Last reviewed 30 April 2020

UK standards body, BSI, has replaced its SME environmental management standard, BS 8555, with the international standard, ISO 14005.

BS 8555:2016 Environmental Management Systems. Phased Implementation. Guide was the world’s first bespoke environmental management guidance standard developed to meet the needs of small to medium-sized businesses

The standard included a five-phased approach to build an environmental management system and was designed to help SMEs achieve the requirements of ISO 14001.

BS 8555 also incorporated environmental performance evaluation, using guidance set out in ISO 14031, to help organisations evaluate environmental performance across chosen indicators such as training, auditing and implementation.

Earlier this year, BSI decided to withdraw BS 8555 in favour of the recently updated international standard ISO 14005:2019 Environmental Management Systems. Guidelines for the Phased Implementation of an Environmental Management System.

ISO 14005 is also designed to support SMEs in EMS implementation, providing a phased implementation system in a similar way to BS 8555, which fulfils all the requirements of EMS certifiable standard ISO 14001.

The standard is particularly useful for SMEs which can find the full implementation of ISO 14001 or EMAS too daunting a prospect to take on in one go.

ISO 14005 allows organisations to focus on specific environmental aspects, thus enabling an organisation to extend the scope of the system in line with objectives. The standard also includes guidance on environmental performance.

For more information on the environmental management standards, see the An Introduction to Environmental Management Systems (EMS) and EMS Standards topics.