14001 and sustainability consultations - member feedback required

7th August 2014

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Christopher Leach

IEMA is encouraging members to get involved in two important consultations: the draft international standard (DIS) of the revised ISO 14001 and a white paper on the language of sustainability from the Global Association of Corporate Sustainability Officers (GACSO).

In June, ISO published the DIS of the proposed 14001: 2015 for public comment, and IEMA is urging members to contribute vital user experience (see p.25). Martin Baxter, executive director at IEMA and one of the UK’s appointed experts on the revision’s working group, said the extent of the changes meant it was crucial for IEMA members to make their voices heard.

“Given the widespread use of the standard, it’s essential that users engage in the revision process and also begin preparations for transitioning to the new requirements,” he said. “IEMA will continue to work with members to ensure that environment and sustainability professionals can implement the changes in their organisations and add maximum business value.”

The IEMA consultation is being conducted through a series of free workshops hosted by Baxter – see iema.net for details. The Institute’s national forum on environment management systems (EMS) on 26 November will provide members with an opportunity to hear the latest thinking from leading practitioners on their approach to maximising value from 14001. And, to further support members on implementing 14001: 2015, an IEMA STS training course will launch next month.

Meanwhile, GACSO is seeking input from IEMA members to help define and establish a lexicon of sustainability. With the publication of its white paper, Defining corporate sustainability, GACSO aims to stimulate debate on the developing language used by the profession. The paper calls for contributions from environment and sustainability professionals as well as wider occupations in order to build understanding of what it describes as a “business critical” agenda.

The concept for the sustainability lexicon emerged at an event in April to cement GACSO’s new relationship with IEMA. Delegates identified the need for a common glossary of terms to support and build a shared understanding of corporate sustainability. Defining corporate sustainability has been developed, written and launched in collaboration between GACSO and IEMA members and is available for download at gacso.org.

To ensure the paper achieves its objectives, GACSO and IEMA are now seeking feedback on the proposals. This consultation includes regional workshops, which with wider work will provide an opportunity to explore and develop the lexicon. Members who wish to contribute their thoughts on the lexicon are also invited to submit comments, suggestions or proposals to gacso@iema.net. Members will be kept up to date on developments in future issues of |the environmentalist.

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