One of the world’s most popular standards for environmental management, ISO 14001, has been revised with some key improvements to help your organisation better achieve environmental outcomes.
As Australian businesses prepare to transition across to the new ISO 14001 from 2015 onwards up to the deadline of September 2018, many will reach out to consultants for support and advice with these unfamiliar requirements. Integrated Compliance Solutions has ISO 14001:2015 transition consultants ready to provide support to SMEs across Australia.
Our team of dedicated Environmental management system consultants can help your business meet the requirements of the ISO140001 changes by guiding you through the transition requirements, building on your system’s existing strengths and ensuring that you have everything you need for a smooth transition.
Continue reading this ISO 14001 transition guide or contact us today for more information.
What is ISO 14001:2015 transition and how will your business be affected?
ISO 14001:2015 is the new revision of the Environmental standard published in 2015 to replace ISO 14001:2004. All businesses wanting ISO 14001:2015 certification will need to be audited against the new standard by the deadline of September 2018.
What are the main changes between ISO 14001:2004 and the new ISO 14001:2015?
To ensure it remains relevant to the marketplace, ISO 14001:2015 responds to the latest trends, such as ensuring companies factor in both external and internal elements that will influence their environmental impact. The changes are also intended to ensure that the standard is compatible with other management system standards to reduce duplication and make integrating systems easier.
The main areas of content change fall into the following categories:
- Approach to risk and awareness of the context in which your business operates.
- Meeting stakeholder expectations.
- A “lifecycle perspective” of aspects and impacts.
- Closer attention to measuring of environmental performance against objectives.
Many businesses we have helped thus far find they have little in place in these areas and need to dedicate some time and thought to meeting the requirements. The purchasing lifecycle reporting requirement is particularly challenging.
What are the benefits of transitioning to the new ISO 14001:2015 changes of the standard?
Some of the key reported improvements in the ISO 14001:2015 version include:
- Enhancement of environmental performance giving a greater protection for the environment with focus on proactive initiatives.
- More rigorous assessment and fulfilment of legal and regulatory compliance obligations
- Achievement of environmental objectives including the product life cycle structure: with stage of the cycle from beginning to end of life.
- A greater commitment to leadership involvement and employee engagement
- An increased alignment with strategic direction and communication strategy.
How to make the transition – an ISO 14001:2015 gap analysis
First undertake a gap analysis for ISO 14001:2015 or Audit to identify the gaps in your management system.
Because it is easy to underestimate the time closing these gaps will take, it is helpful to create a project plan with a timeline to plan and keep track of:
- How much work is required and how much time and resources can you allocate to fill the gaps? Be aware that the management team is required to undertake much of this activity.
- Allow time to make changes to the management system and for training of your employees in the new management system. Time should also be allocated for additional internal audits in the transition period to help you identify non-conforming areas.
It’s not difficult. It just takes some time and thinking and regular focussed activity.
If you wish to DIY you may find the following article from ISO 14001 Academy a good starting point.
Need some help with your ISO 14001 transition?
Many companies will fall into the trap of thinking they have plenty of time and leave transition to the last minute. You should expect that DIY transitioning across to ISO 14001 2015 will take at least several weeks and planning will be required to ensure this fits in with operational priorities. You also need to book an audit with the certification body which can take time so make sure you do this early.
If you suspect you have left your run too late to DIY, we can help.
Having taken many companies through the transition process now, we have developed a very efficient system to help you meet the requirements in the minimum of time and get you audited.
We can still do a gap assessment for you or we can also manage the entire process, so you can get certified to the ISO 14001 2015 changes as quickly as possible and move on.
We have a team of professional consultants in most regions in Australia, ready to efficiently help you through. If you would like some support to make the transition or to book an ISO 14001 2015 gap analysis, contact us on 1300 132 745 for a free no obligation chat.