New Climate Change Additions to ISO Management System Standards: What It Means For Your Business

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Published on: April 12, 2024

Climate change is no longer a distant concern relegated to environmentalists — it’s now a pressing issue for businesses across all industries. The conversation around greenhouse gases, business carbon footprints, global warming, and their impact on our planet has been ongoing for decades, involving various stakeholders, from governments to small businesses. The adverse effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, making it imperative for businesses to address these challenges.

Recognising the urgency of the climate crisis, ISO has recently introduced an amendment to various Management System Standards, including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018, and ISO/IEC 27001:2022. This update requires organisations to consider Climate Change, and its effects and risks, related to the organisation and its management system. This move emphasises ISO’s commitment to combating climate change and alignment with global efforts to address environmental concerns.

Climate Change Addition To ISO Standards

Like with every ISO update, numerous questions may arise. But not to worry, with these new climate change additions to ISO management system standards blog, we will cover the main areas you need to understand. We will delve into:

Understanding ISO’s new climate change amendment

The climate change amendment applies to various ISO Management System Standards — those that specify requirements for certification and to which companies can be certified. This includes ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018, and ISO/IEC 27001:2022
The significance of climate change will vary depending on factors such as the organisation’s sector, location, and operational processes.

Expert Tip:

You can find all affected ISO Standards listed on this IAF/ISO Joint Communiqué.

With the newly introduced amendments, ISO’s aim is to ensure that every organisation takes climate change and the environment under consideration when making decisions.

What is the new climate change amendment?

The amendment is embedded across the following existing clauses (with the example extracts from the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems Standard):

4.1 Understanding the organisation and its context

The organisation 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 quality management system.

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

4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties

The organisation shall determine:

  • the interested parties that are relevant to the quality management system.
  • the relevant requirements of these interested parties.
  • which of these requirements will be addressed through the quality management system.
  • Added: NOTE: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.

As shown above, the new requirement and note are integrated into existing clauses that relate to understanding the business, its context, and the needs of interested parties. The purpose is to ensure that climate change is firmly embedded in organisational considerations (i.e. environmental objectives and targets), and management system design and implementation.

Essentially, this update aims to promote awareness about climate change and encourage organisations to take action. Taking ISO 14001 for Environmental Management Systems as an example, it primarily focuses on the impact of business actions on the environment. However, by integrating the new climate change considerations into the context of your Management System, the focus is shifted to also consider how climate change can impact the business.

ISO climate change

How does the climate change amendment impact your business?

The impact of this amendment on your business hinges on whether climate change is deemed relevant to your business context. If so, your management system must incorporate considerations for climate change in its development and implementation.

For businesses already certified to ISO Standards, this means integrating climate change analysis into existing contextual assessments and management processes.

Examples of some of the implications of climate change considerations across the main ISO Management System standards are:

What are your next steps to address ISO’s new climate change amendment?

There’s no immediate action required for businesses already certified to the affected ISO standards. However, this amendment should be considered when managing and updating your systems and verified and assessed during internal audits, as well as considered during Management Reviews as part of your business improvement efforts. Conducting a risk assessment, determining actions to address climate change risks, and monitoring progress are essential steps.


While existing ISO clauses already encompassed considerations for climate change impacts, the introduction of this specific amendment underscores this topic’s growing relevance. Moreover, this shift reflects ISO’s acknowledgment of climate change as a critical issue demanding organisational attention.

In embracing this amendment, businesses not only meet this updated requirement but also demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability and resilience in the face of climate change challenges. By integrating climate change considerations into their processes, businesses can proactively address risks, seize opportunities, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Don’t wait to make sustainability and best environmental practices a top priority. If you’re not sure how these changes will affect your business, or if you need assistance to implement an action plan to ensure the requirement presented by this amendment is in place, our expert consultants are here to help you!

Call us now on 1300 614 007, email us, or book your online FREE Strategy Session to discover how we can assist you in achieving and maintaining an effective Management System.

About the author

Managing Director at ISO Certification Experts

Erica is the Managing Director of ISO Certification Experts and ICExperts Academy. She has been helping businesses with their ISO Certification needs for over 20 years. Erica is also a Certified trainer, implementer and auditor for the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 standards. Erica primarily heads up the day-to-day operations of the businesses, and is also a current member of the Standards Australia Committees: QR-008 Quality Systems and ISO 9001 Quality Management Brand Integrity.

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