ISO 14001:2015 Transition

by | Oct 22, 2017 | Environmental Protection, Regulations

Changing Standards

The most noticeable change to both the standards is its new structure. The Annex SL is a high-level structure created by ISO to provide a universal high-level structure, identical core text, and common terms and definitions for all management system standards.

However, organisations should be aware that the clause 8 requirements are specific to the standard being addressed, and that for other clauses there may be differences in the requirements which should be incorporated into any integrated management system.

For ISO 14001 the main changes include; Strategic Environmental Management, Leadership, Protecting the environment, a shift in emphasis regarding continual improvement, from improving the management system to improving environmental performance, Lifecycle thinking, Communication and Documentation which reflects technology changes.

Top management have been assigned specific responsibilities regarding leadership, roles and authorities, policy and review of the system. Whilst some of this requirement builds on the previous arrangements it should be noted that the format of the management review has changed and there are differences in the requirements for each standard. The content of the environmental policy should now refer to the new requirements to protect the environment.

The leadership clause states nine requirements common to both standards there are new requirements regarding defining the context of the organisation requires the organisation to understand the needs and expectations of interested parties and to identify external and internal issues. The technique for these two assessments is not defined, although the organisation should document their methodology.

The clause 6 planning process requires that the organisation consider the risks and opportunities associated with the needs and expectations of interested parties and external and internal issues, and additionally for the Environmental Management System (EMS) compliance issues regarding the interested parties to be considered. The EMS also defines the requirement considering the lifecycle perspective in the aspect evaluation.

The changes to the management system impact on all elements of the Plan, Do, Check, Act cycle and organisations can reduce much of the disruption to their existing system by a controlled phasing in of the changes.

Why not try out short test to see how ready you are for the ISO 14001 transition.

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