The newly revised ISO 14001 is here

Hands holding leaf and globe

One of the world's most popular standards for environmental management has just been revised, with key improvements that make it fit for the future. 

ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use is one of the world’s most widely used standards and a key business tool for many organisations. With more than 300 000 certificates currently issued around the world, it ranks high on the agenda of many organisations that 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.

'The new version will help with a stronger integration between environmental issues and an organisation's strategic action planning and thinking.'

ISO Acting Secretary-General Kevin McKinley said the newly revised ISO 14001 reflects many changes in technology and what stakeholders expect of organisations.

'It is also a competitive advantage. ISO 14001 is something that organisations can use to distinguish themselves from their competition.'

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.

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Published in environment.