ISO management system standards, are you considering climate change?

ISO management system standards, are you considering climate change?

In February the International Organization for Standardization made the decision to add two new statements under Clause 4 in 31 international management system standards, including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018 and ISO 50001:2018.

The amendment is identical in each separate standard requiring the consideration of the impact of climate change on the results of the management system.

What has changed?

Changes have been made to Clause 4 to add 2 statements, putting emphasis and providing clarification surrounding climate change considerations:

  • Clause 4.1: “The organisation shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue.” This has been added to ensure that climate change – specifically – is considered as part of that process, and its relevance determined. It is attempting to ensure that climate change is not overlooked in the process.
  • Clause 4.2: “Note: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.” This is a clarification rather than another requirement as the relevant requirements relating to interested parties should have already been considered.

The changes have been published initially as an amendment to the current standard. We recommend downloading the relevant amendment document, which are available free of charge, and saving it with a copy of the standards to ensure the documents are up to date.

What does this mean for your organisation?

As organisations are already required to consider internal and external issues that can impact the effectiveness of their management system the requirements are mainly unchanged as climate change should already be considered. Organisations must now demonstrate that they have made clear considerations and provide evidence regarding climate change and how it is relevant to their management systems.

Certified organisations will be expected to know about and understand the implications of the published amendment. If your organisation already holds certification, you will not need a new certificate issued, as the amendments are being treated as a clarification rather than a new requirement under each standard.

When auditing, UKAS will expect certification bodies to apply the principles of the amendment and look for evidence that climate change has been considered under Clause 4.