Last year was a big year for ISO 14001, as the standard underwent an extensive overhaul to bring it into line with current expectations from business and the community.
ISO 14000 Environmental Management is used by over 300,000 certified organisations with the standard supporting them to reduce their environmental impact by better understand and minimising the effect their business operations have on their surrounds.
First published in 1996, ISO 14000 celebrates its 20th birthday this year and before the review, the standard had not been updated in nine years.
Convener of the working group responsible for the revision of ISO 14001, Susan Briggs, said that the new standard looks very different.
“From a technical point of view, the real changes come from the increased focus on sustainable development,” Susan said. “We want to not only prevent pollution, but we want to protect the environment from harm and degradation, so we have incorporated that thinking into the standard.”
There were three main motivators for updating the standard:
- Research to identify future challenges of environmental management
- Using the standard ISO framework for management systems
- The outcomes of a survey carried out in 2012/13.
Chair of the subcommittee with responsibility for ISO 14001, Anne-Marie Warris, says she is confident the new edition will be a key asset to organisations.
“I believe that ISO 14001 will become the tool of choice for organisations to integrate environmental issues, and dependencies such as water use, into business strategic thinking, actions and plans,” Anne-Marie said.
To read more about the updated ISO 14000 standard, please click here.
To start your journey towards certification, please click here.