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Climate Change Amendment Issued for ISO 9001

Climate Change Amendment Issued for ISO 9001

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published an amendment to the ISO 9001 quality management standard that adds climate change considerations. The amendment was adopted unilaterally by a resolution of ISO’s Technical Management Board (TMB). TMB’s action bypassed the ISO committees that typically develop and adopt ISO standards and amendments.

While the organization still intends to pursue full revision of ISO 9001 in 2025, this amendment took effect upon its publication last month. A stand-alone version of the amendment is available for free on ISO’s website.

The amendment adds the following words, in italics, to clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the ISO 9001 standard:

4.1 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 results) of its XXX management system.

Added: The organization shall determine whether climate change is a relevant issue.

4.2 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

Added: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.

LMA members with ISO 9001 certifications should take note of the amendment. As ILMA understands the amendment, it affects all ISO management systems, and it is not limited to environmental management systems (e.g., ISO 14001). Further, the amendment does not require that any climate change controls be put in place; however, the impact or effects of climate change must be included in the organization’s decision making. If the organization determines that climate change is an issue, it then should implement necessary controls as reflected in the policies, plans, processes and other actions set forth in the organization’s strategy. It is expected that the amendment will generate work for ISO 9001 consultants.

The amendment’s release was unexpected, particularly given ISO’s plans to revise the 9001 standard in 2025. Critics from within ISO have suggested the amendment was pushed through by pressure from ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica. He is expected to run for UN Secretary-General in 2026, and the amendment may be an opportunity to showcase his environmentalist credentials.

ILMA’s Safety, Health, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs Committee will discuss the ISO 9001 amendment and its effects when during ILMA Engage next month. The committee will meet on Thursday, April 11 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.