New revisions are being made to the ISO 14001 standard; this is the accreditation that certifies a business as being environmentally friendly. There are over a quarter of a million companies, throughout 155 different countries, that currently adopt the ISO 14001 standard.
What is the ISO 14001?
The ISO 14001 is a management model that businesses of any size are able to obtain. It certifies them as an environmentally friendly institution and signifies that they are a company that is open to change and new ideas, with regards to the environment. It helps businesses to save money, demonstrate their environmental commitment, expand into new sectors, protect themselves from future regulations and improve their brand reputation.
Why is the ISO 14001 being revised?
Due to the International Organisations for Standardisation, management systems are consistently reviewed every five years to keep the standards as up to date as possible. This is also to make sure they are setting out the most effective and efficient systems for the industry.
Another reason for the revision is the fact that many businesses are now using more than one management organisation to help their business progress. By rethinking the certifications, they will be able to be put into practise alongside other administration systems, allowing businesses to operate an integrated management system much more easily and successfully.
Furthermore, the International Organisations for Standardisation have noticed that the standards and what they entail could be expressed in a more comprehensive manner. Within varying different standards, the same objectives have been portrayed in different ways, which could potentially result in certifications being interpreted by users in the incorrect way. This could lead to irregularity, misunderstanding or the businesses may simply just misinterpret what is required of them. When taking these factors into account, it becomes clear that the revision is vital.
What does this mean for organisations?
For businesses currently with the certification there will be little change to begin with, however overtime the revisions will slowly influence the existing management system. If there are any new aspects to the certification, they are likely to already be familiar to businesses holding the ISO 14001.
ISO has stated that “it will take a few years before all existing management system standards have been fully harmonised. However, there were an impressive number of standards that used the new format as it was being developed.”
The revisions may greatly impact a company’s outlook on the environment, with regards to their business goals. Business directors, management and employees will all be heavily responsible and accountable for maintaining and following the management systems accurately.
What is the framework for the revised certification?
The new framework will consist of ten clear sections and all the wording will be comprehensively directed towards the intended user and interpreter of the ISO. These are the ten sections:
- Normative references
- Terms and definitions
- Context of the organisation
- Performance evaluation
The revision is proposed to be formally published in 2015, having an impact on both the content and the format of the current accreditation. Once these revisions have been published, it seems likely that they will not be rethought again until 2020.
If you want to find out more about becoming ISO 14001 certified click here.
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