On the heels of the 2015 release of ISO:14001:2015 — Environmental management systems, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has released the newly revised ISO 14004:2016 — General guidelines on implementation. The standard provides support to organizations in the establishment, implementation, improvement, or maintenance of environmental management systems.
The revised standard was published on March 1 and complements the revised ISO 14001:2015—creating a consistent pair of standards pertaining to the environmental management systems—but also provides guidance beyond ISO 14001:2015.
ISO 14004:2016 is intended to help an organization achieve the desired outcomes of its environmental management system. These outcomes may include enhancing the organization’s environmental performance, fulfilling compliance obligations, or achieving environmental objectives.
The standard is suitable to any size or type of organization, and applies to environmental aspects of any activities, products or services that the organization determines that it can control or influence, considering a life-cycle perspective.
Basis for Revision of ISO 14004:2016
The revision of 14004:2016 reflects the changes made in ISO 14001:2015 as well as better reflects the broadening scope of ISO 14004.
Considerations during the revision process included:
- Context of the organization
- Emphasis on external and internal communications
- Documented information and the differences between procedures and processes
- Promotion of environmental management through leadership
- Integration of environmental management into strategic planning processes
- Increased focus on environmental performance
The revision was also focused on emphasizing the needs of users and addressing how an organization with an existing environmental management system may maintain and improve it.
“The new version of ISO 14004 provides organizations with further details and information in relation to the new ISO 14001:2015,” said Dr Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of the ISO technical committee responsible for developing ISO 14004:2016. “Some of the changes include a focus on protecting the environment, environmental performance, life-cycle perspective, leadership and strategic environmental management.”
Find more information on ISO 14004:2016 or purchase a copy of the standard at www.ISO.org.