Mind the Gap!
With over 300,000 certificates issued across the world, ISO 14001 is the best known standard for environmental management. More than ten years since it was reviewed, the latest version of the standard was released in late 2015.
What are the Major Changes?
There are a number of changes with the new standard, the major ones being:
- Consider the context of the organisation to identify the internal & external factors and conditions that affect the organisation. Identify the interested parties and any requirements they have.
- Top management must demonstrate leadership, ensuring that the environmental policy & objectives are consistent with the overall business strategy. Management review outputs should include any implications for the strategic direction of the organisation.
- Identify the effect of uncertainty (“risk”) associated with threats and opportunities and take action to address them.
- Consider a life cycle perspective when identifying aspects and impacts, i.e. from raw material acquisition, or generation from natural resources to end-of-life treatment.
- Consider environmental requirements throughout the procurement and design activities of your products and services.
- New emphasis on the need for evaluation of performance, as well as current requirements for measurement and analysis.
There will be a period of up to 3 years to certify to the new standard. So now is the time to think about transitioning your existing EMS Environmental Management System to the new standard and the best way is to start with a Gap Analysis.
ISO 14001:2015 Gap Analysis
The Gap Analysis covers all clauses of the new standard, with specific focus on:
- Context of the organisation & Scope of the EMS
- Compliance obligations
- Interested parties & communications
- Data management & environmental performance (including policy & objectives).
Next steps are to deliver the action plan, including:
- Conduct exercises with staff e.g. covering Context and Interested Parties
- Agree new targets, with associated data requirements
- Internal audit
- Update the EMS core documentation, including policy, manual & key procedures.
If you’ve done the transition yourself but want to double check everything is covered before going for certification, my Readiness Audit covers how the EMS has changed and whether it properly meets the new standard’s requirements.
Do this in good time before the visit from the certification body, so there is time to act upon the Readiness Audit’s recommendations.
Email me for more details.