ISO 14001 Environmental management systems, one of ISO’s most widely used standards, has been revised.
All ISO standards are reviewed every five years to establish if a revision is required in order to keep it current and relevant for the marketplace. ISO 14001:2015 is designed to respond to latest trends and ensure it is compatible with other management system standards.
The key changes relate to:
In addition, the revised standard follows a common structure [PDF] , with the same terms and definitions as a number of other management system standards such as ISO 9001. This is particularly useful for those organizations that choose to operate a single (sometimes called “integrated”) management system that can meet the requirements of two or more management system standards simultaneously.
The revision was conducted by an ISO technical committee called ISO/TC 207/SC 1, which is comprised of experts nominated by their National Standards Bodies and liaison organizations. See the ISO/TC 207/SC 1 homepage for more details.
Organizations are granted a three-year transition period after the revision has been published to migrate their environmental management system to the new edition of the standard. After this transition period, companies that opt for third party certification will have to seek certification to the new version of the standard. The former version, ISO 14001:2004, and any certification to it, will be out of date. See further guidance from the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
No, certification is not compulsory. For further information about certification and other types of third party assessment, this see our page on conformity assessment.