Tackling a commitment to sustainability and low carbon with International Standards

International Standards were high on the agenda at a side event held in conjunction with the recent 23rd United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Bonn, Germany. 

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) positioned International Standards as an essential tool in implementing the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. ISO is developing a new framework to help organisations to meet the climate targets in the Paris Agreement, which will include environmental management system standard, ISO 14001, as well as ISO 50001 (energy management) and ISO 14064 (greenhouse gas emissions verification).

“The devastating climatic events the world has recently had to face show us how urgent it is to act now and to take concrete measures to protect our planet and our society. Voluntary International Standards developed with consensus by experts around the world are solutions that can have a practical and positive impact on our daily lives. They provide guidance to businesses as well as organisations from the public or private sector in addition to policy makers to support their efforts to reduce their environmental impact,” says ISO Secretary-General, Sergio Mujica. 

Since its publication in 1996, over a third of a million ISO 14001 certificates have been issued worldwide. The 2015 version of the standard has increased the commitment to environmental protection, rather than simply avoiding harm. 

The 3-year transition period for ISO 14001:2015 and the quality management system standard, ISO 9001:2015 is coming to an end and the IAF has recently announced that from 15 March 2018 all ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 assessments (including initial, surveillance and re-certification visits) must be performed against the 2015 version of the standards. They have also reiterated that from 15 September 2018 all ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certifications will be withdrawn. With less than a year to go, the stakes are increasing to ensure that organisations meet the deadline. 

"The world has changed and the revisions were needed to reflect this. The real measure of success comes when an organisation efficiently and effectively moves to the new standard, embraces these changes and realises the benefits of the management system, thereby moving their organisation from a state of compliance to one of performance," says Steve Williams, LRQA System and Governance Manager. 

With all the major ISO standards being revised, Lloyd’s Register is at the forefront of communicating the changes. We offer a range of assessment services as well public and in-house training courses, all aimed at helping to ensure that organisations worldwide have a smooth transition to the new standards. 

You can read the full report on the IAF and ISO event on the ISO website.