Environmental Management Systems guidance document revised

BSI, the business standards company has revised ISO 14004 – Environmental Management Systems. Originally published in 1996 to provide guidance on creating an Environmental Management System (EMS), it also supports ISO 14001 the EMS high level requirements standard. ISO 14004 has had minor updates since first publication and has been revised to bring the standard up-to-date with changing environmental needs and has been developed to reflect the changes in ISO 14001:2015, which has also undergone its first major revision.

Organizations today are under constant pressure to improve environmental performance and compliance to regulation, meet climate challenges and reduce costs. To do this, they need a systematic approach and to continuously improve their EMS. By doing so they can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and improve efficiency.

The revision incorporates changes made to ISO 14001 including more detailed explanation of key concepts such as Context, Leadership, Risks and Opportunities and Life Cycle Thinking. Because ISO 14004 provides detailed guidance, it can provide particular support to those who might have less resources or feel uncertain about how to begin to create an EMS.

ISO 14004 helps organizations of all sectors and sizes to establish, implement and boost their environmental performance and coordinate this with smoother management operations. It is intended to help organizations manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner, thereby contributing to sustainability.

David Fatscher Head of Sustainability at BSI said: “ISO 14004 is dedicated to sustainable development and is compatible with diverse cultural, social and organizational frameworks and systems of management. The beauty of it is that it can help those organizations yet to implement an EMS, as well as those that already have one in place. It’s the best way for organizations to cope with future environmental challenges in an effective manner. It also helps them to broaden their understanding of environmental impacts by taking a view of the entire lifecycle and not just one element of sustainable development.”