New ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems broadens the life cycle scope

Upcoming ISO standard 14001:2015 brings major changes by putting emphasis on leadership, supply chain approach and governance – but it doesn’t provide a blueprint. How to best take timely action?

By Michela van Kampen, Senior Consultant Environment, Health & Safety, Philips Engineering Solutions

“Top management shall demonstrate leadership and commitment”, states the new ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems standard. The Final Draft, expected in May 2015 introduces an element of final accountability for the highest management levels.

Total supply chain approach

Lifecycle thinking is an important part of the revised standard. The supply chain approach in the current standard is significantly enhanced in the new version. The upstream process involving contractors, suppliers and outsourcing processes are covered more intensively. Consideration should be given to the design and use of materials, but also the downstream process, including customers and end users. The new standard has been set up according to the HLS (High Level Structure) for all ISO management systems, which makes them easier to integrate.

Image: Increased scope on the entire lifecycle and the total value chain: also see Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) article by Michela van Kampen

From now on, the context of the organization should also describe the management. Compliance with laws and regulations is key, as are risks and opportunities arising from stakeholder analysis and dialogue. Communication on this subject is also seen as vital.

Get insight in changes for your organization

However, the standard does not provide a blueprint for practical application. To help organizations determine their direction on time, Philips Environment, Health and Safety have developed a workshop based on examples from everyday reality. Here, the main changes and opportunities for your organization can be specified, giving you timely insight into the implications.