Working on ISO standards

28th August 2015

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  • Management ,
  • Certification ,
  • EMS ,
  • Auditing


Kathryn Ierston

All eyes have been on the revised ISO 14001, but changes to other standards are also critical, says Martin Baxter.

The ISO technical committee TC207, which is responsible for environmental management, meets in New Delhi in early September. And, while attention has been focused on the revised ISO 14001, which is due to be published on 16 September, developments in other areas are also important.

Standards have a key role to play in helping to tackle climate change and focus is being given to supporting the outcome of the climate summit in Paris in December. Standards in the ISO 14060 series on quantifying and reporting greenhouse-gas emissions and removals, at organisation and project levels, are being revised. New standards to support adaptation to a changing climate and organisational resilience are also being developed. Monetary valuation of environmental impacts is another area being considered for standardisation.

The purpose is to harmonise the process from specific emissions and use of natural resources, and increase transparency for the users of valuation outcomes. The aim is to increase the awareness, understanding and transparency of monetary valuations and the benefits they offer. Potential users include companies in the industrial, finance, consulting and retail sectors, as well as government departments responsible for purchasing, taxation and regulations.

The publication of standards for topic-specific environmental footprinting – water and carbon have been published as ISO 14047 and ISO TR 14067 respectively – poses questions on how best to communicate to potential users the benefits. ISO 14026 is being developed to standardise how to communicate environmental footprints.

The publication of the revised 14001 will prompt revision to ISO 14005 on the phased implementation of an EMS. Although this will take time to develop – with publication possible in late 2017 or early 2018 – the guidance on implementing an EMS (ISO 14004) is expected to be published early next year.


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