The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) normally reviews standards every five years to ensure that they are relevant to changing market demands. ISO 14001:2015 is now published.
Annex SL (the new high level structure and common text for all new and revised ISO standards) is the single biggest change to the ISO/DIS 14001:2014 document. Annex SL is driving the incorporation of the EMS into the strategic thinking of the organisation and increased responsibilities on the leadership of the organisation in relation to the EMS.
Other topics that are new to ISO 14001 include:
a] organisational context (clause 4),
b] risk based approach (clauses 6 and 10),
c] scope and applicability (clauses 4.3 and 1),
d] documented information (clause 7.5), and
e] life cycle perspective and control of outsourcing (clause 8).
What’s been revised?
Amongst the areas of the standard that have been revised or now contain more specific information, organisations should pay attention to
a] increased emphasis on top management engagement with ISO 14001 (clause 5),
b] policy (clause 5.2), c] communication (clause 7.4),
d] documented information (clause 7.5),
e] performance and evaluation (clause 9), and
f] management review (clause 9).
What does ISO 14001:2015 mean for my organization?
The publication of the DIS signifies the first stage at which organisations can start planning for their transition to the new standard when it is published (currently forecast by ISO to be September 2015).
Current information from ISO shows that organisations will have three years from publication to successfully complete transition to the new standard, so they can choose to transition at any point within this period.
Some may choose their next certification cycle, although many will want to be ‘among the first’ given the increased flexibility and value that ISO 14001:2015 will deliver, along with the bonus of a clear commitment to best practice being demonstrated to their interested parties.
How LRQA can help?
Our range of ISO 14001:2015 services includes gap analysis, training, including in-company management briefings and transition planning and facilitation workshops, and assessment, all of which are designed to make your transition to the new standard as seamless as possible. LRQA’s services are tailored to your organisation, your people and your systems, providing you with a better understanding of how these relate to your future business performance.
ISO 14001 - Timescale to transition
Please note that these timescales are subject to change