As the U.S. member body to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announces that the newly revised ISO 14001:2015, Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use — one of the world's most popular standards for environmental management — is now available on ANSI's webstore.
ISO 14001:2015 sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. Newly revised to ensure market relevance, it is one of the world's most widely used standards and a key business tool. Compliance to the standard ranks high on the agenda of thousands of organizations worldwide that place importance on their environmental impact.
The key enhancements to the new version of the standard include:
A greater commitment from leadership
An increased alignment with strategic direction
Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service from development to end of life
The revision is the culmination of work done by 121 expert members of ISO Technical Committee (TC) 207, Environmental management, Subcommittee (SC) 1, Environmental management systems. BSI, the ISO member for the UK, holds the Secretariat to SC 1, leading a group of participants from 89 countries. Bringing forth U.S. positions, the American Society for Quality (ASQ) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to the committee.
ISO 14001:2015 responds to current trends such as an increasing recognition of organizations seeking to manage environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner to contribute to the environmental pillar of sustainability. It also reflects changes in technology and what stakeholders expect of organizations. "ISO 14001 is something that organizations can use to distinguish themselves from their competition, and in many cases also providing financial advantage, helping organizations to realize efficiencies and improve performance," said ISO Acting Secretary-General Kevin McKinley.
Consistent with an organization's environmental policy, the intended outcomes of an environmental management system include:
enhancement of environmental performance;
fulfillment of compliance obligations; and
achievement of environmental objectives.
ISO 14001:2015 is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type, and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products, and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence considering a life cycle perspective. ISO 14001:2015 does not state specific environmental performance criteria.
"Looking forward, the new version will help with a stronger integration between environmental issues and an organization's strategic action planning and thinking," said Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of ISO TC 207, SC 1. "I foresee the life-cycle perspective and supply chain issues embedded in ISO 14001 becoming stronger in the future."
ANSI is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, ANSI empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.