10 June 2014 — A revised version of the environmental management systems standard, ISO 14001, will be released for comment in July. The new ISO 14001:2015 will put a greater emphasis on leaders within an organisation promoting environmental management, with a requirement for visible commitment, and an emphasis on proactive improvement of environmental performance rather than the current emphasis on improving an organisation’s management system.
Other standards currently being revised by the International Organization for Standardization include greenhouse gas standards ISO 14064 and ISO 14065, which will become easier to use and better reflect the current market and policy. One of the main issues being discussed is how the standards can take into account carbon offsets or be applied to product carbon footprints.
According to University of Calgary professor Bob Page, chair of the group of experts working on the ISO 14000 family of standards, US President Barack Obama’s commitment to reducing power station carbon emissions is a clear sign of hope international progress on climate change negotiations will continue.
“The critical question is whether world leaders can be mobilised in time for the Paris summit in December 2015. To achieve this goal we must have top down approaches such as national commitments, as well as bottom up actions such as companies using ISO’s environmental standards,” Professor Page said.
- See our story article Can standards fill a policy vacuum?