SLR represented on ISO’s technical committee for the environment
Nigel Leehane, technical director in the Environmental Management, Permitting and Compliance team was one of the UK’s technical experts at last week’s annual ISO Environment Technical Committee meeting, held in Seoul, South Korea.
Almost 300 hundred delegates from around the world participated in a series of meetings, organised by the sub-committees responsible for standards for environmental management systems, environmental auditing, environmental labelling, environmental performance evaluation, life cycle assessment and greenhouse gas management.
Standards development typically involves a series of meetings of a dedicated working group, several times per year over a period of three years. The annual meeting is an important forum for planning this work and reviewing progress. It also provides an opportunity for the working groups to come together and continue with their efforts. In Seoul, more than 30 working groups were active, addressing topics including climate change adaptation, monetary value of environmental impacts, carbon footprinting, land degradation and desertification, and eco-design.
Nigel led a new working group, which started the development of what will become ISO 14016, providing guidelines on the assurance of annual corporate environmental and sustainability reports. Existing guidelines have been criticised for failing to provide a sufficiently robust framework, and the new standard aims to set out a process for assurance that will allow report users to place greater reliance on their content. This is an important development, which will be of interest to many of SLR’s clients. Nigel is keen to demonstrate to them that SLR can help in developing processes to determine the material issues to be included in their reports, managing the data which underpins the reports, and guiding them through the assurance process.
Nigel also acted as chairman of the sub-committee for environmental auditing, which has responsibility for this new verification standard and also for contributing to the revision of ISO 19011, the standard for management systems auditing.