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Climate Change Amendment in ISO Management Systems Standards Welcomed

March 06, 2024

We welcome the recent ISO/Committee for Conformity Assessment (CASCO) decision to add a reference to “climate change” within all management systems standards operating according to Annex SL.

With decades of experience as the world’s leading certification company and over 30 years of sustainability expertise and solutions, we understand the need to incorporate “climate change” into all related management systems standards.

Importantly, ISO/CASCO and the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) have stated that this is a clarification rather than a new requirement. As such, the publication year of Annex SL standards will not change.

The additions to clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the related standards will be as below in bold:

4.1 Understanding the organization and its context:

  • The organization shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue.
  • New text to be added.

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties:

  • NOTE: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.
  • Note to be added.

Although the overall intent of the requirements for clauses 4.1 and 4.2 are unchanged, the inclusions ensure that “climate change” is now considered within the management system and as an external factor important enough for organizations to consider.

Expectations of certified organizations

Certified organizations should ensure that they have considered “climate change” aspects and risks within the development, maintenance and effectiveness of their own management system(s).

“Climate change”, along with other issues, should be determined as relevant or not and, if so, considered within an evaluation of risk within the scope of the management systems standards. Where an organization operates more than one management system (for example, quality management and health and safety management), it should ensure that “climate change”, if determined to be relevant, is considered within the scope of each management system standard.

With the new additions on “climate change”, SGS is expected to ensure that “climate change” is considered and, if determined to be a relevant issue for the organization’s management system, included in any objectives and mitigation activities by the organization, as required. If it is considered not to be a relevant issue by the organization for its management system, we will assess the effectiveness of the organization’s process to make this determination and implement related actions, when applicable.

While the management systems standards have gone through the ISO amendment process, issuing a revised certificate shall not be needed.

Should you have any queries about how this change may affect your certification, please contact your local SGS office who will be happy to address them.

About SGS

We are SGS – the world’s leading testing, inspection and certification company. We are recognized as the global benchmark for sustainability, quality and integrity. Our 99,600 employees operate a network of 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.

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