ISO 14000

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The ISO 14000 environmental management standards exist to help organizations (a) minimize how their operations (processes, etc.) negatively affect the environment (i.e. cause adverse changes to air, water, or land); (b) comply with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements, and (c) continually improve in the above.

ISO 14000 is similar to ISO 9000 quality management in that both pertain to the process of how a product is produced, rather than to the product itself. As with ISO 9000, certification is performed by third-party organizations rather than being awarded by ISO directly. The ISO 19011 audit standard applies when auditing for both 9000 and 14000 compliance at once.


A brief history of environmental management systems

The concept of an environmental management system, evolved in the early nineties and its origin can be traced back to 1972, when the United Nations organised a Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was launched (Corbett & Kirsch, 2001). These early initiatives led to the establishment of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) and the adoption of the Montreal Protocol and Basel Convention.

In 1992, the first Earth Summit was held in Rio-de-Janeiro (Jiang & Bansal, 2001), which served to generate a global commitment to the environment (RMIT University). In the same year, BSI Group published the world's first environmental management systems standard, BS 7750.[1] This supplied the template for the development of the ISO 14000 series in 1996, by the International Organization for Standardization, which has representation from committees all over the world (ISO) (Clements 1996, Brorson & Larsson, 1999). As of 2010, ISO 14001 is now used by at least 223 149 organizations in 159 countries and economies.[2]

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