Revised ISO 14001 standard moves forward

ISO Standards, Management Systems

A second committee draft (CD2) of the revised environmental management systems standard was published in October 2013 and ISO countries had until 23 January 2014 to vote on whether CD2 should become a draft international standard. CD2 has received overwhelming support from ISO members, ensuring the draft international environmental management system standard will progress to the next step. In excess of 80 percent of ISO members who were balloted voted to move the revision of ISO 14001 to a draft international standard.

The next meeting of the international working group that is drafting the standard takes place between 25 February and 1 March. It will consider the comments submitted during the latest consultation and look to build a stronger consensus on the changes that are being proposed.

Martin Baxter, executive director of policy at Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the UK’s appointed expert on the revision to 14001, said the response to the draft standard from environmental professionals had been “overwhelmingly positive”.
“The changes being proposed are significant, integrating environmental management into organisational strategy and decision-making and adding further emphasis on improving environmental performance,” he explained.

An increasing number of organisations are pursuing ISO 14001 certification. In its annual survey of certifications, the International Organization for Standardization said the number of ISO 14001 environmental management system certificates at the end of 2012 was up 9 percent to 285,844 over the previous year.

Revision timeline

Early 2014: IEMA submits comments on CD2.

Mid 2014: Final Ballot takes place for adoption of the new 14001 standard.

Jan 2015: Final Draft International Standard.

May 2015: The revised ISO 14001 will be adopted and published, and the transitional period for organisations with certifications will begin.


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