Important Update on Climate Change Considerations in Management Systems Standards

May 23, 2024
We would like to inform you of changes to the Management Systems Standards (MSS) related to the incorporation of climate change considerations, as per the recent amendments published by ISO on 23 February 2024, and further supported by a joint communique from IAF and ISO. Click here for more information
The amendments specifically enhance clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the MSS, emphasizing the importance of considering climate change as a critical external factor within your management system. This initiative underscores our collective responsibility towards more sustainable business practices and aligns with global efforts to combat climate change.
What do you need to do as a certified organization?
  1. Give immediate consideration: There is no transition period for the implementation of these amendments. Your organization’s management team is required to immediately assess whether climate change is a relevant issue within the scope of your management system(s). Therefore, your organization’s management team shall ensure that it has considered Climate Change aspects and risks within the development, maintenance, and effectiveness of your management system(s).
    Climate Change, along with other issues, shall 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), the management team shall ensure that Climate Change, if determined to be relevant, is considered within the scope of each management system standard.
  2. Audit and Certification: As your Certification Body, we will ensure our audit teams are equipped to assess your compliance with these new requirements. While not needing to be experts on climate change, our auditors will verify that your organization has appropriately considered and integrated climate change into your management system's objectives and risk assessments.
    • Does the amendment require a revision to the certification document? No, a revised certificate is not required.
    • Will there be additional time added to conduct the audit? No, there is no additional time added to the standard audit duration calculation.
  3. Ongoing Compliance: Continuous assessment will be part of our regular evaluations to ensure that your management system remains compliant with the updated standards and effectively addresses climate change consideration
  4. Documentation and Reporting: No additional certification documentation is required solely for the amendment recognition. However, your ongoing commitment and adjustments made in response to climate change considerations should be documented as part of your management system's regular review processes.
Your proactive engagement in integrating climate change considerations into your management systems is crucial. It not only aligns with global sustainability goals but also positions your organization as a forward-thinking leader in responsible business practices.
Should you have any questions or require further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us . Our team is here to support you in navigating these updates and ensuring your continued compliance and success.Thank you for your attention to this matter.
ANNEX 1: Examples of Climate Change Related Impact Areas
 Impact AreaDescription
1Operational DisruptionsExtreme weather events such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and heatwaves can damage assets and infrastructure, disrupt supply chains, and cause closures. Businesses may suffer significant losses, especially those lacking the resources or planning to manage these disruptions.
2Increased CostsClimate change may lead to higher operating costs, such as cooling facilities due to higher temperatures and increased insurance premiums from the risk of extreme weather. Businesses in vulnerable areas may face higher costs or difficulties in obtaining insurance.
3Regulatory and Policy ChangesNew regulations to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability could pose challenges for small businesses needing to invest in new technologies or practices to comply with environmental standards.
4Market ShiftsConsumer preferences shifting towards sustainable and eco-friendly products/services offer opportunities for small businesses that adapt, while those failing to evolve may lose competitiveness and market share.
5Supply Chain VulnerabilitiesClimate change can impact the availability and price of raw materials, affecting businesses reliant on specific inputs. Agricultural businesses may be directly affected by changing weather patterns, influencing food prices and availability.
6Health Impacts on WorkforceIncreased heat and pollution can affect employee health, leading to higher absenteeism and lower productivity. Small businesses, especially those requiring outdoor work or with less capacity for health and safety investments, may be more vulnerable.
7Access to FinancingThe growing awareness of climate change may affect financial institutions' risk assessments, potentially making it more difficult for small businesses in high-risk areas or industries to access financing.
ANNEX 2: Potential Impact Mitigation Techniques
1Risk IdentificationEnvironmental Scanning: Monitor climate change trends relevant to location and industry.

Vulnerability Assessment: Analyze potential impacts on operations, supply chain, employee health and safety, and customer demand.
2Risk AnalysisImpact Analysis: Evaluate potential financial, asset, and business continuity impacts.

Probability Assessment: Assess the likelihood of each risk occurring.
3Risk PrioritizationSort risks by impact and likelihood, prioritizing those with significant effects or high likelihood.
4Development of Mitigation StrategiesRisk Avoidance and Reduction: Identify measures to lessen key risks.
Risk Transfer: Transfer risk through insurance.

Risk Acceptance: Develop plans for unavoidable risks.
5Implementation of Mitigation MeasuresDevelop and assign responsibilities and timelines for implementing strategies.
6Monitoring and ReviewRegularly review and update risk assessments and mitigation strategies, monitor new risks, and assess the effectiveness of measures.
7Communication and TrainingCommunicate risks and strategies within the organization and provide necessary training.
8Engagement and CollaborationEngage with communities, industry groups, and government agencies for a comprehensive approach to risk management.