ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ISO Launches Online Survey on ISO 14001 and Small Businesses

New York, Feb 09, 2005

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has launched an online survey on the value of implementing an environmental management system (EMS) based on the ISO 14001 standard to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME's). By gaining feedback on the use or non-use of ISO 14001, ISO 14004 and EMS's in general, ISO hopes to improve SME experiences. The survey is the work of the Strategic SME Group of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, Subcommittee 1, Environmental management systems.

"Whether a company is large or small, in today's global market-place both its business customers and consumers are increasingly concerned with its environmental performance as well as a competitive price," explained Lennart Piper, leader of the ISO group responsible for the survey. "Investors are also scrutinizing how well companies manage risks - economic, social and environmental. This is why more and more businesses worldwide are turning to ISO 14001. Unfortunately, there is a perception that EMS are too complicated and expensive for small businesses to implement."

The survey was developed to offer a clearer picture of the extent to which small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) are implementing EMS, and shed light on the nature of their experience. ISO will use the results to make it easier for small businesses to implement and gain benefits from EMS.

ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: "Small and medium-sized enterprises are by far the most numerous in most economies and thus vital to economic wealth and to environmental health. Therefore, it is important to facilitate their use of environmental management systems. ISO has only just published the revised, improved ISO 14001:2004, but this survey illustrates that improvement is a never-ending cycle."

SME's are encouraged to take part whether they have implemented ISO 14001, or another specification. It is also open to SME's that have not implemented an EMS and seeks to establish their reasons for not doing so. Consultants, auditors or registrars who have worked with small businesses are also encouraged to take part.

Initially, the survey will be open to respondents until March 8, 2005, and a report on the results will be available online after May 1, 2005. To encourage the maximum number of participants, the survey is available in ten languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

To access the survey, visit The questions will take about 5-10 minutes to answer.

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