The revision of ISO 14001, the international environmental management system standard, is moving into its final stages with the results of the latest positive ballot on the Draft International Standard.

Welcoming the strong support within the international standards community, with 92% of member bodies supporting the draft ISO 14001 and moving to the final approval stages Martin Baxter, Executive Director Policy and Engagement at IEMA and the UK’s appointed expert on the current revision to ISO 14001 said: "We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive ballot on moving the revision forward. The changes being proposed are significant, and will provide an enhanced framework for organisations managing their interface with the environment.

“IEMA members have made a significant contribution throughout the revision process and their views are fully reflected in the current document”.

IEMA has been actively engaged throughout the revision of the standard and published its position statement setting out key issues that need to be addressed. In developing its position, IEMA’s Member survey of Environment and Sustainability professionals showed that

  • Over 90% supported proposals for aligning environmental management systems with an organisation’s strategy;
  • Over 84% supported placing greater emphasis on reducing environmental impacts across the whole life-cycle of products and services including supply chains and in the development and use of products and services;
  • 92% considered that ISO 14001 needs to strengthen requirements on organisations to demonstrate their legal compliance and environmental performance improvements;
  • 88.5% believe that IS0 14001 should require organisations to consider impacts from a changing environment. Organisations face growing risks from scarcity of natural resources to a changing climate, such as flooding. ISO 14001 should provide a framework for organisations to manage the risks and maximise opportunities from a changing environment, helping them to safeguard the future of their business and deliver environmental improvements.

The results of the ballot come just two weeks after the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) confirmed – through its annual survey of certifications - significant growth in the number of ISO 14001 environmental management system certificates at the end of 2013, up 6% on the previous year to 301,647.

The next meeting of the international working group that is drafting the standard will be held in the first week of February 2015 in Tokyo to consider the comments and produce the final draft.

Baxter said: "The focus of the forthcoming meeting will be to address the comments and build a stronger consensus on the changes that are being proposed. We'll then enter the final stages of the revision process."