ISO 14001 revision proceeds to final stage

The revision process for the ISO 14001 on environmental management systems has progressed to the Final Draft International Standard stage following a 92% approval feedback on the proposed changes at the end of 2014.

“ISO 14001 is a critical environmental standard,” said ISO chair Anne-Marie Wallis. “One that pulls together all environmental issues, be they water, air, climate, soil, and requires organizations to think about them all in a holistic manner.”

The international ISO 14001 standard is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities. All ISO international standards undergo a review every three to five years to ensure they are relevant and up to date.

Visit Sustainability Live 2015 to find out more about ISO 14001— 

Experts revising the standard will now go through all the comments received during the previous public consultation at their next meeting in Tokyo on 2-4 February 2015 and will produce a final draft which will be put forward for voting. The new version of the standard is expected by the end of 2015.

Some of the changes being introduced into the new standard are based on a user survey conducted by the committee which received over 5000 responses from 110 countries. The new version will see a greater focus on strategic environmental management, leadership, protecting the environment, environmental performance and life-cycle thinking.

Enhanced framework

The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) has been actively engaged throughout the revision of the standard and the organisation says it has had ‘overwhelming support’ for the changes so far, with more than 90% of sustainability professionals voting in favour of new proposals in December 2014.

IEMA’s executive director of policy and engagement and the UK’s appointed expert on the current revision to ISO 14001 Martin Baxter said: “We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive ballot on moving the revision forward. The changes being proposed are significant, and will provide an enhanced framework for organisations managing their interface with the environment.

“This standard will integrate the environment into core organisational business processes and it’ about driving environmental improvements into more strategic decision-making. It will require organisations to take a lifecycle perspective; there’s a lot more focus on leadership and top management; and a lot more on communicational performance.”

VIDEO: ISO 14001 changes

The upcoming ISO 14001 changes will be discussed during Sustainability Live 2015. Complete your complimentary pre-registration for Sustainability Live 2015 here and for more information about participating in the event, visit

Lucinda Dann

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie