The International Standard organisation who are renowned for promoting the development of standardisation with the objective of facilitating international trade have announced that all three standards namely ISO 14001, 18001 and 19001 will be upgraded by the end of 2016. With all major ISO standards being reviewed every five years and revised where necessary, it has become important to build these into the whole management system as the changes tie in with leadership requirements.
Whilst the standards cover the same topics, there are some important differences which Rand-Air’s Quality Manager, Bongani Thobela has welcomed. “The changes in the 2015 revision to ISO 9001 are in place for us as an organisation and those within similar industries to ensure that we are continuously adapting to the changing environments in which we operate. This is also an opportunity for us to demonstrate that we are constantly providing products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements,” he explains.
“Having recently attended a SHEQ conference, it was evident that the changes and upgrades are aimed at promoting risk-based thinking which will enhance the application of the process approach, increase leadership requirements and lastly improve accessibility for services. This is aligned with our approach at Rand-Air as it supports proactive behavior rather than reactive, it helps prevent or reduce undesired effects and upholds our commitment to continual improvement,” says Thobela.
In terms of the upgrades to ISO14001, the requirements can be incorporated into any environmental management system. “These upgrades have been set out to manage environmental aspects, fulfill compliance obligations and address risks and opportunities. The benefits of conforming to ISO 14001:2015 include improved resource efficiency, waste reduction, the increase of stakeholder and customer trust, the management of environmental obligations with consistency to name a few.
The transition period is expected to be up to three years for the implementation for new standards. “We believe that it is better to embrace the changes sooner rather than later as this will inspire leadership to undertake the necessary requirements in conjunction with the new risk-based thinking process. By facilitating both and supporting the synergy means that we will be best equipped to pick up threats and risks that will need to be navigated in the upcoming months and years,” Thobela concludes.