ISO 14001 is the world’s most popular standard for environmental management which has now been revised. The 2015 revision is a significant update to the standard bringing it up to date with the latest environmental thinking and practices. The new ISO 140001 will continue to bring valuable benefits helping organizations to measure and improve environmental performance, reduce risk and costs.
The transition period to the new ISO 14001: 2015 standard is coming to an end. So, the companies that have not yet transitioned to the new version better hurry up as they only have a few months left. The transition period shall end in September 2018. The certificates issued by the 2004 version of this standard will no longer be accepted by your customers or partners after the September of this year.
What should you be doing now? Act fast and complete the transition process in time.
Failing to complete the transition will make it impossible for you to take part in public procurement tenders subsequently lowering the trust of customers and partners in quality of services and products offered by your company. All these events will significantly affect your organization’s image for the worse.
In the world of business, adhering to international standards and then advertising your certification can reinforce a company’s reputation, reliability, and results. Our future greatly depends on how we take care of our environment. The environment and the impact that our actions have on it is an important issue. This is why organizations need continual, robust and a wide range of environmental management.
What is ISO 14001: 2015?
ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS) which authorize controls for activities that may affect the environment. EMS supervises the immediate and long-term environmental impacts of an organization’s products, services and processes. By completing ISO 14001 certification, your organization can assure stakeholders that your environmental management system meets the specific international environmental standards of the industry.
All ISO management system standards are subjected to a regular review under the rules by which they are written. Following a substantial user survey, it is decided that if a review is appropriate. ISO 14001: 2004 was modified with the 2015 version to maintain the relevance of environmental standard in today’s marketplace and the future.
ISO 14001:2015 vs. 2004 revision
The 2015 revision of ISO 14001 introduces some changes in the previous version. It not only aligns better with other standards using the Annex SL structure but also contains more content about leadership and the commitment to the ‘protection of the environment’ in the environmental policy. So it is not just considering the environmental impact of your own business but rather the environmental impact of the entire supply chain. It also uses the life-cycle view to identify environmental aspects and impacts and focuses more on both internal and external communication. For existing Certified Businesses – transition to the new upgraded ISO 14001: 2015 is both a challenge and an opportunity. The new Standard is less prescriptive and more encompassing and business oriented.
- Structure – The structure, perhaps, is the biggest difference between all the Standard’s versions. The 2015 edition uses the new Annex SL template. This helps with the integration of Management Standards and increased prominence of environmental management within the organization’s strategic planning processes.
- Leadership – A new clause has been added that assigns specific responsibilities for those in leadership roles. To ensure the success of the system, the overall business objectives need to be consistent with the organization’s environmental management goals.
- The Context of the organization– This clause places more emphasis on the larger context the organization is working in. This means that you need to identify and understand the internal issues and internal environmental conditions that could influence your EMS and the results you intend to achieve.
- Risks and opportunities – Risk planning is now an integral part of the new ISO 14001. This is considered an essential planning tool that highlights the potential threats.
- Documented information–has eliminated the long-standing distinction between documents and records. With fewer prescriptive requirements, it replaces documents and records.
- Protecting the environment – The expectations of organizations has been expanded to commit to proactive initiatives to protect the environment.
- Communication – developing a communication strategy with equal emphasis on external and internal communications. People working under the control of the organization should be able to make suggestions for improving the environmental management system.
Benefits of ISO 14001:2015
- Better integration with other business activities
- Greater involvement of the top management and employees
- Demonstrates compliance with current and future regulatory requirements
- Cost savings with greater emphasis on resource, waste and energy management
- Protection of the company, its assets, shareholders, and directors
- Increased environmental awareness amongst the workforce
- Increased access to business partners and potential customers
- Consideration of the whole lifecycle of the product or the service during its evaluation
- Higher emphasis on environmental performance monitoring
- Improvement of environmental performance of the supply chain
Transition to ISO 14001: 2015
Qice can offer a range of consulting support for the transition to the new version of EMS. This means explaining the changes of the new standard, what you could implement and manage differently, and a revised environmental manual. Qice will help you assess the needs and identify the gaps in environmental management processes. We deal with everything that involves reviewing and updating documents, procedures, processes, and forms.
Training, awareness, and verification of the new standard is very important for your company. We can advise you on how to achieve certification, necessary related training and convey information regarding other useful resources. Qice has the tools and services to support you through the EMS process, provide training for your assistance and support you during the Assessor visit.
Every company, large and small regardless of its industry or business has an impact on the environment and can, therefore, benefit greatly from EMS certification.
This will demonstrate that your organization is highly concerned about environmental issues and makes a lot of proactive efforts to minimize environmental impact.