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ISO 14001 Version 2015 Certification

The ISO 14001:2015 Revision Introduction

The main purpose of the revision is to provide a set of common and stable requirements for at least the next 10 years. This will be possible due to the requirement that all management systems standard use the same high level structure as a base. The purpose of ISO 14001:2015 is to provide organizations with a framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio economic needs. It specifies requirements that enable an organization to achieve the intended outcomes it sets for its EMS. An approach to environmental management can provide top management with information to build success over the long term.

The 2015 Revision Introduces New Concepts In The Management System
Achieving a balance between the environment, society and economy is considered essential to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable development as a goal for organizations is achieved by balancing the three pillars of sustainability.

What are the main changes in ISO 14001?

ISO 14001:2015 is structured around the High-Level Structure proposed in Annex SL for all ISO management systems. It includes, in addition to the usual 3 introductory clauses, 7 basic clauses common to all management system standards. They are: Context of the organization, Leadership, Planning of the EMS, Support, Operation, Performance evaluation and Improvement. They replace current EMS clauses 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4. 4.5 and 4.6. This structure is intended to provide a coherent presentation of requirements rather than a model for documenting an organization’s policies, objectives and processes.

Even though the basic documentation control requirements remain the same, the organization can now decide what to document and how much. New ISO 14001:2015 shows that is not enough managing environmental aspects associated to the purchasing of products or services, but it’s neccesary go a step further, influencing on environmental aspects related to its design, manufactoring processes and the further using of the products and services (life cycle).

Clause 4 Understanding The Context Of The Organization

New Requirement:
The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended outcomes of its EMS. Including environmental conditions being affected by or capable of affecting the organization.
• No specific documentation is required
• Provide evidence that this process exists and is effective

The key changes start with requiring the organization to identify explicitly any internal and external issues that may impact their environmental management system’s ability to deliver its intended results. They must also understand the needs and expectations of “interested parties” – those individuals and organizations that can affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by, the organization’s decisions or activities. The interested parties regarding environmental issues may typically include company matrix, customers, shareholders, local / regional / national authorities, neighbors, NGOs, etc. Examples of needs and expectations of interested parties could be: For an organization devoted to urban cleaning, and because of the noise emitted by machinery, should change its work timetable early in the morning doing work as possible away from the urban core. Other example: Use of paper from sustainable sources, certified FSC, could improve the image of the company

Relationship Management For sustained success, organizations manage their relationships with interested parties

• Interested parties influence the environmental performance of an organization. Sustained success is more likely to be achieved when an organization manages relationships with its interested parties to optimize their impact on its environmental performance.

• The new revision reinforces this concept introducing as new requirements the analysis of the context of the organization and the identification of interested parties needs and expectations that could affect the achievement of the intended results of the EMS.

• An interested party can be a person or organization that can affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by a decision or activity. Not all parties will have needs and expectations affecting the organization.

• Each organization will have its own set of relevant interested parties which may change over time. Many organizations are already monitoring internal & external issues with potential to affect their EMS. They must provide evidence to internal & external auditors that the process exists and is effective.

Clause 5 Leadership And Commitment

This clause replaces the current clause on management responsibilities. The elimination of the role of ‘management representative’ now requires a more proactive leadership role and greater involvement of top management in identifying risks that can affect the conformity of products, services, customer satisfaction and integrating EMS requirements into its business processes.

EMS requirements into its business processes. Top-level commitment and empowerment of senior management has been raised up by the new standard, which means that the responsibility will not lie on one person. The environmental policy must include a commitment to improve all relevant aspects of the EMS, not just its effectiveness, and it must provide a framework (that is, a process) for “setting” the environmental objectives.

New Description Of Responsibilities
Important Changes:

Top management to establish, implement and maintain environmental policy
• Appropriate to the purpose and context of the organization
• Available to relevant interested parties, as appropriate
• Commitment to improve the EMS
• Communicated, understood and applied within the organization
• Maintained as documented information

Top Management Involved in:
• clarification of mission and vision
• consideration of changesand trends
• relationships, perceptions and values of stakeholders
• strategic priorities and availability of appropriate resources

Clause 6 Planning For The EMS

New, Revised And More Explicit Requirements:

• Consider life cycle perspective
• Take into account abnormal emergency situations
• Reasonably foreseeable emergency situations
• Retain documented information
• Establish environmental objectives at relevant functions and levels
• Considering its risks and opportunities
• The planning should include:
- what will be done
- what resources will be required
- when it will be completed
- how the results will be evaluated
• Actions to achieve its environment objectives can be integrated into organization business processes

Revised Requirements: • Maintain documented information of its compliance obligations
• Compliance obligations can result in risks and opportunities to the organization

6.3 Planning Of Changes

Undertake changes in a planned and systematic manner by considering:
• Potential consequences of change
• Integrity of the EMS
• Availability of resources
• Allocation or reallocation of responsibilities and authorities

Evidence-Based Decision Making

Decisions based on the analysis and evaluation of data and information are more likely to produce desired results.
• Decision-making can be a complex process, and it always involves some uncertainty. It often involves multiple types and sources of inputs, as well as their interpretation, which can be subjective. It is important to understand cause and effect relationships and potential unintended consequences. Facts, evidence and data analysis lead to greater objectivity and confidence in decisions made.

• The revision has not changed much this concept, except by being more explicit about what is expected from the organization and making it clear that analysis and evaluation of data is required for performance evaluation and to provide input to management review.

Clause 7 Support

Revised Requirements:
• Determine and provide resources needed by the EMS “People performing work under the organization’s control”
• Consider potential impact on “environmental performance”
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the actions taken
• Retain documented information as evidence of competence
• Not a specific management representative needed

New: Clause 9 Performance Evaluation

This is a new section where control clauses from the 2004 standard have been re-grouped Changes:
• “Environmental performance” of the EMS also to be“evaluated”
• “What, how and when monitoring and measuring”
• When the results shall be analyzed and evaluated
• Communicate information related to its environmental performance
• Determinate frequency for the evaluation
• “Take actions” if needed
• Knowledge and understanding of the compliance status

Revised New Requirements:
• Planning of internal audits need to consider also environmental importance of processes, changes impacting the organization
• Audit programs to include frequency, responsibilities, planning requirements and reporting
• Results of audits to be reported to relevant management
• Requirement for documented procedure eliminated

Clause 10 Improvement

Revised New Requirements: • “React” to the non-conformity:
- Actions to control it
- Deal with the “consequences”

• Determine if:
- Other similar nonconformities do or potentially could exist
- Changes if necessary to the EMS
- Reference to corrective action procedure eliminated

New Requirements:
• Revised and new requirements:
- Continually improve also adequacy and suitability of the EMS
- Consider outputs of analysis, evaluation and management reviews

What impact to expect on your management system?

Changes are more significant than for the previous revision the impact of the changes depends on:
• The Management System current maturity
• The organization strategic decision to integrate more the different Management Systems

What is the Transition Process?

• Train your core team (Quality Managers, Internal Auditors, CEO)
• Adapt your management processes to make them compliant
• Integrate parts of other management systems & update documentation
• Monitor the new processes, produce & analyze new KPIs. Act accordingly

The Transition Process takes 6 to 18 months
Note: Starting date to prepare transition (2nd Quarter 2015) And Dead line to move to ISO 2015 Certificate (3rd Quarter 2018).

During the 3-year-transition period, the organization decides when it transitions. An organization can still be recertified to the old standard during this period. Current certificates remain valid until the end of the transition period.

What are your benefits Of the Transition?

• Environmental Management is placed at the very core of business governance
• EMS will be closely taillored to each organization specification
• The EMS will be closely aligned with the Core Business Processes to facilitate an effective implementation
• It allows all types of businesses and activity sectors to better benefit from ISO 14001
• It will be easier for you to meet the mandatory requirements from your customers
• Continual improvement
• Less emphasis on documents and Greater motivated employees
• You will assure to deliver high quality products and services
• You will establish sustainable relationships with all relevant stakeholders
• You have more freedom to develop your own way to address the requirements of the standard
• You will ensure long-lasting customer satisfaction dueto improved ‘risk-management’
• Limiting the risks involved in the operation of relevant processes
• Better and timely decisions based on relevant and pertinent information
• Increasing ability to meet customer and other relevant interested parties requirements
• Higher efficiency of the EMS due to higher involvement of your employees and stakeholders
• Clients’ confidence in your products and services will be strengthened
• Responsibility for quality issues will be shared between several employees
• Anticipation of future and current needs from your stakeholders will lead to an early identification of business opportunities


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