New ISO handbook brings environmental management to SMEs

Implementing an environmental management system can be challenging for small businesses. ISO’s new handbook has been designed to assist SMEs in improving their environmental performance using ISO 14001.

The benefits of addressing environmental issues are not only linked to the protection of the environment, they can also be found in a company’s business performance and profitability. The handbook ISO 14001:2015, Environmental management systems – A practical guide for SMEs has recently been updated to take into account the latest edition of the standard, published in 2015.

d7eed55a-cbfe-4264-b380-c3576fe62829_a0d53f9e8354b8840762b1b0d591028aSusan L. K. Briggs, the author of the handbook and leader of the ISO/TC 207/SC 1/WG 5, the group that led the revision of this standard, says: “With the revised standard being issued, several new requirements were incorporated such as a focus on the organizational context, risks and opportunities, and leadership requirements.”

For SMEs, implementing an environmental management system can be a real challenge as technical and financial resources, in addition to staff time, is often limited.

“The key for SME success is to leverage their informal management structures and decision-making processes, not replace them with overly complex and bureaucratic methods.”

The author sums it up in a nutshell: “The standard provides the ‘what’, while the handbook provides the ‘how’. ISO 14001 is a set of environmental management requirements that an organization must satisfy. The handbook provides practical help, examples and guidance on how to meet those requirements.”

ISO 14001 is one of a number of International Standards that help support better environmental management and tackle climate change. Other ISO standards focus on the management of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and helping organizations report their GHG emissions or reductions in order to comply with applicable national regulatory requirements, participate in the carbon emissions trading market or demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

The handbook is available for purchase from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.


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