ISO 14001: Guidelines And Revision Overview

by Source Intelligence

on February 5, 2019

What is ISO 14001: 2015? In short, it is an international standard that specifies requirements for effective environmental management systems. The 2015 revision incorporated a high-level structure, mandatory definitions and new document requirements.

Achieving ISO 14001


Aligning your company with ISO 14001 standards is smart. By becoming ISO 14001 certified, your company is making a statement that environmental protection and compliance are not only important but integral to your day-to-day business activities. Your brand is more likely to be viewed as socially and environmentally responsible.


Going Beyond Risk Mitigation


ISO standard conformance can be viewed as a benchmark for environmental management that can lead to positive and significant impacts on your company. Leading companies in the environmental management space are developing closed loop production systems, zero waste product life cycles, and other circular economy processes.


Recent studies and shifts in manufacturing point to the fact that there are significant economic gains to be had through circular economy processes. Countries worldwide are supporting environmental management system implementation, and some countries are even incentivizing companies through legislation.


(Overview) Circular Economy Benefits


  • Reduced product waste
  • Cost savings on raw materials
  • Reduced compliance measurements and reputational risks
  • New revenue streams
  • Brand differentiation as a competitive advantage
  • Reduced volatility on externalities that affect manufacturing


ISO 14001:2015 Revisions


In 2015, revisions to the ISO 14001 EMS standard were implemented to develop clear guidelines for ISO 14001 requirements and bring structure to internal commitment around EMS standards.


How Should Your Company Approach The Revisions?


Be prepared for an “all hands” approach for ISO 14001:2015 certification. Manufacturing engineers will have to consistently assess your product life cycles and your C-Suite team will have to engage in the process as a whole and be held accountable for reporting metrics. Here’s a few areas to pay close attention to in the revisions.


Areas of Change


1. Context of your organization

Internal and external issues that may impact environmental performance. An example of this is climate change and how that impacts the sourcing of raw materials used in your products.


2. Lifecycle perspective

Product reviews in a "cradle to grave" examination.


3. Leadership commitment 

Support, involvement and accountability from top level management.


4. Performance, evaluation, corrective action and improvement

Establish EMS objectives,, tracking progress, and making course corrections as needed.


Source Intelligence Chief Scientific Officer, Jennifer Kraus, and Loop Environmental’s, Michelle Turner, released a white paper that outlines the ISO 14001: 2015 revisions and dives into the benefits of circular economy principles.


Who Should Read This White Paper?


Companies that:

  • Are looking to develop and implement an ISO 14001 EMS
  • Are interested in GAP assessments of their existing program
  • Have previously been in accordance of the ISO 14001 standards and are looking to incorporate additional EMS measurements.

Download White Paper

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