Climate change

Climate Action Changes

Amendment 1 In Management System Standards

Amendment 1 In Management System Standards

IAF and ISO have published a joint communiqué, highlighting the changes being made to a number of Management Systems standards, in the form of additional text highlighting the importance of Climate Change as a consideration within the organisational context for the management system concerned. As the joint communiqué explains, the changes having been instigated in response to the London Declaration on Climate Action.

The purpose of this IAF communication, answering to the IAF Technical Committee Paper raised in Montreal 2023, is to clarify the expectations for Management Systems Certified Organisations, Certification Bodies and Accreditation Bodies, noting that, as stated in the joint communiqué:

“The overall intent of the requirements for clauses 4.1 and 4.2 remain unchanged; these clauses already include the need for the organisation to consider all internal and external issues that can impact the effectiveness of their management system; these new inclusions are assuring that Climate Change is considered within the management system and that it is an external factor that is important enough for our community to require organisations to consider it now.”

Because of the above statement noting that the overall intent of the requirements remains unchanged, and with this change being treated as a clarification rather than a new requirement, it is considered that a full transition programme is not needed in this case, however, the guidance below should be considered.



  • Incorporating Climate Change Considerations
    • ISO has introduced amendments to existing and new MSS to reflect climate action commitments

    • These changes emphasize the need for organisations to consider the effect of climate change on their ability to achieve the intended results of the management system

    • The amendments include two new statements of text that will be added to various management systems standards.

  • Specific Changes
    • Clause 4.1 (“Understanding the organization and its context”):
      Organisations shall determine external and internal issues relevant to their purpose and affecting their ability to achieve intended result(s) of its XXX management system.
      Added: Organisations shall also determine whether climate change is a relevant issue.
    • Clause 4.2 (“Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties”):

      Organisations shall identify relevant interested parties and their requirements.
      Added Note: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.

  • Intent of the Changes
    • The intent is to ensure that climate change issues are considered within the context of the effectiveness of the management system.
    • These additional statements ensure that climate change is not overlooked during the design and implementation of the management system.
    • The overall intent of the requirements for clauses 4.1 and 4.2 remain unchanged; these clauses already include the need for the organisation to consider all internal and external issues that can impact the effectiveness of their management system.
  • Amended Management System Standards

    All Type ‘A’ MSS (Management System Standards) are amended to “Climate Change” requirements.
    Major MSS include (but not limited to):

    • ISO 9001:2015 - Quality management systems - Requirements
    • ISO 14001:2015 - Environmental management systems - Requirements with guidance for use
    • ISO 45001:2018 - Occupational health and safety management systems - Requirements with guidance for use
    • ISO 50001:2018 - Energy management systems - Requirements with guidance for use
    • ISO 21001:2018 - Educational organizations - Management systems for educational organizations 
    • ISO 37001:2016 - Anti-bribery management systems - Requirements with guidance for use
    • ISO 41001:2018 - Facility management - Management systems - Requirements with guidance for use
    • ISO 22000:2018 - Food safety management systems - Requirements for any organisation in the food chain
    • ISO/IEC 27001:2022 - Information security management systems - Requirements
    • ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 - Information technology - Service management system requirements
    • ISO 22301:2019 - Security and resilience - Business continuity management systems – Requirements 

Expectation on Certified Organisations

Certified organisations should ensure that they have considered Climate Change aspects and risks within the development, maintenance, and effectiveness of their own (certified) 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 organisation operates more than one management system (for example, Quality Management and Health & Safety Management), it should ensure that Climate Change, if determined to be relevant, is considered within the scope of each management system standard.

It is noted that some climate change aspects and risks may be of a general nature, independent of the applicable management system scope or the industry (eg. when related to regulatory compliance or operational adaptability and organizational resilience), while others will be specifically indexed to the requirements of the management system standards, to specific industries (eg. energy production, agriculture, and fisheries) and to characteristics of the organization (eg. geographic allocation, nature of its supply-chain or workforce dynamics).

  • Expectation on Certification Bodies

    Certification Bodies should already be ensuring that all internal and external issues have been determined by the organisation as relevant or not and if so, considered in the development and effectiveness of the management system(s), as required by clauses 4.1 and 4.2. 

    With the new additions on Climate Change, Certification Bodies are expected to ensure that Climate Change has been considered and if determined to be a relevant issue for its management system, included in any objectives and mitigation activities by the organisation, as required.  If it was considered not to be a relevant issue by the organisation for its management system, the CB is expected to ensure the effectiveness of the organisation’s process to make this determination and implementing related actions, when applicable.

Timeline and implementation 

The Amendments are published for all relevant standards on 23 February 2024. As noted, issues related to Climate Change affecting the context of an organisation’s management system(s) are typically already being considered by organisations. 

Therefore, upon publication, certification bodies should include the new text in their auditing of the organisation and its context. As with normal practice, where a certified organisation cannot demonstrate that all external and internal issues that have been determined as relevant, including Climate Change, have been considered, a suitable finding should be raised. Hence there is no timeline for implementation to certified organisations, CBs & ABs, however it should be at the earliest.

The MS standards are amended through the ISO amendment process; however, a revised certificate should not need to be issued, considering that:

  • The publication year of each MS standard has not changed.
  • There is no change in the scope of application for the certified MS.
  • There is no significant impact on the effectiveness of the certified MS.
  • The method and actions that certified organisations will eventually enter, due to the new requirement, will resemble methods and actions they would apply in the case of future changes in any other contextual issue they already address within the scope of the MS.


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