The revision of ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems is in its final stages with publication due in October.
The new standard has an increased focus on legal compliance, introducing the need to maintain a good knowledge and understanding of compliance obligations. This requirement will become an ongoing process, rather than an annual evaluation adopted by many organisations. Businesses need to be prepared for both internal and external auditors looking for clear evidence of an organisation’s level of compliance.
Another key change in the standard is a business’s understanding of what leads to compliance obligations. Businesses will need to assess risk using a much wider approach, not simply assessing how business activities cause a direct risk to the environment. This analysis must look at the causes and impact of environmental and legal impacts, both now and in the future.
This places legal obligation within the risk and opportunities context, meaning businesses will have to be far more aware of their future compliance obligations and how that impacts their strategy and planning.
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