BSI consults on revised environmental management standard

19th July 2016

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  • Management ,
  • Auditing ,
  • EMS


Christian Guest

BSI is consulting on a revised draft of its environmental management system standard BS 8555, which is being updated in line with ISO 14001: 2015.

BSI said BS 8555 was being revised to ensure that it continued to help organisations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges. BS 8555: 2016, Environmental management systems – phased implementation: guide, will replace the 2003 version. It will continue to provide guidance and recommendations for the phased implementation of environmental management systems (EMS).

The key changes in the revised standard are:

  • Phases and stages have been updated to reflect the revised international EMS standard, ISO 14001: 2015, which was published in September 2015. This includes developing an understanding of the context of the organisation, and the increased focus on leadership and improvement in environmental performance.
  • Phase six and associated guidance has been removed in order to simplify BS 8555 and make it easier for people to use.

The British standards body said the updated BS 8555 would remain particularly useful for small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs), but would also be applicable to all organisations, regardless of the nature of the business activity undertaken, location, or level of maturity. David Fatscher, head of market development for sustainability at BSI, said: ‘A successful EMS helps organisations remain commercially successful without compromising their environmental responsibilities. By phasing implementation with BS 8555, all organisations, whatever the nature or scale of business, can improve their environmental performance.’

Martin Baxter, senior policy advisor at IEMA, said the consultation on the draft, which closes on 11 September, gives IEMA members an opportunity to contribute to the new standard. ‘It’s important to revise BS 8555 to ensure it provides support for organisations wanting to implement a performance improvement-based system that meets the new ISO 14001. IEMA members have the opportunity to contribute their experience of effective environmental management to ensure the revised standard reflects effective EMS implementation,’ he said.

Stakeholders may comment on any section of the draft, which is available here.


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