With the deadline ending for all certification bodies to stop certifying against the old ISO 14001 standards, you will certainly need to know how to be certified with the ISO 14001:2015 version, which is the latest version of this standard. This version of the standard has a lot of similarities, but it also has some key difference which is something that has to be considered. The revision was done by a technical committee that was composed of the National Standards Bodies and other liaison organizations.


It is an undisputed fact that there is no better standard for implementing an environmental management system other than the ISO 14001, and this means that if you would like to have the latest environmental management system, then you would have to get yourself with this standard. For you out there, who have already been certified with the ISO 14001:204, you will need to get yourself certified with this new ISO 14001 before September  2018, when all previous certification will become invalid.


Like all the newer versions of the ISO Standards, this standard was also conceived to be compatible with the updated Annex SL standard. This similarity enables an organisation to implement multiple standards within their system simultaneously since a lot of the concepts are similar, and now with the common implementation of the new template, these standards can now be seamlessly integrated with each other.


The new version of the standard is also different by laying more emphasis on bringing into consideration the external context and the internal context before one can begin to implement the environmental management system. This means that you will need to understand the external as well as internal issues that will determine how well your EMS works. You need to try and identify external parties as well, and then you will have to know what they want, and then after that, you need to if their wants are something that you have to be complying with relation to the standard.


It will also ask you to define and create a risk planning process, where you need to identify all risks and opportunities related to the unique context of your organisation, the various compliance obligations, the desires of the interested parties, and of course the environmental aspects of the whole thing. Then there have to be actions created for these mitigating all the risks and availing all opportunities. Once all these actions have been defined, then they have to be integrated into the EMS processes to make sure they are being implemented. Preventive Action is now an obsolete clause.


The new ISO 14001:2015 will now sever the distinction that existed between documents and records, and instead will integrate both of these into a single concept known as “documented information”. This term is now defined as information that needs to be controlled and maintained. The phrase “retain documented information as evidence of “is referring to “records and the phrase “maintain documented information” will refer to documents which are not records.


In the old standards, there used to be an excessive amount of procedures – a documents procedure, an operational procedure, nonconformity management procedure, etc. Now almost all of it has been siphoned off and integrated into the documented information section with the exception of the emergency preparedness and response procedure. The previous lists of procedures have now been included in the documented formation of the ISO 14001, and all of them are still there.


Last, but not the least, there is a certain change regarding the scope of the environmental management system. In the previous standard, there used to be a clause that asked for the definition and documentation of the scope but it didn’t specify the methods through which it can be achieved. The new ISO 14001:2015 requires you to consider all compliance obligations, the external and internal contexts, and only after considering all of these wills can the scope be really defined. Moreover, every product, services, and other activities should also be included as significant aspects.