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ISOs Climate Change Considerations to Management System Standards.

  • Publish Date: Posted about 2 months ago

​Shirley Parsons Partner and Technical Director Graham Taylor discusses the recent changes by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to its management system standards and why organisations will need to consider how climate change could affect their ability to deliver products and services.

What are the Changes.

Graham highlights two main additions to the standards:

1.Assessing Climate Change Impact: Organisations are now required to evaluate how climate change may affect their ability to deliver products and services. This involves understanding the context of their business operations within the broader marketplace.

2.Understanding Customer Requirements: Businesses must also consider whether any of their customers have imposed climate change obligations. This necessitates a thorough understanding of customer demands and potential regulatory requirements.

What This Means for Businesses.

The mandate affects several key standards, including ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 14001 for environmental management, and ISO 45001 for occupational health and safety.

In light of these changes, organisations must take the following proactive steps:

1. Evaluate Operations: Assess how climate change could impact business operations, including production, supply chains, and service delivery.

2. Review Contracts: Examine existing and future contracts to identify any climate change-related obligations imposed by customers or regulatory bodies.

3. Contingency Planning: Incorporate identified climate change risks and obligations into contingency planning to ensure business resilience.

Certification and Compliance.

Certification bodies will now seek evidence that organisations have considered these factors during audits and, businesses will be expected to document their evaluation processes and demonstrate compliance during surveillance audits.

Graham says:

“While the immediate impact may be minimal for some organisations, compliance with the new mandate is necessary. Even if the effects of climate change seem distant or uncertain, businesses must follow a logical process of evaluation and documentation to meet certification requirements.”

How Shirley Parsons Consultancy Services Can Help.

The new mandate from ISO underscores the importance of agility and adaptability in today's business landscape. While the specifics of climate change impact may vary, the need for comprehensive evaluation and proactive planning remains constant. By addressing these requirements head-on, organisations can not only ensure compliance but also enhance their resilience in the face of evolving challenges.

Here at Shirley Parsons, we offer a comprehensive range of Quality services to support our global client base and work in partnership with organisations to solve quality challenges through the provision of expertise in the most efficient and sustainable way.

Graham says:

“It's crucial for businesses to start evaluating their operations and planning for potential impacts of climate change now. We can help clients and organisations with these new changes before their next external audit are due. Content – does climate change impact your operations, including premises, suppliers etc? Do your clients place any specific contractual climate change obligations on you? Are there any CC risks within your contingency planning?

We can also do a document review and update your contingency plans accordingly as well as update your Quality Manual, contract reviews, procurement, supply chain management, facilities management and much more."

For more information on the new climate changes from ISO, or to get in touch with Graham to discuss your consultancy needs, fill out your details below: