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ISO 14001:2015 Revisions

The ISO 14000 series of management standards provide your business with helpful ways to stay on top of environmental responsibilities while improving productivity at the same time. New improvements in the 14001:2015 update focuses on mapping out a framework your company, business or other institution can utilize to boost this level of environmental management. With the improved Annex SL interface and utilization, it allows your business to thrive both better internally but environmentally as well, far surpassing the previous elements of the ISO 14001:2004 version.

ISO 14001:2015 Structure

The major difference between the 2004 and 2015 ISO 14001 is the structure of management. The latest Annex SL template is now used in the 2015 edition and it directly impacts the layout of all other features found in the organization standard. Everything from company requirements and management practices to planning, employee performance and audition are connected to the new ANNEX SL. Annex SL provides more flexibility in operations and it is easier to combine multiple standards together. This means bridging from ISO 14001: 2015 to ISO 9001: 2015 is easy to do with the new structuralize standards found in Annex SL. By improving flexibility and compatibility with other management standards, the upgrade reduces time spent within the system and improves your company’s overall productivity levels with Annex SL.

Now, this is not to say the way auditing is conducted or decision making is completely changed. Much of these individualized elements of company organization stays the same. The way it is structured, reported and connected is what has changed.

Internal and External Organization

The 2004 version of ISO 14001 only required you to understand the internal context of the company and how it functions between individual departments. That is no longer the case in 2015. Now, it is vital to understand both the internal and external context. Environmental impact plays a very big role in the upgrade. EMS, or Environmental Management System has moved into a prominent position in system organization. With the growing concern regarding the environment, decisions made within the business must be done based on how it impacts the business itself and how it impacts the external environment as well. This adds another layer of research, but in the long run it can pay off tremendously. By understanding the environmental impact a company has, it not only is able to reduce energy consumption and cut expenses from the bottom line, but it increases your company’s access to valuable grants and tax cuts for environmental practices.

Understanding Risk

Risk planning is another area where the 2015 version has evolved from the previous 2004 version. Now, you are required to determine risks and opportunities in the business. Formerly, you may have just been asked to look at the possible opportunity, determine which opportunity factors into the greatest profits for the business and move forward from there. Now though, risk is included and the risk of any business move must be weighed against opportunity before determining the best course of action.

These are some of the major differences in organizational management and protocol with the updated 2015 ISO 14001 release over the older 2004.

If you are interested in more information about the ISO 14001:2015 revisions or if you are looking to upgrade, Quality Systems Enhancement can help. They provide consulting, auditing and training for the ISO standards that will equip your company will the necessary knowledge and skills to perform flawlessly. You can reach them through this number 770-518-9967 or by filling out a proposal request here.


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