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At their last meeting in April, the ISO Technical Committee, the body responsible for revising the ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS) standard was said to have made significant progress towards the publication of the new, eagerly anticipated ISO14001:2015 standard.The ISO Technical Committee which is made up of representatives from 63 National Standards Bodies hinted that the final draft of the revised ISO 14001 standard will be published in June, a month earlier than the original expected publication date of July.The ISO14001 EMS standard, specifies the technical standard for implementing an environment management system. The standard which helps businesses track, manage and mitigate the environmental impact of their business activities is the most successful EMS standard in the world. In addition to helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint, it has been known to help businesses reduce costs and convert waste to useful business resources.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that businesses thinking of implementing ISO14001 this year have been delaying their external ISO14001 audit so that they can be certified against the new ISO 14001:2015 standard. Organisations currently certified to ISO 14001:2004 have three year period to migrate their existing EMS to conform to the new ISO14001:2015 specification.

Iterations of ISO 14001 EMS standard
ISO14001: 1996
ISO14001: 2004
ISO14001: 2015

What is an environmental management system (EMS)?

An Environmental management system (EMS) is a structured process for the management of an organisation’s environmental impact in a comprehensive, systematic, planned and documented manner. An EMS includes aspects and the impact of the organisation, organisational structure, planning and resources for developing, implementing and maintaining the policy that continually seeks to protect the environment.

Another way of defining an EMS is “a systematic approach to managing an organisation’s impact on the environment. It provides a framework through which the organisation’s environmental performance can be controlled and improved.” (wrap, 2015).

If you need help with the feasibility of implementing an environmental management system for your organisation, contact Greenshire. Greenshire specialise in helping small businesses take the first steps toward a greener, more sustainable approach to the environment and business processes.