With the new ISO 14.001 the environmental management system opens up to the drift of the unification of ISO standards for greater ease, in practice, for the implementation, review and maintenance of ISO standards in organizations that they make the great effort to implement a system of quality and above all, of environmental management.
The following are the main changes between the two regulations that are the subject of study in this article, and where it is tried to shed some light on the substantive question: The new ISO 14001 marks a trend towards the unification of the ISO standards?
Previous concepts on nomenclature:
(Current): ISO 14001: 2014
(Revision): ISO / DIS 14001: 2014
ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 adopts a high-level structure, adapts the SL annex of ISO 14001: 2014 [allows ISO 9001 (also under review) and 14001 to work together].
In order for ISO 9001 and 14001 to work together, the following characteristics are established in ISO / DIS 14001: 2014:
• Uses common language for both ISO standards.
• Avoids the difficulties of duplicating documents.
• Avoid procedures that have a negative impact on the effectiveness of management.
The following changes in the structure between ISO 14001: 2014 and ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 should be highlighted:
• ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 is more extensive, and reduces or eliminates the legal terminology, creates new sections without correspondence with ISO 14001: 2014, although there are other sections that have correspondence.
2. Terms and definitions.
The revision adapts terms and language of use in several ISO to be able to work together, as indicated in the annex SL ISO 14001: 2014.
It is important to note that ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 allows companies to decide whether they want to adapt these new terms and the new structure, or decide to continue with the one used in ISO 14001: 2014.
3. Context of the organization.
It is one of the novelties of ISO / DIS 14001: 2014, as it has a special impact on the company focusing on the protection of the natural environment:
• Determine the points and aspects, both internal and external, that influence compliance.
• Check their ability to achieve the expected results in environmental matters.
Included in ISO / DIS 14001: 2014:
• Section 4.2. Understanding the needs and expectations of stakeholders.
• Section 4.3. Determining the scope of the environmental management system.
Senior management has the obligation to:
• Demonstrate leadership and commitment through the following aspects within the Environmental Management System (EMS):
o Continuous improvement
At this point as a novelty of ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 indicates that all this is the specific responsibility of those people with leadership positions in the organization.
• Leadership as a central axis, influencing and being influenced in a positive and active way, with the following aspects:
With reference to environmental policy, the standard requires:
1. The Organization is specifically committed to the protection of the environment.
2. The company seeks to protect the environment globally and not limit itself to the immediate environment.
Senior management should assign the necessary responsibility and authority to ensure that the system complies with the indicated requirements and that senior management is informed.
Senior management has the flexibility to indicate how many people should be engaged in this leadership role.
The review brings great relevance to communication:
These two make up the Communication Policy, which must comply with the following requirements:
o Establish mechanisms for staff participation
In ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 there is an important novelty, now the term “documentation” is called “documented information”. The review provides flexibility for organizations to determine what documents they need to ensure the functioning of the EMS.
It should be noted that it also allows them to continue using the documentation manual established by ISO 14001: 2014.
6. Planning and risk.
The review gives relevance to:
• Needs and expectations of stakeholders.
• Legal and regulatory requirements
• Environmental aspects, affected by business activity:
• Incidents that may be due to changes in environmental conditions and that affect the organization.
There are two situations to consider:
• Establish a dialogue in two directions, the Organization – Environment, Environment – the Organization.
• Risk management, the Organization must determine the risks and opportunities that must be addressed.
7. Life cycle.
The Organization must take into account:
• Properly control and manage products and / or services throughout their life cycle.
• Determine the requirements for the purchase or acquisition of products and / or services.
• Establishment of controls in the design process that ensure that the established environmental requirements for development, delivery, use and treatment are met at the end of their useful life.
• Communication of established environmental requirements to suppliers and externally contracted personnel.
• Need to inform consumers about the environmental impact and how to manage the product once its useful life has ended.
8. Environmental performance.
The review drives strategic thinking within the EMS, a little more with the intention that organizations take ownership and internalize the same.
9. Transition of ISO / DIS 14001: 2014.
Publishing is set for mid-2015.
The following parts will have the transition from the previous one to the new one:
• Know the changes presented by ISO / DIS 14001: 2014 to senior management, managers and internal auditors, as well as all staff involved both internally and externally.
• Establish a fluid communication with the certification body and with the consultancy to make the changes that are approaching the new standard.
• Ensure senior management is involved and establish a transition plan.
Conclusion, that the answer to the question we ask only time, and the consequent application of the changes will dictate sentence …