Guide to ISO 14001:2015


ISO 14001, the world’s leading environmental management standard, is under revision, with an updated version due by the end of 2015. All ISO standards are reviewed every few years to establish if a revision is required to keep it current and relevant for the marketplace. The future ISO 14001:2015 will respond to the latest trends and be compatible with other ISO management systems. The following timeline indicates that the standard is currently at the FDIS (Final Draft International Standard) stage, and expected to be released by October.

Guide to ISO 14001-2015



Any future revisions?

There will always be future revisions. Some of the areas for future revisions will be looking closer at:

  • Environmental Management Systems (EMS) as part of sustainability and social responsibility
  • EMS and (improvement of) environmental performance
  • EMS and compliance with legal and other external requirements
  • EMS and overall (strategic) business management
  • EMS and conformity assessment
  • EMS and the uptake in small organisations
  • EMS and environmental impacts in the value/supply chain
  • EMS and engaging stakeholders
  • EMS and parallel or sub systems (GHG, energy)
  • EMS and external communication (including product information)
  • Positioning of EMS in (inter)national policy agendas


What’s the new structure?

The new structure is largely unchanged as the first 3 sections are Scope, Normative References, & Terms and Definitions. In the 2015 revision sections 4 through 8 are now 4 through 10, but still based on the PDCA model.

Guide to ISO 14001-2015-2



So the structure is new, what else?

  • Strategic Environmental Management: The overall goal is to identify opportunities for the benefit of both the organization and the environment. Understanding issues or changing circumstances related to the needs and expectations of interested parties and local, regional or global environmental conditions that can affect, or be affected by, the organization
  • Leadership: Assigning specific responsibilities for those in leadership roles to promote environmental management within the organization.
  • Protecting the environment: This area expands organizational commitment to being proactive in protecting the environment. There is no definition, but mentions it can include prevention of pollution, sustainable resource use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems, etc.
  • Environmental performance: Focus on improving environmental performance as it pertains to continual improvement
  • Lifecycle thinking: A life cycle assessment is not required, but focuses on extending control and influence environmental impacts associated with product use and end-of-life treatment or disposal.
  • Communication: Focus on external and internal communications focusing on consistency and reliability
  • Documentation: “Documented information” replaces “documents” and records. How you document is more open to best fit for your organization

Where can I get more information?

Getting a copy of the standard is always the best place to start, and there’s a lot of information available. We are constantly working on new online training for ISO 14001:2015 and other standards that can be accessed at


How can I find out how far we are?

We will also be offering “Revision Assessments” that can be done in conjunction with your current audit (or separately) that will focus purely on where you are in relation to the deltas. Contact your client services representative or account manager to find out more.

What should we do if we are planning on getting certified in the near future?

It depends on when you are looking to achieve certification, so you should contact a DEKRA professional (1-800-768-5362) to discuss your particular situation. We recommend continuing with your plan, but also familiarizing yourself with the new requirements of ISO 14001:2015. When your organization is ready, you can decide to get certified to the current version or ISO 14001:2015 when DEKRA transitions to the new version.

What about the changes to the other standards?

ISO 9001 is in FDIS stage. It is expected to be published in September 2015 shortly before ISO 14001:2015. You can download our guidance document at OHSAS 18001 will be adopted by ISO as ISO 45001 and is in the committee draft stage.

Download PDF version of the guide

Guide To ISO 14001-2015-May2015
Guide To ISO 14001-2015-May2015
Guide to ISO 14001-2015-July2015.pdf
774.8 KiB




Chris Carson,

Director of Business Development and Marketing

Direct: 480-895-9510
Cell: 651-829-1908