Geneva, Switzerland — ISO 14001:2015, which sets out the requirements for an environmental management standard, is one of the world’s most widely used standards and a key business tool for many organizations. With more than 300 000 certificates issued globally every year, it ranks high on the agenda of many organizations worldwide who place importance on their environmental impact.
A newly revised version has just been published to ensure it remains relevant to the marketplace. ISO 14001:2015 responds to the latest trends, such as an increasing recognition by companies of the need to factor in both external and internal elements that influence their impact, including climate volatility.
Other key 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
- More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
- Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life
Now, as ISO 14001 approaches 20 years in existence, Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of ISO/TC 207/SC1, the technical committee that developed the standard and undertook the revision, is confident that the new version promises its relevance for 20 more.
"ISO 14001 has fulfilled many of the dreams we foresaw over the last 20 years, including helping people to manage all their environmental issues in a holistic manner," she said. "Looking forward, the new version will help with a stronger integration between environmental issues and an organization's strategic action planning and thinking.”
What’s more, she adds, "I foresee the life-cycle perspective and supply chain issues embedded in ISO 14001 becoming stronger in the future."
ISO Acting Secretary-General Kevin McKinley said the newly revised ISO 14001 reflects many changes in technology and what stakeholders expect of organizations. “It is also a competitive advantage,” he said. “ISO 14001 is something that organizations can use to distinguish themselves from their competition, and in many cases also providing financial advantage, helping organizations to realize efficiencies and improve performance.”
The revision is the culmination of work done by 121 expert members of technical committee ISO/TC 207/SC 1 for environmental development, which is led by BSI, ISO member for the UK, representing multiple stakeholder groups from 88 countries.
ISO 14001:2015 is available from your national ISO member or the ISO Store at www.iso.org/iso/home/store.htm