A booklet called The Route to ISO 14001- Avoiding the Pitfalls is a simple introduction to ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems, outlining revisions and new requirements and it has now been updated by testing and certification firm SGS United Kingdom. The booklet aims to promote an understanding of ISO 14001, by outlining the experiences of third-party auditors and explaining problems commonly experienced by others using the system.
Organisations already certified to ISO 14001:2004 will have until September 2018 to certify to ISO 14001:2015. It is in the best interest of companies to make the transition early, says Colin Ward, ISO 14001 UK Product Manager. “At SGS we strongly recommend that given the changes between the two standards, it is beneficial for existing clients to make a prompt transition to ISO 14001, so that they may benefit from competitive advantages including reduced resource costs and enhanced credibility.”
“Businesses that implement the new ISO 14001:2015 standard can expect to see everything from the previous standard, but with some additional clauses in keeping with a new emphasis on areas such as planning, context, leadership and environmental performance”.
Common to all ISO management systems currently being published, the 2015 version follows the Annex SL high level structure. Annex SL aims to ease integration with other management systems by providing an agreed high level structure, along with identical core text and common terms and definitions. The booklet looks at Annex SL as a framework and identifies how it affects the management system itself. This will be particularly useful for organisations choosing to operate an integrated management system that encompasses two or more management systems.
“The updated pitfalls booklet is highly beneficial to organisations as it provides pointers and indicators as to what exactly they need to be doing in order to comply with the new standard, in this way they are able to in a sense self-assess,” says Colin Ward.
For those organisations looking to transition to the 2015 version of the standard, SGS offers extensive support throughout the whole process, assisting with the understanding of the changes to the standard and how to implement them. SGS experts can adapt to the needs of an organisation and can carry out a gap analysis against the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 to make the transition as smooth and transparent as possible.
The updated pitfalls booklet is readily available to download from the SGS website here: www.sgs.co.uk/14001pitfalls.