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1 year left to complete the ISO 14001:2015 transition. Are you ready? The step by step process explained to get your new ISO Certificate this year!

14001 transition

ISO 14001:2015, the latest version of ISO’s standard for environmental management systems, was released on September 23, 2015. Organizations that are already certified to ISO 14001:2004 will have three years from formal publication of ISO 14001:2015 to transfer to the new version of this standard. Based on the current publication schedule, this transition period would end in September 15, 2018.

Step 1: Learn more about the current QMS in your company

To get started, you must go through the existing QMS and implementation area for improvement.

Suggestion from our expert:

In EMS, the opportunities and risks could be identified from the area of service and product. This could help organizations to come up with the most suitable strategies.

Step 2: Learn more about the new version of the Standard, drafting action plan

Before drafting action plan, one must be clear about the changes in the newest version of the Standard. Thus one can decide on strategies according to the company structure and the newest requirements.

ISO 14001:2015 – Main Changes

  •  Strategic Environmental Management:
    There is a new requirement to understand the context of an organization when determining external and internal issues relating to its activities and the environment. Actions to address these issues within the Environmental Management System (EMS) are also required.
  • Leadership:
    A new clause has been added with particular responsibilities for top-level management to express their leadership and commitment to environmental management. Top-level management may assign this responsibility to others, but will retain accountability.
  • Protecting the Environment:
    Environmental policy shall incorporate a commitment to the ‘protection of the environment’, this includes ‘prevention of pollution’ and ‘other’ commitments, such as sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Environmental Performance:
    The key focus is on improving performance related to the management of environmental aspects. The organization shall decide on criteria to evaluate its environmental performance, using correct indicators.
  • Lifecycle thinking:
    The organization will need to extend its control and influence of its environmental impacts from raw material acquisition/generation to end-of-life treatment. This does not imply a requirement to perform a lifecycle assessment (LCA), however the organization will need to carefully consider the stages of product/service that can be controlled or influenced.
  • Communication
    Emphasis on internal and external communication, and equal treatment of both, has been added. The decision to communicate externally is retained by the organization while taking into account its compliance obligations.
  • Documentation
    The term ‘documented information’ is used instead of ‘documents’ and ‘records’. The organization has the flexibility to conclude when ‘procedures’ are required. Any format (paper, cloud, etc.) would be valid.

Suggestion from our expert:

The newest version of the Standard introduced a new mindset and concept on management, which is focusing more on risk management and the usage of advanced framework. More emphasis should be placed on these two aspect, enabling company to apply for other ISO Standards at ease.

Learn More:
To learn more about the new Standard and its requirements, click through these links to access the free webinar below:
ISO 14001:2015 Chanes and Transiton Essentials
Introduction to ISO 14001:2015 Transition

Step 3: Training

Have concerned parties undergo appropriate training regarding the new standard.

Related Training:
ISO 14001:2015 – Foundation / Internal Auditor / Lead Auditor / Transiotion / Implementation & Documentation Course
Enjoy 10% off via online booking!

Suggestion from our expert:

Other than transition courses, suggested all in-house internal auditors would have to renew their qualifications by attending the internal auditor course of the newest Standard. It would help the auditor to understand fully the newest requirements during the transition period. SGS provide training courses to help you understand the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and risk-based thinking. We are the first professional learning and development organization to offer one-day courses as an IRCA approved.

Step 4: Implement according to the newest requirements 

After drafting for the action plan for the transition, it’s time to put the plan in force. It is essential for companies to ensure the strategies meet new requirements.

To make things easier for you, we have developed a Readiness Checklist to help you understand all the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 and what you must do to ensure a smooth transition. Our checklist outlines the changes to the standard in simple terms and highlights the areas where you may already comply, so you know exactly what your next steps should be. Working through the Readiness Checklist will provide you with valuable insights and guidance.

Download readiness checklist for free

Suggestion from our expert:

During the transition, Readiness Checklist could be used to check on every changes or amendments required.

Step 5: Conduct gap-analysis

Conduct analysis on the preparation of certification, to find out whether the changes in implementation meet the requirements of the new Standard. Gap analysis would be able to point out the discrepancies in the implementation and requirements, and assist companies in making flowcharts on improvising strategies, until it meets requirements.

Our experts can carry out a gap analysis against the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 to make the transition smooth and transparent. This exercise will provide your organization with structured assistance to highlight the extent to which existing systems and controls cover the requirements of ISO 14001:2015.

Suggestion from our expert:

Gap analysis are recommended as it could discover finding before the official auditing and enable organizations to make amendments in strategies as soon as possible.

Step 6: Official update of the system

When everything is ready, SGS is ready to conduct audit on the company and give out certification when one meets the requirements of the newest Standard.

Suggestion from our expert:

Organizations should start their official auditing procedure as soon as possible, to ensure enough time for implementing modifications when there are new findings in the auditing process. Contact SGS today and start the ISO 14001 transition process.

How can SGS help?

GAP PLUS Programme

Our GAP Plus help you quick learn and prepare for the transition step by step, which included the following three services in ONE PACKAGE for ISO 14001.

1. ISO 14001:2015 Checklist + Briefing *(exclusive offer for GAP Plus clients only) 2 seats
2. SGS provides 1 Seat for Transition Course of ISO 14001:2015: 1 seat
3. Gap Analysis :Including one-day Gap Analysis with audit report

Enquiry/ Quotation

For more information, please contact:

Certification and Business Enhancement
Tel: (852) 2765 3620

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.