ISO has now officially published the Draft International Standard (DIS) for ISO 14001, signalling the next stage of the revision process for the world’s most widely adopted international environment management system (EMS) standard.
As well as the incorporation of Annex SL, which is the high level structure and common text for all new and revised ISO management system standards, some of the main new requirements relate to the life cycle perspective and the management of outsourced processes.
Through membership of the IIOC, LRQA participates in the ISO Technical Committee ISO/TC207/SC1/WG5, which is responsible for the revision of ISO 14001. “ISO 14001 was last revised back in 2004, so we need to future proof it for at least the next 10 years. Some of the main areas that the Technical Committee has been looking at include taking a broader view on supply and outsourced processes through a life cycle perspective,” said Steve Williams, Deputy Technical Director at LRQA.
ISO/DIS 14001:2014 introduces users to the control of outsourced processes, which relates to the environmental aspects and risks and opportunities that can be controlled or influenced using a life cycle perspective. The requirements cover supplier and contractor communications, the design of products and services, and during use and end of life treatment.
“The call for a greater focus on how companies will have to consider their products or services from a lifecycle perspective is an area that we see as being an important one. However, for the sake of clarity this does not mean lifecycle analysis,” said Williams. “It’s asking organisations to look at the potential for how their products or services impact on the environment, including things such as sourcing raw materials, outsourcing of processes and what’s going to happen to the products at the end of their life, from the point of view as to what they can control or influence.”
There will now be a three month period for public comment on the DIS, followed by a vote on the proposed changes. The revised ISO 14001 is due to be published by the end of 2015 and organisations will have a three-year transition period from that point to migrate their environmental management system to the new version on the standard.
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