ISO 14001 Changes are coming….

ISO 14001 Changes

ISO 14001:2004, the environmental management system standard is changing. Currently at committee draft stage, the new ISO 14001 Standard is scheduled for publication during 2015. Following in the footsteps of other ISO standards, the “10 main requirements” format is being proposed and will more than likely be adopted, including “common text”. The new structure includes the following requirements,

  • Context of the organisation,
  • Leadership,
  • Planning,
  • Support,
  • Operation,
  • Performance evaluation and
  • Improvement.

The new look ISO 14001 has far greater implications for an organisation than the current version, with seven major changes proposed. In summary these are:

1. Top management will be required to understand their organisations environmental issues, ensure their support of the management system and drive/lead improved environmental performance.
2. Consideration will need to be given, at a strategic level, to the identification, evaluation and understanding of the internal and external circumstances of the organisation and the conditions and issues that comprise its context, including stakeholder interests and business goals and direction.
3. The inclusion of commitments to sustainability and social responsibility.
4. Ensuring environmental influence is incorporated into the supply chain and procurement.
5. Utilising environmental design as a tool for improvement, where possible.
6. Having the ability to understand and demonstrate the organisations environmental compliance status at any given time.
7. Using key performance indicators to demonstrate and track improvement.

Many of the current clauses have been reviewed and strengthened, including changes to their order. For example, “Awareness” has been removed from competence and training and given its own sub-clause.

No doubt a conversion period will commence on release of the new version of standard for current standard holders and should you require any assistance in changing over or implementing ISO 14001, please feel free to contact me at or on 086 8218869.