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Are Firms Prepared for ISO 14001 Upgrade?

ISOMany companies, plants and factories are in danger of not being ready when the main environmental management standard ISO 14001 will be upgraded next year, according to research by EEF, the manufacturers’ organization for UK manufacturing companies, as reported by Plant Engineer.

The upgrade significantly changes the way firms will have to view and apply their environmental management systems.

EEF’s study shows that 90 percent of companies’ environmental management systems are not completely ready for the standards, and 80 percent do not have sufficient top level support to meet the new requirements.

The research appears to run contrary to a survey by ISO earlier this year, where more than 60 percent of respondents indicated “high” to “very high value” for management commitment and employee engagement for the international standard.

In addition, less than half of the companies researched by EEF (49 percent) are investing appropriately in their environmental performance and competence, while just one in 10 (11 percent) are maximizing the benefits of environmental management systems by making certain it takes into account the complete lifecycle of their product or service.

Greg Roberts of EEF said the findings show that for many businesses and senior management teams, having an environmental management system is simply a box ticking exercise, and they are not grasping the full potential and opportunity of the system.

ISO 14001 will continue to be a voluntary standard. However, more than 15,000 certificates have already been issued in the UK and there is growing demand from customers for firms to attain it.

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