Got an ISO 14001 management system? Here’s what you need to know about the new version

This September saw the arrival of the new ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. Every five years, a revised version comes out to ensure it is still up to date, requiring companies to make a few changes to their processes to make sure they are in line with the new requirements.

What’s different?

The revised version seeks to ensure environmental management forms an integral part of the company’s business strategy and is not an isolated item. It looks at environmental challenges on a broader scale and sets requirements to help companies follow through on their commitments. The system has some new clauses and some restructured ones, including the following:

  • Clause 4: Context of the organisation – a new clause, it will reflect what affects the organisation’s way of managing environmental responsibilities (financial, regulatory, etc.).
  • Clause 5: Leadership – this clause has been developed to make sure the system gets support and commitment from top management.
  • Clause 6: Planning – this clause is there to ensure the right level of awareness and the right competencies are available to achieve certification.
  • Clause 7: Support – certain requirements are tougher, to ensure consistency within the organisation. Amongst them, the requirement for an improved communications strategy, both internal and external.
  • Clause 8: Operations – it now looks at the whole value chain to see how it impacts the management system, and how the organization affects it.
  • Clause 9: Performance evaluation – this one takes elements from currently existing clauses regarding monitoring and reviewing, so that companies gather the right information to show they are fulfilling their goals

An important change is that the system now has a common structure with other ISOs to make life easier for companies that have more than one management system in place.

How does that affect me?

Now that the new version has come out in September, you have to update your current ISO 14001:2004 to ISO 14001:2015 by reviewing your processes and making sure they’re in line with it. You should have three years to do so.

Call us to find out more about what you need to do to get up to date: 0207 048 0450.


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