New ISO 14001:2015 Standard is Published

The new revised version of ISO 14001:2015, the world’s first international environmental management standard has been published. This marks the culmination of input from environmental experts from 70 countries and is a significant milestone that will boost the profile of environmental management, putting it at the heart of business more so than ever before.

The new standard continues to help organizations keep up to date with changes in environmental management, but it also helps them to reduce waste, save energy and protect their reputation with investors, customers and the public. Written in the new “High Level Structure”, ISO 14001:2015 will also become easier to integrate with other management systems helping organizations make efficiencies and save time.

As the world’s first and most-widely adopted international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001 has helped over 300,000 organizations improve their environmental performance. 

Theuns Kotze, Managing Director for Middle East and Africa at BSI, commented ‘ISO 14001:2015 puts environmental management at the heart of organizations’ operations enabling them to meet environmental requirements, improve efficiency and environmental performance. This new standard seeks to improve environmental performance and increase the uptake of environmental management systems in small organizations. An additional focus has also been placed on environmental impacts in the supply chain, particularly taking the life cycle perspective into consideration’. 

Some of the key changes to ISO 14001 include:

  • A new high level structure (HLS) - featuring terms, definitions, headings and text common to all management system standards, allowing easy integration when implementing multiple management systems 
  • Increased emphasis on the role that top management has in ensuring the environmental management system (EMS) is integrated into business processes and improvement of environmental performance
  • Consideration of the risks the organization faces (for example, the price volatility of raw materials), as well as the opportunities these risks present (greater resource efficiency)
  • Focus placed on the context of the organization, helping businesses better understand their impact on the environment but, as importantly, the impact that environmental concerns (such as climate change) have on them