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On Earth Day, Set a Standard with Environmental Management

ISO 14000 provides tools for companies committed to managing environmental responsibilities


On the 45th annual Earth Day, efforts to raise awareness about environmental responsibility abound, with over 1 billion people participating in the day’s activities, ranging from calls to action, to sharing tips on social media under hashtag #EarthDay. While the Earth Day Network supports civic engagement opportunities that help the environment, businesses looking to better manage environmental responsibilities can also get involved with efforts on a regular basis. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14000 Environmental management family of standards provides practical tools for various types of companies and organizations.

ISO 14001 provides guidance for an organization seeking to create and maintain environmental management systems. First published in 1996 and revised in 2004, the latest version of the International Standard is expected to be published in October 2015.

ISO 14001:2004 provides a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system, and can be utilized by organizations regardless of activity or sector. ISO reports that a survey of 5,000 its 14001:2004 users revealed its environmental reach. While 75 percent of users said it was valuable for meeting legal requirements and improving the organizations’ environmental performance, most also indicated that it was good for business—including improving public image and boosting competitive advantage.

In 2014, the revised version of ISO 14001 was released as a Draft International Standard (DIS), which, like all ISO standards, is reviewed on a five-year cycle to ensure that it continues to be relevant and effective. ISO/DIS 14001 includes an increased focus on improvement of environmental performance and on the role of organization leadership in promoting environmental management, among other updates.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is the U.S. member body to ISO. ISO/DIS 14001 is available for purchase on ANSI’s eStandards Store (eSS). The ANSI eSS also has a variety of environmental management standards packages available.

To learn more about the revision, visit the official ISO 14001 revision information page.

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