Companies with the ISO standard for environmental management will need to revisit their processes as the instrument has been revised to make it suitable into the future.
ISO 14001:2015 sets out the requirements for an environmental management standard, and is used by organisations that place importance on their environmental impact in their operations. The revised version was published on 15 September, replacing the 2004 iteration to ensure it remains relevant to the marketplace.
Notable improvements in the new version include:
– a greater commitment from leadership;
– an increased alignment with strategic direction;
– greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives; and
– life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life.
Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of the technical committee that developed the standard and undertook the revision, is confident that the new version will be relevant for 20 years. She said it would help businesses manage all their environmental issues in a holistic manner.
“Looking forward, the new version will help with a stronger integration between environmental issues and an organisation’s strategic action planning and thinking,” said Ms Warris. “I foresee the life-cycle perspective and supply chain issues embedded in ISO 14001 becoming stronger in the future.”