ISO 14001:2015 revision – List of helpful materials

Everything you need to know about the ISO 14001:2015 revision

14001Academy is a comprehensive online free resource covering the ISO 14001 standards. Using this resource, you will learn every piece of important information regarding the 2015 revision to the standard, and how it relates to you.

What is ISO 14001:2015, and what are the changes?

History of Environmental Management System Standards

In an effort to remain up to date, the International Organization for Standardization conducts a review of their standards every five to 10 years. The previous 2004 revision of the ISO 14001 standard will remain valid until September 15, 2018, before which all certified companies must transition to the new 2015 revision in order to maintain their certifications.

Since many certification bodies may have already begun to stop issuing the 2004 certification, it is in the best interest of your business to certify with the new standard.

Compared to the previous version, ISO 14001:2015 differs in many areas of the standard. Various degrees of change have been implemented, and affected areas include:

  • Risks and opportunities
  • Context of the organization
  • Interested parties
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Performance evaluation
  • Document management
  • Leadership

Additional areas are covered that are beneficial to the Environmental Management System, and have been updated using current standards and practices.

The ISO 14001:2015 changes better integrate the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) into the strategic and operational processes of a business organization. The EMS is no longer considered to be added on to the standard, but is now a fully integrated part of business operations.

In order to learn more about the changes in the new ISO 14001:2015 standard, see this infographic and browse through the list of other helpful materials on this page.

What Needs to Happen Now?

Any businesses establishing, implementing, or managing an EMS based on ISO 14001:2015 will have challenges ahead. Auditors must have knowledge of the standard’s contents, as well as the skills and understanding that are required to properly assess an Annex SL-based EMS. The process of implementation should occur before the end of the transition period in September 2018. Although this sounds like a reasonable amount of time, you should ask yourself how much work the competition needs to do in order to make the same transition. In order to stay competitive, you should focus on making the change as soon as possible to get ahead of competing businesses.

Additionally, customers may begin asking when you will be transitioning to the 2015 standard. By completing the transition sooner, rather than later, you can leverage your willingness to adapt to new changes to keep your current customers happy. On top of maintaining current clients, early transition to ISO 14001:2015 may also give you advantage in winning new customers and applying in public tenders.

If you have already implemented the ISO 14001 standard, you have a great start on the 2015 revision. Gather as much information as possible regarding the new changes, and then prepare your transition. All of your knowledge of the standard will save you money by helping you to avoid hiring expensive consultants, while you build an excellent Environmental Management System using the least possible amount of resources.

Learn more about the standard with this ISO 14001:2015 Foundations online course.

Advisera Strahinja Stojanovic
Strahinja Stojanovic

Strahinja Stojanovic is certified as a lead auditor for the ISO 13485, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS 18001 standards by RABQSA. He participated in the implementation of these standards in more than 100 SMEs, through the creation of documentation and performing in-house training for maintaining management systems, internal audits, and management reviews.