The first revision of the ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in more than 10 years was published this month, calling on business to take a more holistic approach to environmental management.

The revisions call for an EMS to consider environmental performance across all phases of the asset lifecycle, and to integrate risk management measures including meeting the needs of stakeholders.

Coffey Senior Principal Environmental Consultant Kathy Friday said the revision also requires a greater focus on environmental management within an organisation’s strategic planning processes, and commitment to proactive initiatives rather than preventative actions.

“These changes will improve the way an EMS is integrated into an organisation’s operations and will support effective environmental management across many industries,” Kathy said.

“Assigning people to lead and communicate the environmental management approach is also key.”

Organisations that hold the 2004 certification have a three-year transition period to migrate their EMS to the new edition of the standard.

She said businesses would need to conduct an environmental review to identify gaps to be addressed to meet the new standards.

“Once you know where the gaps are, you’ll need to prepare an implementation plan to update your existing EMS and train and educate your people,” Kathy said.

Kathy said that while reviewing and revising an EMS to meet the new standards could be a daunting task, support was available. 

“We’re already working with clients across the asset lifecycle and understand the importance of considering the whole life of a project,” Kathy said.

“Our experience in EMS preparation, implementation, review and maintenance can provide the support our clients might be looking for during the transition.”

Learn more about ISO14001