ISO14001 is the recognised standard for environmental management, and is based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act approach, which enables organisations to manage environmental performance within a sustainable model.

Some changes will be made to ISO14001:2004 in 2015. These are aimed at providing improved benefits and consistency across management systems to organisations which use multiple ISO standards.

Here’s a brief summary of the changes:

Clause 4: Context of the organisation is a new clause requiring organisations to have a high level of awareness of their relationship with the environment, and strategic understanding of the important issues that can affect the way their environmental responsibilities are managed.

Clause 5: Leadership requires senior management to demonstrate leadership, commitment, support and accountability for the effectiveness of the Environmental Management System in regard to current, and future, business requirements.

Clause 6: Planning requires organisations to determine and document the risks associated with internal and external threats and opportunities which impact the environmental management system.

Clause 7: Support although this is already a requirement of the existing ISO14001:2004, the requirements of this clause will be more prescriptive to encourage consistency.

Clause 8: Operations now places greater emphasis on the concept of the ‘value chain’ that impacts the environmental management system. This clause also considers how organisations manage and control change, and outsource specific processes.

Clause 9: Performance evaluation combines a number of clauses from the current version, including monitoring and measuring, management review, and legal compliance; and requires organisations to hold records to prove that their environmental management system meets business objectives.

Clause 10: Improvement requires that performance improvement is continual, and can be demonstrated and evidenced.

So, what does your business need to do next?

ISO14001:2015 will enable organisations to implement an environmental management system specific to the context of their business. If, as an organisation, you already hold ISO14001:2004, the next step is to revise existing processes, communicate changes to your business, and implement actions, such as training, which occur as a result of the changes.

If you are running quality and environmental management systems which are currently independent of each other, this is a good opportunity to consider integration; forthcoming changes to move OHSAS18001 to ISO45001 can subsequently be incorporated.

Amalgamate can provide you with advice and guidance on either implementing or revising your existing management systems. Contact us at