14004 published to aid implementation of 14001

1st March 2016

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  • Management ,
  • Auditing ,
  • Certification ,
  • EMS



The revised version of ISO 14004 has been published today after the final draft received unanimous backing.

14004: 2016 aims to provide guidance on establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving a robust, credible and reliable environmental management system (EMS), said the international standards body. ‘It is intended to help organisations to manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.’

Per Arne Syrrist, convener of the group that revised 14004, described the new version as a big step forward: ‘The 2016 version of the standard will be a useful guidance document for both newcomers and organisations with EMS experience who want to develop their system to cope with future environmental challenges.’

14004: 2016 reflects the changes in 14001: 2015, the revised international EMS standard published last September. These changes include taking a life-cycle perspective, demonstrating knowledge and understanding of compliance status, and linking to the organisation’s overall strategy.

Martin Baxter, chief policy advisor at IEMA, said the revised 14004 provided much-needed guidance to support organisations incorporating these into its EMS.

Greg Roberts, manager at Ramboll Environ and a member of the ISO revision group, said 14004 would provide guidance not only to those implementing the changes to 14001 but also the auditors who certify an EMS. ‘It’s also useful to those organisations wanting to implement an EMS regardless of whether they are looking for it to be certified,’ he said.

14004 has a new title, Environmental Management Systems – general guidelines on implementation, which, Roberts said, better reflected its content: ‘The title has changed to reflect what’s in the “tin" – a practical guide to help an organisation implement an EMS. The old title made it sound more of an academic text, which this version is not.’

Meanwhile, 26 experts met in Gothenburg at the beginning of February for the first gathering of the group developing ISO 14008 covering monetary valuation of environmental impacts and natural resource use. The first working draft is due this month.


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