system with your existing systems, such as ISO 9001. This will make it easier to manage compliance with the various ISO standards. With such, you gain full alignment with your organisational strategies, allowing you to optimise the Environmental Management System’s performance for cost savings, conservation of resources and to ensure sustainability of business operations.
With more focus on management accountability, the standard helps to ensure better leadership motivation in reaching the EMS goals in compliance with ISO 14001:2015. Together with such comes improvement in environmental management with reduction in risks regarding regulatory non-compliance and thus fines.
More about the Revision
The revised standard is based mostly on high level structure, which makes management more accountable for compliance and ensures consistency of application. There is a definite focus on improved risk management, whilst prescriptive requirements have been reduced.
How WWISE can Help Your Firm
We offer our systems development expertise, in addition to our auditing skills, industry knowledge, training and certification systems, to help your firm prepare for, implement and obtain certification regarding the revised ISO 14001 standard. We first do a GAP analysis to determine shortcomings and non-conformances. Armed with the information, we provide you with recommendations and offer training on various aspects, including EMS awareness amongst the employees. Following such, the preparation process takes place and then the internal audits are done. The final preparation follows and the assessment for certification. Where gaps exist, we request corrective action and when such has been done, the certification process follows and finally the hand-over of certification.
Post-certification maintenance is just as important, since you will want to ensure that your firm always improves upon the Environmental Management System and compliance with ISO 14001:2015 requirements. The maintenance programme entails review meetings, audits, assessments, training and preparation. With our systems integration expertise, you will be able to completely integrate the EMS with your business systems.
Environmental responsibility forms an integral part of business management today. With limited resources, possible climate change effects, and the need to ensure that future generations will have resources, enterprises world-wide ensure compliance with the ISO 14001 standard. Contact us to set up an appointment to help you prepare for implementation of a compliant EMS in your organisation.