Greg Roberts reporting from day 3 of 3 of the ISO14004 Technical Committee, Rochester USA.
When practitioners pick up their brand new copy of ISO14001:2015 they will see a document that looks quite different. They will see new clauses and the clause headings will not be familiar. But overall should UK manufacturers be worried that the new revision will require much work to their existing EMS or put off new entrants? From what I have seen and heard I do not believe that this will be the case and what change that is required will deliver real value to the organisation. One example of this was in our discussions on the role of the initial environmental review. Although only guidance, the initial environmental review is an important step in developing an EMS as it provides the input into the system, particularly in relation to environmental aspects. In the revised edition of ISO14004, it is suggested that the initial review will also need to identify the wider context the organisation operates in and also the requirements of interested parties. Although it requires more work, by widening the scope of the initial review it will help the organisation to ensure that the EMS is not operating in a silo as it will understand the context in which it operates. From this the company can understand the main environmental risks it faces but importantly the potential opportunities. I believe this is a significant step in mainstreaming the EMS.