What the revised ISO14001 means for you
By Suzanne Orme
An updated version of ISO14001 was published in September 2015.
The new version is intended to maintain and improve the basic principles and existing requirements of ISO14001:2004. The new elements and requirements, summarised below, bolt on fairly easily to any ISO14001 based system.
However the new clause numbers and structure pose more of a challenge. It is based on a new high level structure for Management System Standards, called Annex XL, different from the “plan-do-check-act” principle that management system practitioners are familiar with.
- Specific responsibilities for people in leadership roles to promote environmental management within the organisation.
- A new requirement to understand environmentally-related organisational risks and opportunities and to integrate those that are critical into operational planning.
- An expanded expectation to commit to proactive initiatives to protect the environment which can include sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems.
- A shift in emphasis from continual improvement of the management system to improvement of environmental performance
- An extension of control and influence beyond procured goods and services to product use and end-of-life treatment or disposal.
- The development of a communication strategy with equal emphasis on external and internal communication and quality of information.
- Use of the words “documented information” instead of “documents and records” recognising the use of computerised systems.
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