If ISO 14001:2015 encourages organisations to consider environmental implications at the earliest stage in key business decisions (such as moving into new markets, product and services), it will help ensure a win-win for the organisation and the environment, rather that retrofitting operational environmental controls later on.

There are a number of new requirements in the Draft Standard which require greater involvement of top management for them to be fully effective. These include identification of high-level environmental opportunities for the organisation, and consideration of eco-design of products and services.

In Committee Draft 2 there was a requirement for top management to ‘give consideration to environmental performance in strategic planning‘. This requirement was proactive, and acted like fulcrum to lever other requirements, but it was removed in the DIS (Draft International Standard). The remaining requirement to ‘ensure policy is compatible with strategic direction’ is reactive, rather than proactive.

There have not been many comments on the BSI website regarding the DIS version of the standard, all comments made will make a difference. If you feel that this is important, as I do, then go to http://drafts.bsigroup.com/ and comment on the clause 5.1 of the draft standard before 31st October 2014. You have to search for ISO 14001, and then create a user name to comment.