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ISO 14001:2015. Are you ready?

Introduction
The internationally recognised standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001, has enabled organisations to cut costs, improve productivity, capitalise on business opportunities, maintain and enhance brand, and reduce risks since 1996. More than 300,000 organisations worldwide have been certified to the standard and many others have chosen to develop self-certified environmental management systems. The big news is that the current standard (2004 revision) is currently undergoing a significant revision: the updated standard is due for publication in September 2015. The publication of the new standard will introduce new challenges and opportunities for increasing economic and environmental benefits.

We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to our IEMA Approved courses designed to help make this transition to ISO 14001:2015 smoother:

  • 22 September 2015 (Helsby, Cheshire)
  • 1 October 2015 (Bristol)
  • 8 October 2015 (Hemel Hempstead, London)
  • 15 October 2015 (Glasgow)
  • 5 November 2015 (Coventry)
  • 12 November 2015 (Belfast)
  • 20 November 2015 (Tonbridge, Kent)

For additional locations and dates, to confirm availability and pricing, or to book your place, please contact Warren Percival, wpercival@rsk.co.uk.

Significant changes
Some of the key changes being made to the standard include
  • a completely new structure based on the International Organization for Standardization’s higher-level structure. This is a common structure to be used across all standards, including ISO 9001 and the proposed ISO 45001, which will replace OHSAS 18001 in 2016.
  • strengthening of the relationship between the core workings of organisation and its environmental management system
  • the requirement to consider environmental performance in an organisation’s strategic planning process: how the environment will affect your organisation’s operations, activities, products and services as opposed to simply looking at aspects and impacts from your activities on the environment
  • a tightening up of the requirements placed on top management involvement: are your senior management teams fully up to speed with environmental and sustainability matters relating to your organisation and its environmental management system? Signing a policy and attending periodic management review meetings will not suffice in the future.
  • giving consideration to risks and opportunities, i.e., climate change adaption and resource security and scarcity, and moving beyond standard aspects and impact assessments
  • managing impacts across the whole value chain using a life-cycle perspective, i.e., giving consideration to the procurement of goods and services
  • an extension of the requirements to evaluate compliance, i.e., to specify frequency and show knowledge and understanding
  • ensuring the quality and credibility of environmental information.
 
These changes will also result in greater scrutiny regarding compliance obligations on-site, of third parties, i.e., external auditors, customers and interested parties, and of the strategy of an organisation and the implementation of sustainability within it. 
 
Timeframe and transition
The revised standard will be published in September. Companies certified under the current 2004 standard will be given three years from the date of publication to comply with the new standard.
 
If you are currently certified to ISO 14001:2004, your certification body will likely want to try to move you towards the new 2015 standard before the final transition date. You officially have until September 2018 to make the transition. However, you will gain many benefits from moving earlier:
  • being able to communicate to clients your progression to a more rigorous standard
  • gaining business continuity benefits from the identification of how changes in the environment such as climate change, flooding or raw material scarcity or changes in availability may affect your organisation
  • greater scrutiny of environmental and sustainability matters in your business planning process and strategy development
  • better compliance evaluation and performance
  • the ability to communicate these issues at the pre-qualification questionnaire and tender stages when bidding for work; this could be a competitive advantage in the early days of the new standard, but become the norm or a requirement from clients as the deadline for transition approaches.
 
It is also likely that during surveillance visits or if your three-year recertification audit falls before the 2018 transition deadline you will be assessed against both standards. You will accrue nonconformances against the new standard. These will not jeopardise your current certification, but will give you a road map for transitioning. All nonconformances will need to be addressed before being considered for certification to the 2015 standard.
 
If you are not currently certified to ISO 14001:2004 but are attempting to gain certification, you have little time to achieve this under the 2004 standard. After September 2015, when the new standard is issued, all applications must be made under the new standard.

How can RSK help?
RSK has a long and successful history of working with a broad spectrum of organisations in the development and implementation of environmental management systems and their integration with other management systems. Our environmental management system experts and compliance teams across the UK can support you and your organisation with
  • reviewing and continually improving your environmental management systems or developing a new one
  • integrating your environmental management systems with other key systems such as ISO 9001, OHSAS 18001 or ISO 50001 linked to energy management and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme obligations
  • gap analysis of your existing systems against the ISO 14001:2015 standard
  • the delivery of bespoke training on key concepts on the new standard or accredited training, including the IEMA approved ISO 14001:2015 Transition Course
  • legislative compliance services, including RSK’s web-based legal portal that enables regular updating of legal registers and compliance obligations and tracking of compliance evaluation and status
  • internal auditing services as part of an audit programme or a pre-certification audit
  • assistance with selecting the appropriate certification body.  

For further information, contact Warren Percival on Tel: +44 (0)1928 726006 / Mob: +44(0)7793365862 wpercival@rsk.co.uk or visit us at www.rsk.co.uk.

RSK Group plc has held certification to the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards for quality, environmental and health and safety management across its operations since 2003.

Development industry seminars: Save the date

RSK has run a series of autumn seminars on the changing environmental legislation in the development industry for clients and interested parties for many years. The tradition will continue this year. In response to requests from clients, we are giving advance notice of the schedule so that diary dates can be reserved before the official invitations are issued in September.

This year’s dates and venues:

  • 12 November: The Corinthian, Ingram Street, Glasgow
  • 17 November: Wetherby Racecourse, Wetherby
  • 20 November: The Centre, Birchwood, Warrington
  • 24 November: The National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry
  • 26 November: Watford Football Club, Watford

The seminars are free to interested parties. Each delegate will receive an appropriate continuing professional development certificate. Experts from a series of legal experts and planners, including Bond Dickinson, DAC Beachcroft, Wright Hassall and Turley, will join our internal speakers so that delegates gain all-round understanding of the various technological and legislative advances.

Watch the development industry seminars video for seminar content, programme, and more information.

We do hope that you can join us and even stop for lunch!

If you have any problems playing the video, require any further information before the invitations are issued or would like to register your interest now, please contact Ian Ditchfield or Jane Rigby.

Structural Soils has the wind at its back

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RSK assists in Welsh regeneration plans

RSK has recently supported Fear Group and architect Nash Partnership in submitting an outline planning application to develop the site of a former Sainsbury’s supermarket close to Newport city centre in south-east Wales. The £60-million plans for the site include a 600-bed student village, 144 dwellings, an 80-bed hotel, a convenience store, a restaurant and health facilities. RSK joined the design team to advise on ecology, trees, archaeology and heritage, air quality and noise.

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Going green with Glendale

RSK has awarded Glendale Services, a leading UK supplier of specialist green service solutions for managing and maintaining the green environment, a three-year contract to provide horticultural maintenance services to a recently completed landfill restoration project: a former chemical plant in Hapton, Lancashire.

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