Kim Karotki

ISO 9001 and 14001 – latest ver­si­on now adop­ted (2)

Envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem under­goes suc­cess­ful changeover

15 Sep­tem­ber 2018 is the chan­geo­ver dead­line for busi­nes­ses with regard to cer­ti­fi­ca­ti­on of their envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tems. By then, the latest ver­si­on of the ISO 14001 stan­dard – enti­t­led ISO 14001:2015 – needs to have been inte­gra­ted into the­se sys­tems. Klasmann-Deilmann has alrea­dy taken this step.

The ISO 14001 inter­na­tio­nal envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment stan­dard lays down glo­bal­ly reco­gnis­ed requi­re­ments for an envi­ron­men­tal manage­ment sys­tem (EMS). An impro­ve­ment pro­cess that forms an important basis for this stan­dard draws on the PDCA method (Plan – Do – Check – Act).

A new addi­ti­on to the 2015 ver­si­on is assess­ment of ‘con­text’. Now, stron­ger stra­te­gic deman­ds are pla­ced on com­pa­nies, and they must take into con­si­de­ra­ti­on both cur­rent and future ques­ti­ons rela­ting to envi­ron­men­tal aspects and busi­ness per­for­mance, pro­vi­ded the­se ques­ti­ons are rele­vant to the com­pa­ny in eco­lo­gi­cal terms. Ins­tead of working through a rigid list of cri­te­ria, busi­nes­ses are respon­si­ble for iden­ti­fy­ing envi­ron­ment­al­ly rela­ted issu­es – spe­ci­fied both intern­al­ly and extern­al­ly – and for deter­mi­ning (for them­sel­ves) which of the­se are rele­vant to the company.

The new ver­si­on also inclu­des risk iden­ti­fi­ca­ti­on; the­re is now a grea­ter focus on pin­poin­ting risks and oppor­tu­nities in rela­ti­on to envi­ron­men­tal aspects. This means that com­pa­nies must take the initia­ti­ve more with regard to their EMS. Top management’s accoun­ta­bi­li­ty for the EMS is stres­sed: under the 2015 ver­si­on, requi­re­ments pla­ced on the sys­tem must be inte­gra­ted into busi­ness pro­ces­ses. In this way, the­re will be clo­ser inter­ac­tion bet­ween cor­po­ra­te gover­nan­ce and envi­ron­men­tal protection.

An impro­ve­ment in envi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance has always been an objec­ti­ve of the ISO 14001 stan­dard. Pre­vious­ly, the idea was to achie­ve this by avoiding envi­ron­men­tal impacts. The stan­dard now goes fur­ther and com­mits com­pa­nies to acti­ve envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion. Addi­tio­nal­ly, per­for­mance assess­ment is now more rigo­rous, requi­ring the use of key per­for­mance indicators.

Sin­ce 2012, Klasmann-Deilmann has publis­hed an annu­al Sus­taina­bi­li­ty Report. We are the­re­fo­re well pre­pa­red for the now man­da­to­ry adop­ti­on of ‘life cycle thin­king’ in con­nec­tion with the EMS. Envi­ron­men­tal aspects and rela­ted envi­ron­men­tal impacts of com­pa­nies’ acti­vi­ties, pro­ducts and ser­vices must be iden­ti­fied, taking life cycles into account. Howe­ver, a for­mal, detail­ed Life Cycle Assess­ment is not requi­red. Klasmann-Deilmann’s focus is on CO2 emis­si­ons, which have sin­ce 2014 alrea­dy been trans­par­ent­ly dis­c­lo­sed in a cli­ma­te foot­print. We are cur­r­ent­ly pre­pa­ring the fourth such footprint.

The glo­bal approach adop­ted and advan­ces in com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons media result in exten­ded requi­re­ments for both inter­nal and exter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. Here, too, busi­nes­ses are given grea­ter auto­no­my: they have to deci­de for them­sel­ves the ‘who, when and how’ of their com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on activities.

Fol­low this link to the first part of our seri­es: ISO 9001.