The ISO 14001 standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) that was developed in 1990’s has undergone several revisions. The new version, 14001: 2015, was recently passed by the international organization. Several changes have been made by the ISO to respond to the latest trends worldwide, and to harmonize ISO 14001 with other management system standards.
The new, key changes add new emphasis on:
- Increased prominence of 14001 within the organization’s strategic plan.
- Addition of risk management and proactive initiatives to protect the environment, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation.
- Improvement of environmental performance requirement and of measuring progress to objectives is added, as is Lifecycle Analysis.
- Addition of a communications & awareness strategy requirement.
The new standard now has a common structure, terms and definitions as other management system standards such as ISO 9001, making life easier and cheaper for registrants using multiple standards.
ISO has granted a three-year transition period to migrate their EMS system to the new requirements before being required to certify to the new version. Certification to the former version, ISO 14001:2004, will then expire.
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