Inclusion of Climate Change within ISO management system standards


The International Standards Organisation (ISO) have made changes to management system standards ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, and many others, in the form of additional text highlighting the importance of climate change consideration within the organisational context for the management system concerned.

To enhance organisational awareness and response to climate change, ISO has introduced two critical changes within clause 4 of the Harmonized Structure (Appendix 2 of the Annex SL in the ISO/IEC Directives Part 1 Consolidated ISO Supplement): -

• 4.1 Understanding the organization and its context where the following sentence is added: “The organization shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue”.
• 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties where the following sentence is added: “NOTE: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change”.

The overall intent of the requirement for clauses 4.1 and 4.2 remain unchanged and the inclusion of climate change in the new amendment only provides clarity to the existing requirement.

Expectations on Approved/Applicant Firms
• Firms should already be determining all internal and external issues that are relevant to the management system’s purpose, development, and effectiveness, which includes climate change.
• Firms must determine whether climate change is a relevant aspect and if so, be part of their management system.
• Climate change can have a different effect on each management system and so must be considered within the scope of each management system standard. For example, the effect on Quality Management System could be different to that on a Health and Safety Management System.

CARES activity
As part of the ongoing certification cycle CARES will continue to audit activities to ensure that all internal and external issues as required by clauses 4.1 and 4.2 have been considered, including the aspects of climate change.

CARES certificates of approval
Updates to current certificates of approval are not necessary on the grounds that: -

• The publication year of each management systems standard will not change.
• There is no change in the scope of application for the certified management system.
• There is no significant impact on the effectiveness of the certified management system.
• The change does not affect the current required activities by the firm apart from highlight one aspect.