Management of Change – ISO 14001

Management of change is a systematic way to handle changes within an organization to effectively deal with the change and to capitalize on possible opportunities. It involves adapting to the change, controlling the change, and effecting new change.

ISO 14001:2015

Management of change is an important part of maintaining the environmental management system to ensure it achieves the intended outcomes on an ongoing basis.

Management of change is addressed in multiple requirements of ISO 14001, including:

  • maintaining the environmental management system (see 4.4),
  • environmental aspects (see 6.1.2.a),
  • internal communication (see 7.4.2.a),
  • operational control (see 8.1),
  • internal audit program (see 9.2.2),
  • management review (see 9.3), and
  • corrective actions (see 10.2.e).

These clauses on changes to the EMS are described below:

4.4 Environmental management system

To achieve the intended outcomes, including enhancing its environmental performance, the organization must establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve an environmental management system. Management of change is necessary to adequately maintain the EMS.

6.1.2 Environmental aspects

When determining environmental aspects, the organization must take into account:

a) change, including planned or new developments, and new or modified activities, products and services.

7.4.2 Internal communication

The organization must:

a) internally communicate information relevant to the EMS among the various levels and functions of the organization, including changes to the EMS, as appropriate;

8.1 Operational planning and control

The organization must control planned changes and review the consequences of unintended changes, taking action to mitigate any adverse effects, as necessary.

9.2.2 Internal audit program

When establishing the internal audit program, the organization must take into consideration the environmental importance of the processes concerned, changes affecting the organization, and the results of previous audits.

9.3 Management review

The management review must include consideration of

b) changes in:

1) external and internal issues that are relevant to the EMS;
2) the needs and expectations of interested parties, including compliance obligations;
3) its significant environmental aspects;
4) risks and opportunities.

The outputs of the management review must include decisions related to any need for changes to the EMS, including resources;

10.2 Nonconformity and corrective action

When a nonconformity occurs, the organization must:

e) make changes to the EMS, if necessary.