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ISO 14001: What are the updates to the standard?

8716-ISAt ISO 14001 is a standard that defines the requirements to implement an environmental management system, helping companies to achieve long-term success by managing their environmental aspects and impacts and creating alternatives to contribute to sustainable development..

Key objectives of an ISO environmental management system 14001:15

  • Define a framework for protecting the environment;
  • Enable responses to changing environmental conditions in balance with socioeconomic needs;
  • Determine the minimum requirements that allow achieving the intended results of the environmental management system;
  • Assist in managing compliance with applicable legal requirements;
  • Increase environmental performance;
  • Control and/or influence stakeholders using a lifecycle perspective;
  • Communicate environmental information to relevant stakeholders.

The main changes to the standard – ISO 14001:15

  • Adoption of annex SL (High Level Structure), that defines the requirements and structure of the standard:
    1. Scope;
    2. Normative References;
    3. Terms and Definitions;
    4. Organization Context (SGA);
    5. Leadership (Management responsibility);
    6. Planning (Management responsibility);
    7. Support (Resource management);
    8. Operation (Product Realization);
    9. Performance Evaluation (Measurement, Analysis and Improvement);
    10. Improvement (Measurement, Analysis and Improvement).
  • Clear definition of the expected results of the SGA, such as: environmental performance improvements, meeting compliance obligations and achieving environmental goals;
  • Adoption of the term compliance obligations that replaces the phrase "legal requirements and other requirements" to which the organization subscribes;
  • Explicit risk-based thinking requirement: potential adverse effects (threats) and potential beneficial effects (opportunities);
  • More requirements for top management and other management levels;
  • Adoption of the term “Documented information” instead of “documents and records”;
  • New clauses such as:
    • “4.1. Understanding the organization and its context”;
    • “4.2. Understanding Stakeholders' Needs and Expectations”;
    • “5.1. leadership and commitment”;
    • “6.1. Actions to address risks and opportunities";
    • “8.1. Outsourcing”;
    • “9.1. analysis and evaluation”.
  • Elimination of specific terms and requirements such as: "Management representative, preventive action";

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