Are you ready for the new requirements of ISO 14.001:2015?

Currently, the certification standard for Environmental Management Systems ISO 14.001 is undergoing a major revision, regarding its structure and requirements.

The scope and launch of the revision was agreed in late 2011 and the revision work commenced in early 2012. The Draft International Standard (DIS) of the revised version of ISO 14001 was made available for national language translation in July 2014. The three-month balloting and commenting period began in the third quarter of 2014.

The current draft entails major changes related to the structure and content of environmental management systems. The structure will be harmonized with the other ISO management systems, such as ISO 9001 (Quality Management System), facilitating the implementation of Integrated Management Systems (IMS).

The main expected changes in the requirements for the ISO 14.001:2015 are related to the integration of environmental management within:

  • strategic planning process;
  • leadership commitment and responsibility assignment;
  • emphasis on proactive initiatives to protect the environment;
  • focus on the improvement of the environmental performance;
  • implementation of life cycle thinking for products and services;
  • internal and external communication; and
  • documentation.

The DIS also reinforces the importance of expanding the scope of environmental management systems to the business and engineering processes of an organization that have significant influence on its environmental performance, from a life cycle perspective. In this context, product development becomes an important process for ISO 14.001, especially for manufacturing companies that have active product development.

Annex A of the draft clearly states that “(…) scoping is not to be used as a means to exclude activities, products, services, or facilities that have, or can have significant environmental aspects. It should be factual and representative of the organization operation and environmental management system boundaries in order not to mislead interested parties.

Recently, the results of the evaluation of the draft have been announced. The review process will be carried out in early 2015, based on the feedback received from the various countries.

The standard is expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2015 and a three-year transition period is projected for companies to adapt to the new requirements. In order to be able to keep the ISO 14.001 certification after this period, companies need to prove compliance with the new established requirements.

Since most of the companies certified by ISO 14.001 still focus on the management and improvement of the manufacturing processes and facilities, a significant gap is expected for ensuring compliance with the new standard.

Are you ready for the new requirements of ISO 14.001:2015?

We can support your company to identify your current maturity profile, to check the gap to comply with ISO 14.001:2015 new requirements regarding product development and related processes, and define an action plan through a strategic roadmap to ensure a smooth transition. Contact us!