The new revision to ISO 14001:2015 focuses on helping organizations develop sustainable business practices that will revitalize, restructure and improve their environmental management practices while driving business and sustainability performance to a higher level. The revised Standard offers organizations the framework to prepare for future environmental challenges and business opportunities.
ROC One is providing the following information to keep our Inogen Network informed on the ISO 14001:2015 revision and its new structure and requirements. It is based on our active involvement with the ISO Technical Advisory Group on ISO 14001.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 207 has released the ISO 14001 Standard revision on September 15, 2015. Organizations with existing ISO 14001 certifications will have up to three years until September 2018 to update their existing management system to the new requirements. This means existing ISO 14001:2004 certificates will expire on 9/15/2018 – no exceptions.
On the outside, the Standard changes include first of all a complete new structure following the ISO Annex SL requirements. This high level structure, consists of identical core text and common terms and core definitions that are to form, when possible, the nucleus of future and revised management system standards such as ISO 9001:2015 (Quality) and ISO 45001 (Health & Safety Standard with targeted publication at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018). The new structure helps to combine and integrate different management systems and includes the PDCA approach (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Like other new or revised management system standards, the ISO 14001:2015 has three introductory clauses, followed by seven clauses with requirements:
- Normative reference
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organization
- Performance evaluation
Major changes in contents
In the new version we see environmental performance gain prominence while addressing risk; life cycle of products; and, understanding the needs and concerns of interested parties in the context of the organization. The life cycle perspective requires organizations to look beyond its boundaries. Value chain planning requires managing upstream and downstream processes, including outsourced processes. Environmental objectives need to be linked to the organization ́s processes and have to take into account internal and external factors as well as compliance obligations.
Several new concepts and principles have been introduced, including in relation to the following areas:
- Commitment to sustainable development.
- The role of top management in environmental leadership.
- Organizational context and risks and opportunities.
- Determining compliance obligations, both mandatory and voluntary.
- Tracking objectives using key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Procurement and design in the value chain and dealing with outsourced process.
- Internal and external communication.
- Integrating environmental management into business management.
- Improving environmental performance.