Consultation on revised 14001 opens - have your say

3rd July 2014

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  • Certification ,
  • EMS ,
  • Management


Eleanor Fenton

The public consultation on the revised version of ISO 14001, the international standard for environment management systems (EMS), is now open.

First published in 1996, 14001 was revised in 2004. The current revision process is part of the ISO review cycle for standards and will lead to the publication of the third edition in 2015.

The revised standard follows input from 40 experts from 25 countries across all sectors and incorporates a number of major changes. The principle changes include a new framework of terms, definitions, headings and text, which will be common to all ISO management system standards, including the quality standard 9000, enabling easier integration when implementing more than one system.

There are new requirements associated with understanding the context of the organisation when establishing the scope of the EMS, and a clearer definition of the role and responsibilities of top management. Other revisions include new requirements to determine environmental risks and opportunities facing an organisation, with more clarity on managing environmental impacts. There are also stronger requirements related to performance evaluation – including key performance indicators – and the evaluation of legal compliance.

IEMA has consulted with its members throughout the revision process. Martin Baxter, IEMA’s executive director, is a UK member of the standard’s international working group. He said: “The proposed changes will mean organisations need to focus on building environment into their core business. We’ll be working with IEMA members to ensure that environment and sustainability professionals are able to implement the changes in their organisations and add maximum business value.”

There are currently over 250,000 certified 14001 environment management systems in the world. UK standards company BSi, which is leading the public consultation process in the UK for the revised standard, says that those organisations with a 14001 certified EMS have improved their environmental performance, saved energy, water and other materials, reduced waste and improved their corporate image among regulators, customers and the public.

Comments can be made on the individual clauses through the draft review site, after which they will be considered by the UK group before submission to the ISO committee. The consultation is open until 31 October 2014. Interested parties can register to make comments online at


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