Important Environmental Updates to ISO Standards

26 Mar, 2024

The ISO has amended several management standards to include two new statements emphasising climate change considerations. These amendments will also be included in any standards currently in development or revision. These changes highlight the importance of recognising climate change as a relevant issue within an organisational context and considering the climate-related requirements of interested parties.  

Which Standards are affected?

More than 30 standards have been updated. The key standards affecting clients of ISO QSL include: 

  • ISO 9001 Quality Management 
  • ISO 14001 Environmental 
  • ISO 27001 Information Security 
  • ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety 
  • ISO 22301 Business Continuity

What’s Changed? 

The recent changes relate to Clause 4: Context of the Organisation. Overall, the requirements of the clause remain the same, however, the amendments ensure you are considering climate change within your management system: 

Clause 4.1 Understanding the organization and its context.

The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended result(s) of its XXX management system.  

Added: “The organization shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue.”

Clause 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties.  

The organization shall determine: 

  • the interested parties that are relevant to the XXX management system. 
  • the relevant requirements of these interested parties.  
  • which of these requirements will be addressed through the XXX management system. 

Added: NOTE: “Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change”.

What does this mean for us? 

The good news is that those with existing ISO certifications are not required to upgrade to a new version of their standard. Instead, you should begin to include climate change considerations in your existing management system. As part of this, you should determine whether climate change is relevant and, if so, that you consider the aspects and risks of this. Your auditor will be able to support you with this as part of your next support visit or re-certification audit.  

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