An internal ISO document reveals the planned text to be added to ISO 9001, and all other management system standards, related to “climate change.”
The proposed text, which is still up for ballot, will be added to clauses 4.1 and 4.2 of the current standard, and reads as follows:
The Joint Technical Coordination Group that developed the language, led by Nigel Croft, is proposing an idea to force all ISO management system standards, including ISO 9001, to undergo a mandatory “amendment” one year after approval of the text. This would break ISO’s rules on revisions to standards being driven by the result of 5-year review ballots and other international consensus regulations.
Nigel Croft previously developed the name “risk-based thinking” to brand the language added to ISO 9001 related to risk. Croft admitted to Oxebridge he did this to avoid invoking “risk management,” which could impact on the sale of ISO 9001 if users felt they needed to hire a “manager” for risk.
The world has repeatedly told ISO not to add “climate change” to ISO 9001, but to leave it for standards related to environmental management, such as ISO 14001. A poll of nearly 3,000 users run by Oxebridge found 60% of respondents opposed adding climate change to ISO 9001.
ISO performed an “exhaustive” study of which of its standards would need to be updated to include climate change, based on their subject matter. That study listed various standards and ranked them according to the relevance of climate change to their content. The lowest rank of relevance was labeled as “low,” and ISO 9001 was not listed anywhere in that study. This indicates that ISO has already determined that ISO 9001 has no relevance to climate change.
The JTCG, however, is pushing to add the language into ISO 9001, and for all other management system standards such as ISO 27001 (cybersecurity) and ISO 42001 (artific9ial intelligence), regardless of whether the topic relates to the subject matter of each standard, and without regard to the study performed by ISO itself.
While the language proposed appears innocent enough, as it allows users to ignore it entirely, it will require ISO to violate nearly every established procedure on the development of standards by consensus in order to insert the language.
Croft’s JCTG recommends that ISO make the “amendments” available free of charge, which ISO is unlikely to do. ISO 9001:2008 was issued as an “amendment,” and not a revision, and ISO charged full price for the document.
ISO is pushing to add climate change to standards in order to help ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica burnish his credentials, as he eyes a run for United Nations Secretary-General in 2026. At the same time, Mujica has resisted calls to move all ISO plenaries and meetings to online, virtual events only, and continues to force ISO to rely on climate-damaging “world travel” in order to conduct business. The practice has led insiders to nickname ISO the “International Sightseeing Organization.”
The next plenary of TC 176, for example, is scheduled to be held in Kenya.
ISO claims the move in support of the UN’s seventeen “sustainable development goals,” but only “climate action” has received the attention of Mujica. He has not made similar moves related to the other sixteen SDGs.
Mujica was a former administrator of the Chilean customs agency, and his department was investigated for enabling drug trafficking and money laundering during his time in office. The investigations were reportedly dropped when he left office to pursue the ISO role.