ISO 14001 final changes will tackle 'broader environmental issues'

The ISO 14001 international standard to environment management systems has been revised in a final redraft.

Changes to ISO 14001 will help address broader environmental issues for businesses

Changes to ISO 14001 will help address broader environmental issues for businesses

The redraft comes from the input of 40 experts from 25 countries in an effort to address concerns and recommendations identified in the 'Future challenges environment management systems' study.

The changes include additional focus on the environmental impact of supply chain and the ‘life cycle perspective’ of a product.

ISO 14001 will now include a new high level structure, featuring terms and definitions to make the system easier to integrate.

It will also feature an increased emphasis on the work top management can do to ensure the environment management system is implemented and a greater consideration of organisational risks, such as raw material price volatility.

ISO 14001 outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place. All ISO international standards are reviewed every three to five years to ensure they stay up to date.

Ahead of the curve

British Standards Institution (BSI) chair for environmental management systems Nigel Leehane said: “The objective of the new standard is to ensure that organizations address broader environmental issues than simply prevention of pollution, not just in order to reduce environmental impacts, but so that organizations benefit from improved efficiency, with the environmental management system adding real value and contributing to the environmental pillar of sustainability.”

David Fatscher, head of market development for sustainability at BSI said the changes will help businesses remain commercially successful without harming their environmental performance: "ISO 14001 will enable organizations to stay abreast of the changes in the environmental management arena, ensuring they are at the crest of the information curve."

BSI is making ISO 14001 available through Advanced Access, giving organizations an opportunity to view the final draft in July, and to receive automatic delivery of the final standard as soon as it is available in September. 

Long-term value

Writing for edie on the changes to ISO 14001 last week, 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.”

You can learn more about ISO 14001 through the edie explains from earlier this year.

Matt Field


| edie explains | environmental management | iso 14001 | supply chain


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