Last reviewed 22 May 2019

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has finally approved and published its revised environmental management standard for SMEs.

ISO 14005 was first published in 2010, but was updated in May 2019, following detailed consultation with National Member Bodies (NMB) and the need to align the SME standard with the revisions set out in the international standard ISO 14001.

The standard title has also been amended to reflect the changes: ISO 14005:2010 — Environmental management systems — Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation Environmental management systems, including the use of environmental performance evaluation, is now ISO 14005:2019 — Environmental management systems — Guidelines for a flexible approach to phased implementation.

There is growing pressures on businesses to do more to protect the environment, which can be particularly hard for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), given their limited resources and lack of expertise. ISO 14005 was introduced to provide SMEs with guidance on how to set up a phased approach to implementing an EMS that can be undertaken at their own pace and without stretching resources.

The revised standard builds on experiences gained from the first edition. The phased approach provides flexibility for an organisation to develop the EMS over a number of phases, each consisting of six consecutive stages. The number of phases is flexible, which allows organisations to develop the scope, ie the activities, products and services included, and maturity of their EMS, at their own pace and in line with their objectives and available resources.

The standard will be implemented at European level as a CEN standard under the Vienna Agreement. For the European version, EN ISO 14005, an Annex is included to cover the requirements of the EU EMAS scheme (REGULATION (EC) 1221/2009 and its revised annexes (Annex I-III, as amended by Commission regulation (EU) 2017/1505.

Further details of all key national, European and international environmental management standards are presented on Croner-i here.