The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released the new ISO14001 standard for environmental management systems. ISO14001:2015 is the first complete reworking of the standard since 2004 and features a number of major changes.
The field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has changed much in the past decade. The new standard reflects its evolution, placing greater emphasis on crucial aspects such as research, risk management, leadership, and objective measurement, while easing up on detailed, prescriptive requirements. According to BSI, the British Standards Institution, the alterations will enable businesses to more easily integrate environmental management systems into their organizations and processes as well as to keep up with changes in CSR.
Another notable new aspect of ISO14001:2015 is that it requires more external context regarding an organization before an environmental management system is put in place. This is a much-needed adjustment as the nuances of organizations’ situations are viewed as increasingly important as CSR matures.
ISO14001 certified businesses need to transfer to the 2015 version within three years before the 2004 standard becomes invalid in 2018. It is highly advisable to start this potentially complex process as early as possible. For the full standard, visit the ISO website here.