In support of the ISO London Declaration on Climate Change, ISO passed a resolution that will result in two new statements of text being added to a number of existing management systems standards, and will be included in all new standards under development/revision, to address the need to consider the effect of Climate Change on the ability to achieve the intended results of the management system.


The changes will be introduced initially as Amendments to these published standards. The changes (two new statements) will be incorporated into the new text of the Harmonized Structure (Appendix 2 of the Annex SL in the ISO/IEC Directives Part 1 Consolidated ISO Supplement) as follows.


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 result(s) 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: NOTE: Relevant interested parties can have requirements related to climate change.



The amendments to the standards were published on 23 February 2024.

The changes apply to Standards we certify following:

ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, ISO 45001:2018, ISO 44001:2017


What does this mean for our certified clients?

Certified organisations 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.

NB. The Principles, requirements and guidelines for the adaptation to climate change can be found in the ISO14090 suite of standards.


As a Certification Body, SCS already ensure that all internal and external issues have been determined by the organization 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.


However, with the new additions on Climate Change, our auditors are now obligated under this mandatory requirement to ensure that Climate Change has been explicitly considered and if determined to be a relevant issue for its management system, included in any objectives and mitigation activities, as required.


If it was considered not to be a relevant issue by the organisation for its management system, SCS are expected to ensure the effectiveness of the organisation’s process to make this determination and implementing related actions, when applicable.


If identified during the audit process that these new requirements have not been addressed effectively by certified organisations, the normal findings and gradings of Nonconformity (major/minor) or Opportunity for Improvement/Observation will be raised, and Corrective Actions required as necessary.


What is climate change?

The ISO 14090 standard defines climate change as any change in ‘climate’ that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. The risk of climate change describes the potential impact of climate change on societies, economies and the environment. Climate change impacts occur because a system is exposed to hazards (e.g. drought, flooding, heat stress). The sensitivity of the system* will determine the extent to which these hazards affect it. Impact is a function of both the exposure and the sensitivity of the system to hazards.

Note* A system can be a region, a community, a household, a supply chain, an economic sector, a business, a population group, an ecosystem, infrastructure and its components.


Further Guidance

Accreditation bodies and the IAF have been challenged to provide further guidance on interpretation of the extent of the auditing practices required. The APG (ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group) has released a paper to support and guide third, second, and first party auditors on the potential effects of such amendments when auditing ISO 9001 and it is available here.