Two Key International Business Standards Set to Change for Irish Firms

Environmental Management standard (ISO 14001) and Quality Management standard (ISO 9001) have been revised to reflect increased globalisation and changing customer expectations

NSAI is advising Irish businesses that two of the world’s most popular standards in Quality Management (ISO 9001) and Environmental Management (ISO 14001) are set to change from this month. Key improvements will help organisations to tackle changing business conditions, from climate change to supply chain management.

These standards are used by almost 1.5 million companies worldwide, including over 3,000 in Ireland. With more than 300,000 certificates issued globally every year, ISO 14001 ranks high on the agenda of many organisations who place a significant importance on their environmental impact. ISO 9001 is the world’s most recognised standard, used by over a million firms worldwide, from giant multinational corporations to local community groups. This standard is the first port of call for organisations that have decided to strengthen, streamline or review their management procedures.

Experts from over 180 countries, who are members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), have spent the past three years reviewing these standards to ensure they continue to help organisations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges.

Head of Business Excellence at the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Fergal O’Byrne said increased globalisation has changed the way we do business:

“The challenges faced by Irish businesses today are very different from a few decades ago and these standards in Quality Management and Environmental Management have been updated to take this new environment into account. More and more tender requirements seek certification to these standards so if you want to remain competitive in this increasingly globalised environment, NSAI would encourage all Irish businesses to get certified to these two key international standards. By being certified, you are proving to your customers here at home and abroad, that your organisation complies with the highest international standards.”

The newly revised Environmental Management Systems standard (ISO 14001) was published on September 15th 2015. ISO, based in Geneva, will publish the updated Quality Management Systems standard, ISO 9001 on September 23rd.

Welcoming the changes, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton said the implementation of these standards will help Irish businesses to grow and expand into new markets:

“Technology is driving increased expectations from customers and businesses. We are seeing a trend towards more complex global supply chains that demand integrated action. So Irish organisations need to perform in new ways, and our quality management standards need to keep up with these expectations. I am confident that the 2015 editions of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 can help them achieve this.”