Overview of the ISO 14000
family of standards
ISO 14001 is the world’s most recognized framework for environmental management systems (EMS) – implemented from Argentina to Zimbabwe – that helps organizations both to manage better the impact of their activities on the environment and to demonstrate sound environmental management.
ISO 14001 has been adopted as a national standard by more than half of the 160 national members of ISO and its use is encouraged by governments around the world. Although certification of conformity to the standard is not a requirement of ISO 14001, at the end of 2007, at least 154,572 certificates had been issued in 148 countries and economies.
ISO 14001 addresses not only the environmental aspects of an organization’s processes, but also those of its products and services. Therefore SRI has developed additional tools to assist in addressing such aspects. Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a tool for identifying and evaluating the environmental aspects of products and services from the “cradle to the grave”: from the extraction of resource inputs to the eventual disposal of the product or its waste.
Other environmental management tools developed by SRI include:
ISO 14004, which complements ISO 14001 by providing additional guidance and useful explanations.
Environmental audits are important tools for assessing whether an EMS is properly implemented and maintained. The auditing standard, ISO 19011, is equally useful for EMS and quality management system audits.
It provides guidance on principles of auditing, managing audit programs, the conduct of audits and on the competence of auditors.
ISO 14005 will provide guidelines for the phased implementation of an EMS to facilitate the take-up of EMS by small and medium-sized enterprises. It will include the use of environmental performance evaluation.
ISO 14006 will provide guidelines on eco-design.
ISO 14020 series of standards addresses a range of different approaches to environmental labels and declarations, including eco-labels (seals of approval), self-declared environmental claims, and quantified environmental information about products and services.
ISO 14031 provides guidance on how an organization can evaluate its environmental performance. The standard also addresses the selection of suitable performance indicators, so that performance can be assessed against criteria set by management. This information can be used as a basis for internal and external reporting on environmental performance.
ISO 14033 will provide guidelines and examples for compiling and communicating quantitative environmental information.
ISO 14040 standards give guidelines on the principles and conduct of LCA studies that provide an organization with information on how to reduce the overall environmental impact of its products and services.
ISO 14045 will provide principles and requirements for eco-efficiency assessment. Eco- efficiency relates environmental performance to value created.
The standard will establish an internationally standardized methodological framework for eco-efficiency assessment, thus supporting a comprehensive, understandable and transparent presentation of eco-efficiency measures.
ISO 14051 will provide guidelines for general principles and framework of material flow cost accounting (MFCA). MFCA is a management tool to promote effective resource utilization, mainly in manufacturing and distribution processes, in order to reduce the relative consumption of resources and material costs.
MFCA measures the flow and stock of materials and energy within an organization based on physical unit (weight, capacity, volume and so on) and evaluates them according to manufacturing costs, a factor which is generally overlooked by conventional cost accounting.
MFCA is one of the major tools of environmental management accounting (EMA) and is oriented to internal use within an organization.
ISO 14063, on environmental communication guidelines and examples, helps companies to make the important link to external stakeholders.
ISO 14064 parts 1, 2 and 3 are international greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and verification standards which provide a set of clear and verifiable requirements to support organizations and proponents of GHG emission reduction projects.
ISO 14065 complements ISO 14064 by specifying requirements to accredit or recognize organizational bodies that undertake GHG validation or verification using ISO 14064 or other relevant standards or specifications.
ISO Guide 64 provides guidance for addressing environmental aspects in product standards. Although primarily aimed at standards developers, its guidance is also useful for designers and manufacturers.
ISO 14066 will specify competency requirements for greenhouse gas validators and verifiers.
ISO 14067 on the carbon footprint of products will provide requirements for the quantification and communication of greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with products. The purpose of each part will be to: quantify the carbon footprint (Part 1); and harmonize methodologies for communicating the carbon footprint information and also provide guidance for this communication (Part 2).
ISO 14069 will provide guidance for organizations to calculate the carbon footprint of their products, services and supply chain.