Katherine Simmons

Katherine Simmons

The ISO14001 Management System has been under review by ISO Committee ISO/TC207/SC1 since August 2011 and the final version is expected to be released September 2015. The ISO 14001 family of standards provides tools, for all kinds of companies and organisations looking to manage their environmental responsibilities.

The key changes to the revised standard will include:

  • Introduction of new framework Annex SL (previously ISO Guide 83) - All new and revised ISO management system standards will adhere to this new framework, including ISO9001 and ISO50001, and will consist of 10 clauses as well as common terminology and definitions applicable to all new ISO Management system standards. Although initially documentation changes will be required, this will ultimately reduce the burden of management system documentation and instead focus on improved environmental performance.
  • Life Cycle Perspective – organisations will need to consider environmental impacts associated with product use, sourcing of raw materials and end-of-life treatment or disposal.
  • Environmental Performance -Focusing not only on continual improvement of the management system, but improved continual improvement of its environmental performance.
  • Leadership – A new clause has been added which includes demonstrated leadership, commitment and accountability with respect to the environmental management system, and assigns specific responsibilities for those in leadership roles. These include: promoting the importance of an environmental management system (EMS), providing support to those who have environmental responsibility, and ensuring the EMS is incorporated into other business processes and activities.
  • Compliance obligations – Increased compliance obligations where the organisation will be required to plan and implement a process to evaluate conformity and take action if needed.   Organisations need to understand whether or not they are compliant with their legislative requirements and/or those they participate in voluntarily.
  • Communication – The development of a communications strategy with equal emphasis on external and internal communications, including what, when and who they communicate to.
  • Context of the Organisation - Strategic Environmental Management process including increased prominence of environmental management within the organisations strategic planning process addressing the risks and opportunities; i.e. understanding external, social or economic factors that may have an impact on the direction of the organisation, understanding its internal environment including technologies / culture, consideration of its natural environmental and risks that may impact on the organisations 

Organisations will be granted a three-year transition period after the ISO14001:2015 revision is published to update their environmental management system. After this period the ISO14001:2004 standard will be out of date and for those companies seeking certification, will be required to use the 2015 version.

The final IS014001:2015 version should be made available mid-September for purchase. Companies are recommended to start the transitioning process by firstly conducting a gap assessment and determine where changes are required. Training on the updated standard is available at SAI Global.  

For further information contact Katherine Simmons at Ndevr Environmental on 9865 1400.