RSK urges firms to prepare for new environmental rules

Specialist land remediation and environmental science consultancy RSK Group is holding a series of briefings for property professionals ahead of the expected changes to ISO14001, the main environmental management system, due to be published later this month.

Since its introduction in 1996, ISO14001 has enabled organisations to cut costs, improve productivity, capitalise on business opportunities, maintain and enhance brand.

Over 300,000 organisations around the world have been certified to the standard and many others besides, who have chosen to develop self-certified systems. The big news is that the current standard (2004 revision) is currently undergoing a significant revision with an updated standard due to be published in September 2015. The publication of the new standard will introduce new challenges and opportunities to increase economic and environmental benefits.

In a briefing note, RSK outlined some of the key changes to be expected:

  • A complete new structure to be used across all standards and introducing new sections and definitions
  • Strengthening of the relationship between an environmental management system and the core workings of organisations
  • Requirement to consider environmental performance in organisations’ strategic planning process; how will the environment impact upon your organisation’s operations, activities, products and services as opposed to simply looking at aspects and impacts from your impacts on the environment
  • A tightening up of requirements placed on top management involvement; are your senior management teams fully up to speed with environmental / sustainability matters relating to your organisation and EMS?
  • Consideration to be given to risks and opportunities i.e. climate change adaption, resource security and scarcity moving beyond standard aspects and impacts assessment;
  • Managing impacts across the whole value chain using a life cycle perspective; consideration given to procurement of goods and services
  • Extension of the requirements to evaluate compliance
  • Ensuring the quality and credibility of environmental information.

The result of these changes will be greater scrutiny regarding compliance obligations on site, by third parties including customers and auditors. The revised standard will be published in September, companies certified under the current 2004 standard will be given 3 years from the date of publication to comply with the newly published standard.

RSK is running sessions designed to help make this transition to ISO 14001:2015 smoother on the following dates:

  • 22 September, Helsby, Cheshire
  • 1 October, Bristol
  • 8 October, Hemel Hempstead, London
  • 15 October, Glasgow
  • 5 November, Coventry
  • 12 November, Belfast
  • 20 November, Tonbridge, Kent

For additional locations and dates, to confirm availability and pricing, or to book your place, please contact Warren Percival / 07793365862.

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