New Edition of Guide to ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems, from Specialty Technical Publishers (STP)

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Revised guide helps organizations begin transforming their Environmental Management Systems to meet new requirements now
Management compliance with ISO standards is becoming increasingly important for corporations in North America, as their environmental practices and business activities often have an impact far beyond their borders.

Responding to the long-awaited release of ISO 14001:2015 (September 2015), STP is issuing a completely revised edition of its comprehensive implementation guide, now titled ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Systems: A Complete Implementation Guide.

The new edition, available online only, is being provided in a new full-size, fully searchable, linked, and bookmarked format. New and updated clause-by-clause explanations of the requirements are followed by practice-based recommended approaches to implementation. Task Lists, offering a highly efficient summary of key compliance activities in checklist format, are provided at the end of relevant chapters, and can also be opened separately via the “Checklists” button in STP Online.

A revised Gap Analysis tool for ISO 14001:2015 will be available as a separate product, employing STP’s audit protocol format and functionality.

Important Changes in ISO 14001:2015

Organizations that are certified to ISO 14001:2004 have three years (until September 2018) to adjust to the significant changes and transition their environmental management system (EMS) to conform to the 2015 edition of the standard.

The standard itself has been fully reorganized to fit the common structure for ISO management system standards. More importantly, ISO 14001:2015 emphasizes integration of environmental management into the core business management processes and increases focus on risks and opportunities, sustainability, lifecycle thinking, and leadership by top management. External communication is now required, not optional. The management representative has been eliminated, and top management is now directly accountable for the success of the EMS.

New Edition of the STP Guide

The new, completely reorganized, reviewed, updated, and retitled edition of this guide is being issued in four installments, incorporating the changes in ISO 14001:2015.

  •     Installment 1: Introduction, ISO 14001 Overview, Getting Started, Leadership [already issued]
  •     Installment 2: Planning, Support [expected end of February 2016]
  •     Installment 3: Operation, Performance Evaluation, Improvement [expected mid-March 2016]
  •     Installment 4: Certification, Beyond ISO 14001 [expected in April 2016]

First Installment

The first installment has already been released, providing revised and/or new Introduction and Chapters 1 through 5, offering an overview of the new standard, guidance on how to get started, and discussions of the clauses on organizational context and leadership. These are important clauses representing a significant shift in the required approach. Highlights are outlined below.

•Introduction: The revised Introduction to this guide provides a comprehensive table that compares the structures of ISO 14001:2015 ISO and 14001:2004. This table also lists the chapter of the guide that covers each set of ISO 14001:2015 clauses.

  • Chapter 1, ISO 14001 Overview: The 2015 edition of ISO 14001 places more emphasis on enhancing environmental performance through sustainable practices and a life-cycle perspective. Chapter 1 of the guide identifies key changes in ISO 14001:2015, and discusses the relationship between the ISO 14001 standard and other standards such as ISO 14031, the Environmental Performance Evaluation guideline, and ISO 14044, the Life Cycle Assessment requirements and guidelines.
  • Chapter 2, Getting Started: This chapter addresses how to get started with planning your EMS—figuring out where your organization stands in terms of existing processes and current environmental performance. Whether you are starting to design an EMS for the first time, or are looking to transition your existing EMS to meet the new requirements of the 2015 edition of ISO 14001, this chapter outlines a process you can use to identify gaps that need to be addressed. This chapter also describes the new structure and organization of the standard.
  • Chapter 3, Context of the Organization: This chapter focuses on the new requirement to understand the context of the organization—identifying those internal and external issues that can affect the way the organization manages its operations. This chapter also covers the requirement to develop an understanding of the needs and expectations of interested parties, either internal or external, and the requirement to define the scope of the EMS.
  • Chapter 4, Leadership: The 2015 edition of ISO 14001 eliminates the requirement for top management to appoint a specific representative. Instead, top management is now directly responsible for ensuring that the EMS achieves its intended outcomes. This chapter discusses how to engage top management as well as how to define and communicate other EMS-related roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.
  • Chapter 5, Environmental Policy: The 2015 edition of ISO 14001 adds new commitments that must be included in the environmental policy. This chapter discusses how to craft a policy statement that will not only meet the requirements of the standard, but will also be consistent with other commitments and guiding principles your organization may have already adopted.

To download a sample click here.

"Management compliance with ISO standards is becoming increasingly important for corporations in North America, as their environmental practices and business activities often have an impact far beyond their borders. I recommend this comprehensively revised publication for companies both large and small as the ideal business tool to bring themselves up to date with this vital international management standard." Steve Britten, President, Specialty Technical Publishers

About Lead Contributor Barbara Jo Ruble
Barbara Jo Ruble, QEP, CPEA, is President of Specialty Technical Consultants (STC). She has more than 30 years of experience helping corporations to develop, assess, and improve their EH&S management systems and compliance programs. She is both a Qualified Environmental Professional (QEP) and a Certified Professional Environmental Auditor (CPEA) for Management Systems, EMS ISO 14001, and Environmental compliance.

Ms. Ruble has assisted clients in a variety of industries to implement ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 management systems and obtain certification. She has developed comprehensive EHS guidance manuals, training programs, and multi-media auditing protocols for various industrial clients, and has performed hundreds of EHS compliance audits or management systems assessments of industrial facilities worldwide. She has also provided independent review of corporate EHS auditing programs and performed special-issue audits such as product liability assessments and emergency preparedness reviews. Ms. Ruble has been a member of The Auditing Roundtable since 1989 and is a past president of the organization.

About Specialty Technical Consultants
Specialty Technical Consultants, Inc. (STC) is a specialized management consulting firm working to enhance environmental health and safety (EHS) performance. Through its consulting services, STC partners with clients to strengthen management systems design and implementation, identifying needs and implementing solutions to meet business objectives. Services provided include: EHS compliance support; risk assessment; EHS auditing; corporate responsibility and sustainability; EHS management systems development and implementation; EHS regulatory information tools; and EHS training.

STC is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) and the Supplier Clearinghouse for the California Public Utilities Commission, and as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program.

About Specialty Technical Publishers
Specialty Technical Publishers produces technical resource guides covering environmental, health & safety, transportation and business practices, standards and laws, offering comprehensive guidance on key compliance and regulatory issues. STP is a division of Glacier Media Inc., a Canadian information communications company that provides primary and essential information in print, electronic and online media.

Glacier’s Business and Professional Information Group publishes directories, technical manuals, research and development materials, medical education, electronic databases, investment information and specialty websites.

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Lorraine O'Donovan
Specialty Technical Publishers
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