ISO has published a new handbook to help subject matter experts improve their environmental performance using ISO 14001.
ISO 14001:2015, Environmental management systems – A practical guide for SMEs has been updated to include the 2015 revision of the standard.
Author of the handbook and leader of ISO/TC 207/SC 1/WG 5, the group that led the revision of this standard, Susan L. K. Briggs, said: “With the revised standard being issued, several new requirements were incorporated such as a focus on the organizational context, risks and opportunities, and leadership requirements.
“To facilitate expanded uptake of this standard, it was important to demystify these concepts for small- and medium-sized enterprises that are by far the most numerous organizations in most economies, particularly as many companies increasingly insist that ISO 14001 requirements are respected within the supply chain.
“I hope this handbook—which contains technical expertise, tools, templates and lessons learned from implementing these systems myself—will support SMEs in conforming to the requirements. The hope is to reduce the financial burden of hiring technical experts, but SMEs will still need to invest time.”
Briggs said the key for SME success is to leverage their informal management structures and decision-making processes, not replace them with overly complex and bureaucratic methods.
“The standard provides the ‘what’, while the handbook provides the ‘how,’” Briggs said. “ISO 14001 is a set of environmental management requirements that an organization must satisfy. The handbook provides practical help, examples and guidance on how to meet those requirements.”
Although the handbook has been designed with SMEs in mind, organizations of all sizes will find the information useful when implementing or upgrading their environmental management system to ISO 14001:2015.