LRQA Positioning Statement – ISO/DIS 14001:2014

The publication of ISO/DIS 14001:2014 - the Draft International Standard (DIS) for international environmental management system (EMS) standard ISO 14001 - signifies the first time all current and future users can access and review the proposed changes to the standard. As a result, organisations will be able to start planning for their transition to the new standard when it is published (currently forecast by ISO to be September 2015).

What are the new topics?

The introduction of Annex SL, which establishes a consistent structure featuring 10 clauses as well as common terminology and definitions applicable to all ISO Management System Standards [MSS], is the biggest change to the ISO/DIS 14001:2014 document.

Other topics that are new to ISO/DIS 14001:2014 include Life Cycle Perspective [Clause 8]; this calls for an increased focus for organisations to consider how their products and services impact on the environment including areas such as the sourcing of raw materials and what is going to happen to products at the end of their life and Control of Outsourcing [Clause 8], from a point of view as to what they can and cannot control or influence.

Further, ISO/DIS 14001:2014 now includes Context [Clause 4] which focuses on how an organisation is protecting the environment, including a responsibility for organisations to demonstrate their understanding of their overall environmental impact. Other new areas include Documented Information [Clause 7] and a greater focus on Risk [Clause 9].

What areas have changed?

Amongst the areas of the standard that have been revised or now contain more specific information, organisations should pay attention to:

a) Increased emphasis on Leadership and top management engagement [Clause 5].

b) Performance Evaluation [Clause 9]; this means that organisations are encouraged to look at their overall environment by incorporating the management system into the strategic thinking of the organisation.

c) The organisation is now required to commit to protection of the environment within their Policy [Clause 5.2]; this is a significant shift from the existing version (ISO 14001:2004) and focuses on the prevention of pollution and compliance with legislation.

d) To support the Context the organisation needs to pay particular attention to the views of Interested Parties [Clause 4.2]

e) The final area of note is that of Communication [Clause 7 - Support]; whilst this is a part of the existing ISO 14001, organisations are now specifically required to determine what they will communicate, when they will communicate and to whom they will communicate.

What does ISO/DIS 14001:2014 mean for organisations worldwide?

The potential organisational impact of ISO/DIS 14001:2014 is dependent upon the organisation and their individual EMS. Factors that will help an organisation determine their degree of change against the new ISO 14001 revision include a] the maturity and complexity of the existing ISO 14001 system b] the existence of other certified MSS (such as ISO 9001 or OHSAS 18001) and c] current processes in relation to the environmental impact of its services and products as well as the organisation’s overall impact on the environment.

LRQA’s proposed next steps for organisations

  1. Purchase a copy of the DIS and understand the impact it has upon both your organisation and your environmental management system. Also, make sure that your environmental managers and internal auditors understand the differences that Annex SL will bring to your EMS and any other MSS in your organisation.
  2. Contact LRQA; as a member of all the technical committees that are shaping the revisions to the world’s leading standards, not only do we understand the DIS, but more importantly, we understand what the DIS means to your EMS and wider organisation.
  3. Engage with LRQA to find out how a gap analysis and our range of bespoke and public training services on specific areas of ISO/DIS 14001:2014 can benefit you personally, as well as your organisation.
  4. Work with LRQA and formalise a transition plan and process, designed to engage your Leadership from the start.

For more information on how LRQA can help you transition to the new standards, visit www.lrqa.com/isostandardsupdate