The ISO 14001:2004 Standard is being revised and still in draft at this time. The intent is to have a new structure align with the 9001:2015 standard format, which is itself now in final draft. Many clauses have been strengthened and the order of many have changed.
For example, “awareness” is no longer part of competence and training, but is now a separate sub-clause. Non-conformance now sits between management review and continual improvement and there is a new sub-clause which provides greater emphasis on improvement at the end of the standard.
For starters, here is a list of seven major changes that have been identified, along with a brief outline of each below.
- A greater expectation for top management to understand the organization’s environmental issues, to support the EMS and spearhead improved performance of the system.
- An emphasis to develop a broader strategic plan of the organization’s environmental context, including the interests of clients.
- The making of specific commitments to sustainable development & social responsibility.
- Extending the environmental influence into the value chain with implications for procurement.
- A directive to embrace opportunities for using environment design as a tool for improvement.
- An ability to demonstrate an understanding of compliance at all times.
- Using performance indicators to track improvement.
Be on the lookout for our April edition of the Quality Review newsletter for an expanded review and more detailed breakdown of the coming changes to ISO 14001:2015.