Following the revision of the ISO 14001 environmental management systems standard, the International Organization for Standardization today released the updated version of its complementary standard, ISO 14004, to helps organizations get the most out of their environmental management system.
Managing environmental impacts — and the effects they have on business — is a growing imperative for organizations, regardless of size or type.
Effective environmental management also helps businesses save money on energy, waste management and compliance, among other costs. ISO 14001 data, published last year, found about 40 percent of businesses saved at least $15,238 since implementation, with some businesses saving more than $7.6 million as a result of using ISO 14001.
The revised ISO 14004:2016, “Environmental management systems – General guidelines on implementation,” aims to help organizations integrate an environmental management system such as ISO 14001 effectively into their business management.
“The new version of ISO 14004 provides organizations with further details and information in relation to the new ISO 14001:2015,” explains Dr. Anne-Marie Warris, chair of ISO/TC 207/SC 1, the technical committee that developed and revised the standard. “Some of the changes include a focus on protecting the environment, environmental performance, life-cycle perspective, leadership and strategic environmental management.”
The new ISO 14001 requires companies to take a more proactive approach to environmental management. The revised ISO 14004 will help organizations make this switching from simply preventing pollution to protecting the environment, Warris told Environmental Leader in an earlier interview. “Now we’re looking at what can you do to redesign your processes and systems to help protect the environment,” she said.