ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems standard available now

8 September 2015

As the world’s first and most-widely adopted international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001 has helped over 300,000 organizations across the world - and nearly 17,000 organizations in the UK - improve their environmental performance. Undergoing its first major revision since publication in 1996, the new revised standard publishes on 15 September.

The standard has been updated to ensure that it continues to help organizations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges. Environmental experts from 70 countries have taken part in the revision which has incorporated a number of updates to help organizations tackle changing business conditions, from climate change to supply chain management.

ISO 14001 provides a framework for organizations to develop their business whilst reducing the environmental impact of growth, decrease waste and save energy. ISO 14001 also helps businesses become more innovative, improve management system process, meet regulatory requirements and enhance corporate reputation among investors, customers and the public. Ultimately, the new standard will help them stay abreast of the changes in the environmental arena, ensuring they remain ahead of the curve.

David Fatscher, Head of Market Development for Sustainability at BSI, said: “It can be very easy for organizations to forget what is crucial to a successful environmental management agenda. ISO 14001 can help businesses put the most pressing issues to the top of the list, enabling them to meet environmental requirements, improve efficiency and environmental performance. It is designed to help organizations remain commercially successful without compromising their environmental responsibilities.”

Changes to ISO 14001 include:

  • A high level structure (HLS) - featuring terms, definitions, headings and text common to all management system standards - allowing easier integration when implementing multiple management systems
  • New opportunities for top management to firmly place environmental management into core business processes and objectives
  • A refocus on the risks the organization faces (for example, the price volatility of raw materials), as well as the opportunities these risks present (greater resource efficiency) 
  • New thinking on the context of the organization, helping them understand their setting and environmental impacts and also the impact that the environment has on them (as, for example, a consequence of climate change)


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