Helping an organization integrate an environmental management system (EMS) such as ISO 14001 effectively into their business management is the key focus of the revised ISO 14004, as reflected in its new title “Environmental management systems – General guidelines on implementation”.
The future ISO 14004:2016 aims to provide guidance on the establishment, implementation, maintenance and improvement of an effective EMS. It is intended to help organizations manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner, thereby contributing to sustainability.
The emerging changes to the standard will take into account how an organization chooses to maintain and improve an EMS and implement environmental management requirements into its overall business management system. It also aligns with the changes made to the recently revised ISO 14001:2015.
Per Arne Syrrist, Convener of the working group that revised ISO 14004, said: “The 2016 version of the standard will be a useful guidance document, both for those organizations that are yet to implement an EMS, and those with EMS experience that want to develop it further to cope with future environmental challenges.”
“The revised ISO 14004 will help organizations understand and use ISO 14001:2015 in an effective manner, taking account of matters such as the context of the organization and the effect of the environment of the organization,” adds Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of ISO/TC 207/SC 1 on environmental management systems, the technical committee with responsibility for the standard.
“It will also have a broader scope by switching from ‘prevention of pollution’ to protecting the environment, and will take a life-cycle perspective.”
ISO 14004:2016 is due to be published in March 2016.