Revising 14001: the way forward

12th April 2012


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The member survey to inform IEMA's position on changing ISO 14001 has closed and the outcome will now help to revise the international standard

14001, which is used by more than one-quarter of a million organisations in 155 countries around the world to improve their environmental performance, has been in place since 1996 and operating in its current format since 2004.

ISO – the International Organisation for Standardisation – began a second review of the standard in June 2011. IEMA is now preparing its position on the proposed changes and improvements to help shape the overarching UK view.

The survey builds on the results of IEMA’s 2011/2012 series of workshops – which were attended by more than 400 members from across the UK and Ireland – on environment management systems and its questions tested draft positions that the Institute has developed.

Members could specify how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: “The revision to 14001 should put environment management in the context of sustainable development” and “Maturity matrices should be included in 14001 to help organisations track and plan the development of the environment management system, in order to continually deliver improvements in performance.”

While the UK contribution is just one voice among many from around the world that will develop the revised standard, the survey findings will now be collated and presented to the ISO mirror committee – the body that develops consensus on what changes to implement – by IEMA’s executive director of policy, Martin Baxter, the UK’s appointed representative on the international revision group, on behalf of BSI British Standards.

The next set of ISO working group meetings are in Thailand in June 2012 and the fully revised standard is due to be implemented in 2015. The revised standard is likely to be in place until at least the middle of the next decade.

IEMA would like to thank all the members who contributed to this vital research. Responding to such surveys is your opportunity to make a difference and potentially allow organisations worldwide to benefit from the Institute’s knowledge and experience of the environment. It also strengthens the “expert” voice of the IEMA membership as a whole.

Further details on the membership’s response to the survey will be published in the May issue of the environmentalist and updates on the progress of the revision to 14001 will continue throughout the year.

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