ISO 14001 2015 impact on businesses around the world will soon be apparent. Certification bodies are already spending significant amounts of time and resources in training their auditors in readiness for the phased changeover that will take place during the next 18 – 36 months.

Medium-sized, and certainly smaller businesses may be wondering what they have to do to reshape their management system in order to retain their certificate. Here are a few tips and guides that I feel may be appropriate ;-

  1. Think about the big picture. ISO 14001 2015 requires businesses of all sizes to create a list of interested parties and their needs. Think outside the box and draw up a list of groups of people who the business would want to respond to. This could be customers, regulators, investors etc.
  2. Think about threats and opportunities that could relate to your business – do this with an environmental slant, but be aware that “environmental issues” are now mainstream business issues.
  3. Start thinking about upstream and downstream of your business – are there any issues that need to be considered? Don’t ignore this.
  4. Document the key points arising from all the above discussions – briefly but with meaning.
  5. Have a meeting (top management of course) and agree which of those areas your business could achieve.
  6. Think more about integrating your EMS into the very centre of your business decision-making process.
  7. Change management is becoming important – think about any changes your business proposes and think about the implications for environmental performance.
  8. Create projects (or objectives in ISO 14001 speak) that can be worked on to deliver the commitments made by the management.
  9. Get the person who is responsible for the system to become well versed in the new standard. The company needs at least one person who can translate the requirements into everyday language. Don’t worry about changing your EMS to the words of ISO 14001:2015. Choose words that suit your business.
  10. Don’t hang about. Get on with the process of changing from ISO 14001:2004 to ISO 14001 2015 now as the ISO standard itself changes.

Hope this helps. This article is directed towards smaller businesses that don’t have to resources and infrastructure of the larger multi-nations. Future blogs and articles will focus more on the detail of what is covered above.

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