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ISO 14001: New supply chain environmental standards released

Posted by Altius on Oct 6, 2015 11:00:00 AM

ISO

The revamped ISO 14001 standard has been released - bringing environmental issues into the boardroom by creating a better integration with business strategy and decision making.

The international standard underpins the environmental policies of 30,000 organisations across the globe. It is the recognised 'manual' for setting up and running an environmental management system. The standard helps businesses to deliver on green objectives, such as waste and energy reduction and logistics efficiency.

What do the changes mean?

The updated ISO 14001:2015 reflects the growing external environmental risks faced by businesses, such as climate volatility, resource scarcity, and soaring population growth. It aims to help businesses find responses to these challenges and to align their actions with their business strategy to make their enterprises fit for the future.

Key changes include:

  • A greater commitment from leadership and commitment by top management
  • Increased alignment with strategic direction
  • Greater protection for the environment, with a focus on proactive initiatives
  • More effective communication, driven through a communications strategy
  • Life-cycle thinking, considering each stage of a product or service, from development to end-of-life

Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of the technical committee that developed the standard and undertook the revision, said: "Looking forward, the new version will help with a stronger integration between environmental issues and an organization's strategic action planning and thinking. I foresee the life-cycle perspective and supply chain issues embedded in ISO 14001 becoming stronger in the future."

ISO Acting Secretary-General Kevin McKinley said the newly revised ISO 14001 offers a "competitive advantage" for businesses. He explained: “ISO 14001 is something that organizations can use to distinguish themselves from their competition, and in many cases also providing financial advantage, helping organizations to realize efficiencies and improve performance.”

New global quality management standard ISO 9001:2015 

The new edition of the global quality management standard ISO 9001 has been published - to align better with modern business needs.

More than 1.1 million organisations worldwide have gained ISO 9001 certification, including a number of Altius vendors. It provides the evidence that they can offer products and services of consistently good quality.

What do the changes mean?

ISO 9001:2015 provides a number of significant changes since the 2008 edition. It is less prescriptive - focusing more on business performance. It combines the process management approach of before with risk-based thinking, and the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle at all levels in the organization. The new edition emphasises the important role of a Quality Management Systems within business strategy. 

The updated standard emphasises continuous improvement and builds on seven quality management principles. It places more importance on stakeholders and the wider organisational context and is designed to be more easily integrated with other management systems.

Those organisations that are already have the ISO 9001 certification have a three-year transition period to  switch to the new version.

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