The publication of ISO 14001:2015 in September 2015 has been widely reporting on this website and across the environmental social media.
Less has been reported about the impact that the changes to ISO 14001:2015 will have on the requirements of the European Union’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Readers will recall that EMAS is positioned as the premium environmental management system within the European Union with significant take-up in Germany, Italy, Austria and Spain.
I had been curious about what the new ISO 14001:2015 standard will mean for EMAS registered organisations as I had been the previous Deputy Chair of the Forum of Accreditation and Licensing Bodies and help to support EMAS with my clients.
My initial questions were answered in the newly published info sheet: EMAS and the revised ISO 14001. In the document, the European Commission, the EU EMAS Helpdesk and the German EMAS Advisory Board outline the likely timeline for modifications to the EMAS Regulation and identify the key areas where significant changes will probably be necessary.
The perspective of the guide is to ensure that EMAS will continue to be the premium environmental management system with the key features that make it stand out from other environmental management schemes of requirements for:
- Demonstrated legal compliance
- Compulsory commitment to continuous environmental performance improvements
- Communication with the public, and employee involvement.
EMAS is under continuing pressure from the published ISO 14001:2015, which seeks to address these requirements head-on & has a greater market of 324,148 (2014) compared with 9,271 (May 2016).
For, now, the European Union’s guide: EMAS and the revised ISO 14001 is available here to assist the marketplace to determine the true value of EMAS over ISO 14001:2015.