Time to Transition to ISO 14001:2015

Transition now from ISO 14001:2014 to ISO 14001:2015

ISO 14001:2015 was published 15th September 2015 and is the replacement for ISO 14001:2004. For organisations currently using ISO 14001:2004 there will be a three-year transition period to switch to ISO 14001:2015. Certificates to ISO14001:2004 will no longer be valid after 14th September 2018.

Structure of 1SO 14001:2015

The structure of ISO 14001:2015 follows the high level structure (Annex SL framework) being applied to all new and revised ISO management system standards:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative References
  3. Terms and Definitions
  4. Context of the Organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance Evaluation
  10. Improvement

KEY CONCEPTS

Context of the Organisation

This is a new requirement for organisations to identify the internal and external factors and conditions that can affect them. Examples of internal issues could include an organisation’s culture, knowledge, capabilities etc. whilst external issues could include the effects of regulatory, financial, technological issues, climate change, storms, bad weather, flooding etc. In addition, the organisation also needs to identify the interested parties to the EMS and any requirements they have.

Leadership

There is an specific requirement for top management to demonstrate leadership and commitment relating to the

system. This is an improved requirement relating to top management which means that top management needs to demonstrate accountability for the effectiveness of the EMS and provide support/resources as necessary.

Strategic Environmental Management

Top management is now required to ensure that the environmental policy and environmental objectives are consistent with the overall business strategy, and that management reviews include any implications for the strategic direction of the organisation.

Risk and Opportunities

This is another new concept that requires the organisation to identify the risks and opportunities associated with aspects and impacts, compliance obligations (used to be legal and other requirements), and other necessary issues or requirements, and take action to address them.

Life-cycle Perspective

The identification of aspects and impacts should be undertaken whilst taking a life cycle perspective, i.e. from the acquisition of raw material to end-of-life disposal. A life cycle perspective should also be taken when establishing value chain controls.

Performance evaluation

There is a new emphasis on the need for evaluation in addition to the current requirements for monitoring, measurement and analysis.

Summary

The new Standard will help ensure that the EMS is integrated into an organisation’s business processes rather than being seen as a separate entity. Consequently the management system should be capable of improving environmental performance.

Resource Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_14000

PRACTICAL STEPS TO TRANSITION

ISO 14001:2015 was published 15th September 2015 and is the replacement for ISO 14001:2004. For organisations currently using ISO 14001:2004 there will be a three-year transition period to switch to ISO 14001:2015. ISO QA Isle of Man can help your business transition to the new standard, contact us today for a free consultation.

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