New advice note on ‘The case for applying ISO 14001 in the fast-moving landscape of corporate sustainability’ launched - May 2024. Environmental Management Network Steering Group Member, Gillian Gibson (FIEMA) explains more:

ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems (EMS). It provides a framework for organisations to design and implement an EMS, and to continually improve their environmental performance.

When first introduced in 1997, ISO 14001 was very much focused on core environmental issues. Whilst that focus has not been lost, the global understanding of these issues has moved on and now appreciates the interconnectivity and cross-cutting nature of their interaction. Climate change has moved up the agenda, biodiversity loss is a critical issue, and raw material availability is crucial. Using ISO 14001 as a tool to evaluate and control all of these business issues makes sound sense.

With this in mind, IEMA’s Environmental Management Network Steering Group have produced an advice note to help members make the most of the Environmental Management System within organisations, entitled ‘The case for applying ISO 14001 in the fast-moving landscape of corporate sustainability’, acknowledging that the sustainability agenda is critical to many businesses.

The standard itself is used at a global level, though the reasons for its uptake are many and varied. Results from a recent survey highlight factors influencing the adoption of ISO 14001 including:

  • Customer requirement (94%)
  • Commitment to environmental protection & conservation (97%)
  • Reduction of risk related to adverse environmental impacts (96%)
  • Opportunities for integration with other management standards (87%)
  • Public image (95%)
  • Cost savings/financial benefit (81%)
  • Government/regulatory agency requirement (79%)

One of the requirements of ISO14001:2015 places leadership centre and foremost. This can pose challenges to organisations which do not appreciate how to embrace this. The advice note looks at ways for leaders to ensure the use of the standard helps to deliver for them, engaging with a meaningful strategy which can drive better business outcomes.

The advice note also includes two case studies, demonstrating the advantages of using the standard to drive a more sustainable business.

Download your copy here.

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Gillian Gibson

Environmental Scientist, Gibson Consulting and Training

Gillian Gibson is an internationally recognised leader in sustainability, environmental management, impact assessment, and strategic direction. Through a combination of training and consultancy roles Gillian has driven improvements in environmental awareness, policy and standards, in both the public sector and blue - chip companies.

Gillian is a past member of the board of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), and past chair of its Professional Standards Committee, overseeing restructuring of the membership levels and standardisation. She is currently a member of the international board of SEGH, (Society for Environment, Geochemistry and Health) driving improvement to its governance. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Geochemistry and Health. Gillian is the independent Chair of the North West Air Quality Forum.

Gillian has co-authored several of IEMA’s guidance documents, including a recently released best practice in auditing, and a primer on HIA and Public Health.

Gillian is a Fellow of IEMA and SEGH.


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