TL 9000 Certified Companies Well Positioned for ISO Climate Change Amendments

By: TIA QuEST Forum Oversight Work Group (OSWG)


Climate Change Amendment Background

On February 23, 2024, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued climate change amendments which initially affected 31 management system standards (including ISO 9001:2015) by adding text at the following requirements:

  • 4.1 – understanding the organization and its context and a
  • 4.2 – understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties.

Why did ISO chose to highlight Goal 13 Climate Action, out of all the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals?  In 2021, ISO signed the London Declaration which is intended to combat climate change through standards. Goal 13 is the only goal that requires urgent action to be taken. The climate change amendments demonstrate ISO’s commitment to aid in achieving the climate agenda by 2050.

With the integration of the climate change amendments into ISO 9001 and the TIA QuEST Forum’s agreement for automatic adoption of the latest ISO 9001 version, the TL 9000 Requirements Handbook is now inclusive of the climate change amendments. Furthermore, because these are amendments and not revisions, a new TL 9000 Requirements Handbook will not be published for them.

To see the specific climate change amendments and more background and intent regarding them, see the IAF/ISO Joint communiqué here.

As outlined in the joint communiqué, the purpose of the affected clauses (4.1 & 4.2) remains consistent, as they already emphasize the importance for organizations to assess internal and external factors that may impact the efficiency of the management system. The additional inclusions are aimed at ensuring that climate change is duly taken into account within the management framework.

Additionally the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) has published a separate communiqué clarifying the expectations for certified organizations, certification bodies and accreditation bodies. That information is available here.

Organizations can now expect to be audited on these amendments based on the following statement from the IAF communiqué “…upon publication, certification bodies should include the new text in their auditing of the organization and its context. As with normal practice, where a certified organization 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….”

TL 9000 Certified Organizations Well Positioned

Thankfully, the TIA QuEST Forum has stayed ahead of the curve with on-going TL 9000 updates. Certified TL 9000 organizations will discover that the climate change amendments seamlessly integrate with the TL 9000 Requirements Handbook. The release of point version 6.3 incorporated various changes influenced by the TIA QuEST Forum’s Sustainability Work Group. For instance, a new requirement (9.3.2.C.1 Sustainability Assessment Results) explicitly emphasizes the inclusion of sustainability assessment results and areas for improvement in the Management Review process. The concept of sustainability, defined in the TL 9000 glossary as meeting present needs without compromising future generations’ ability to meet their own needs, aligns perfectly with the essence of the climate change amendments.

Other Climate Amendment Resources

  • On March 4th, The ANSI National Accreditation Board OR ANAB, an Accreditation Body authorized by TIA QuEST Forum to accredit certification bodies under the TL 9000 conformity assessment scheme has published Heads Up #527 to address the addition of climate change to management system standards issued by ISO. That document can be found here.
  • On March 19th, the ISO 9001 Auditing Practices Group or APG released a white paper to support and guide auditors on the potential effects of auditing the climate change amendments. That white paper is available here.

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