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A new era for ISO management system standards: integrating climate change

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has recently updated its management system standards to incorporate climate change considerations, a move inspired by the ISO London Declaration. This step signifies a unified approach to addressing climate change across various sectors and standards, such as ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001.

The catalyst for change

At the heart of this initiative is the ISO’s commitment to combat climate change, as outlined in the London Declaration. The recent updates to the ISO management system standards underscore the importance of integrating climate change considerations into organisational processes.

What’s changing?

Here are the relevant updates:

  1. Understanding the organisation and its context (Clause 4.1): The standard now explicitly requires organisations to assess the relevance of climate change to their operations. The updated clause states:
    • 1 Understanding the organization and its context:
      The organization shall determine external and internal issues that are relevant to its purpose and that affect its ability to achieve the intended result(s) of its XXX management system.
      Adding: “The organization shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue”
  2. Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties (Note to Clause 4.2): A note has been added to highlight that interested parties may have climate change-related requirements. The note clarifies:
    • 2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties.
      The organization shall determine:
            •   the interested parties that are relevant to the XXX management system;
            •   the relevant requirements of these interested parties;|
            •   which of these requirements will be addressed through the XXX management system.
      Adding: “NOTE: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change”

The scope of impact

The amendments are applicable to all Type A ISO management system standards, including but not limited to:

  • ISO 9001: Quality Management
  • ISO 14001: Environmental Management
  • ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety
  • ISO/IEC 27001: Information Security Management

Practical implications

For organisations, especially those with environmental management systems like ISO 14001, considering the impact of climate change is not new. However, the updates will require all organisations that are certified to an ISO Standard, regardless of their current focus, to assess the relevance of climate change to their operations. If deemed relevant, climate change should be integrated into the organisation’s objectives and mitigation activities. This approach does not mandate a major overhaul of existing management systems but ensures that climate change is considered alongside other significant issues affecting the management system’s effectiveness.

To accurately assess the relevance of climate change to your operations, conducting a climate risk and opportunity assessment is essential. This process involves identifying potential risks and opportunities that climate change presents to your organisation, evaluating their impact, and determining appropriate strategies to address them.

Embracing the change

The amendments, published by ISO on 23 February 2024, mark a significant milestone in our journey towards a more sustainable and resilient future. We urge all organisations, regardless of size or sector, to review these important updates and consider how climate change might impact their operations and management systems. Assess your management systems, identify areas for integration of climate change considerations, and take proactive steps towards sustainability.

How we can help you

Understanding the complexities of climate change and its potential impact on your operations can be challenging. Our team is here to assist you in navigating this process. We offer specialised services to help you conduct a comprehensive climate risk and opportunity assessment tailored to your organisation’s specific needs. Our approach includes:

  • Risk identification: We help you identify both direct and indirect transition and physical climate-related risks to your operations, supply chain, and business model.
  • Opportunity analysis: Our team assists in pinpointing opportunities arising from climate change that your organisation can leverage for sustainable growth.
  • Strategic integration: We guide you in integrating climate change considerations into your strategic planning, ensuring alignment with your organisation’s objectives and mitigation activities.
  • Customised solutions: Recognising that each organisation is unique, we provide customised solutions that reflect your specific circumstances, industry standards, and regulatory requirements.


100% Renewables are experts in helping organisations to decarbonise. If you need help with your climate action strategy, please contact  Barbara or Patrick.

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