At the end of 2013, there was in excess of 300,000 companies certified to ISO 14001 in 170 countries.
ISO 14001 was first published in 2004 and this is the first revision of the standard which is due to be revised periodically. This revision aims to increase the standard’s relevance by helping to manage and increase awareness of environmental issues and to improve environmental performance of certified companies as this standard is designed to help business remain commercially successful without overlooking environmental responsibilities.
Dr. Anne-Marie Warris, Chair of the ISO subcommittee reviewing ISO 14001 describes ISO 14001 “as a critical environmental standard, which pulls together all environmental issues, be they water, air, climate, soil, and requires organizations to think about them all in a holistic manner.”
ISO 14001 has entered ‘Final Draft International Standard’ which is the next stage in the ISO standard revision process.
The latest draft was approved by a majority of 92% at the end of 2014, which indicates the amount of support for the changes. This revision is seen as an important step in the evolution of the standard and will improve on the current edition. Changes to the standard will be made based on the user survey conducted by the committee, which received over 5000 responses from 110 countries.
The next version will focus in more detail on:
- Strategic environmental management
- Protecting the environment
- Environmental performance
- Life-cycle thinking
- Increased focus on sustainable development
In this final stage, experts revising the standard will go through all the comments received during the previous public consultation (DIS) at their next meeting in Tokyo on the 2nd – 7th February 2015. The outcome will form the final draft, which will then be put forward for voting. Once the draft is approved, the standard will be published and a new version of the standard will be expected by the end of 2015.