The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has initiated the process for the revision of ISO 14001:2004 (the standard related to Environmental Management). Unlike the revision that produced the 2004 version, the current process, which is scheduled to take three years, is likely to result in a substantially different document, with a different clause structure and many new requirements.
The revision process is being influenced by the need for ISO to develop a consistent structure for the current proliferation of different management systems standards. Also, the opportunity is being taken to address a number of perceived deficiencies and opportunities for improvement of the current standard.
ISO has recently published a new guidance document (Guide 82) for management systems standards, which the revised 14001 will follow. The new structure includes new and renumbered sections and clauses:
Context of the Organisation – addressing the determination of internal and external issues, expectations of stakeholders and, based on this, the scope of the system;
Leadership – including management commitment, policy development and roles and responsibilities;
Planning - including the determination of risks and opportunities, and objectives and plans to achieve them;
Support – including resources, competence, awareness, communication, documented information and document control;
Operation - including operational planning and control;
Performance Evaluation – addressing monitoring, measurement, analysis and evaluation, internal audit and management review.
This is a substantial change from the old structure of Policy, Planning, Implementation and Operation, Checking and Management Review. In addition, Guide 82 includes new concepts such as:
- Integrating the management system requirements into the organisation’s business processes; and
- Evaluation of performance, not just of the management system but also, in this case, environmental performance.
The revision of 14001 will also be guided by the “Future Challenges of EMS and ISO 14001” report from the ISO TC/207/SC1 study group, which contains 24 individual recommendations for the revision of 14001. These include the consideration of:
- How to deal with environmental management as part of sustainability and the relationship with ISO 26000 – Guidance on Social Responsibility;
- Improving environmental performance;
- More stringent requirements for understanding and demonstrating legal compliance;
- The relationship between EMS and business strategy;
- The approach to products and the supply chain; and
- Engaging stakeholders.
If you would like to know more about the revision process and the potential implications for your EMS, please contact Nigel Leehane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Nigel will be in the UK delegation to the next ISO 14001 revision working group meeting at the end of June.
 ISO Guide 82 “High level structure and identical text for management system standards and common core management system terms and definitions”