New 14001 must align with corporate strategy

22nd June 2012

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Environment professionals want the next edition of ISO 14001 to place environment management at the heart of organisations' operations and strategic decision making

IEMA members believe the international environment management standard should better enable its users to embed environmental considerations into core business process and help them to prepare for climate change, the Institute has revealed in its official position on how the standard should be revised.

More than 90% of the 1,650 IEMA members surveyed in preparation of the statement support proposals to align with users’ corporate strategies, with 89% agreeing 14001 should provide a framework to help manage the risks and opportunities offered by a changing climate.

The majority of members also argue that those revising 14001 must strengthen its requirements on how organisations demonstrate legal compliance and environmental performance improvements, and more than 84% say the standard should place more emphasis on reducing environmental impacts throughout products’ and services’ life cycles.

“For 14001 to maintain its relevance in a world where environmental challenges are growing, it’s vital that the standard is strengthened,” said Martin Baxter, IEMA’s executive director of policy and the UK’s lead representative for the revisions of 14001. “Environment professionals recognise the potential for the revised standard to support continued environmental improvements.

“They are ambitious and realistic. They want a revised standard that not only delivers greater environmental improvements and helps organisations to meet growing environmental challenges, but also enables more businesses to participate.”

Following members’ feedback, IEMA is formally calling for the revision to ensure stronger links are created between environmental management systems and core organisational strategies and processes; more consideration is given to climate change and the broader value chain; and that requirements for demonstrating compliance are toughened.

IEMA’s position statement can be read in full on the IEMA website.


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