ISO 14001 Survey: Towards the future of EMS


The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) have, just published, the results of their recent ISO 14001 survey findings to help contribute to IEMA’s position on the revision of ISO 14001:2004 over the next two years through to the eventual implementation of the revised standard in 2015.

With ISO 14001 used by more than 250,000 organisations around the world to improve their environmental performance, this is an important step to understand what is needed by organisations to manage their environmental risks and compliance issues over the next decade.

A total of 1,651 IEMA members contributed their views on the future of ISO 14001 with the full results of the survey to be published in the June edition of the IEMA journal, the environmentalist.

The main findings include:

  1. practitioners find the current version of 14001 to be a flexible and effective standard, but additions and enhancements are needed;
  2. environment professionals believe 14001 should require organisations to link the EMS to the strategic decision-making processes – 95% agree with the need for such a requirement, which would ensure that environmental considerations are accounted for at an early stage and across all areas of an organisation;
  3. the majority of respondents believe that 14001 should require organisations to consider the impacts from a changing environment on the business, in addition to its impacts on the environment (86% in favour). This is important for maintaining the resilience of the business against, for example, challenges from climate change and resource security;
  4. practitioners want new requirements introduced for evaluating progress, such as the use of self-determined key performance indicators, and the demonstration of continual improvement to help organisations achieve further improvements in their environmental performance;
  5. the introduction of maturity matrices as a guidance tool to help evaluate and plan the development of the EMS is supported – IEMA is in the process of developing one with practitioners; and
  6. an EMS is a key aspect of the role of 78% of respondents.
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