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Certification to ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Family of Standards Exhibits Strong Growth

New York, Nov 12, 2002

With an increasing rise in customer expectations and environmental requirements, it is no surprise that 2001 demonstrated a record increase in the number of certificates of conformity issued to organizations meeting management requirements of International Standards ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environment).

The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) recently published and revealed the 11th cycle of The ISO Survey of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Certificates, an annual survey that provides a look at the global impact that these two standards families play. The survey was based on 2001 figures, the most recent data available. ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 are known as generic management system standards, meaning that they provide an organization, regardless of size or sector, with an agreed upon "state of the art" model to follow when setting up and operating its management system.

ISO 9000, which is primarily concerned with quality management, refers to what an organization does to ensure that all the features of its products and services conform to the customer's needs. The ISO 9000 family of standards represents an international consensus framework for taking a systematic approach to good management practices with the aim of ensuring an organization can consistently meet the client's quality requirements and expectations. According to the survey, through December 2001, over 500,000 ISO 9000 certificates were awarded in 161 countries and economies. This was an increase of nearly 25% since last year, making it the highest increase recorded by far in the survey's history. In addition, of all the ISO 9000 certificates distributed, nearly 45,000 certificates were that of the new combined standard, ISO 9001:2000, which will soon replace ISO 9001, 9002 and 9003.

In 1993, ISO became the leader in creating a strategic approach for developing environmental management system (EMS) standards by establishing a new technical committee on environmental management. The result was the ISO 14000 family of standards, which set a framework to ensure that organizations do everything possible to minimize harmful effects caused by their activities; the standards ensure that products and services have the least harmful impact on the environment, either during production or disposal, through pollution or depletion of natural resources. The survey revealed that through 2001, at least 36,000 ISO 14000 certificates had been awarded in 112 countries or economies, an increase of over 60 % from the year before. This increase was also the highest recorded in the seven cycles of the survey in which ISO 14000 has been included.

The 11th cycle of The ISO Survey, a 36-page report and CD-ROM, includes data such as total certificates issued, national highlights, worldwide breakdown by industrial sector, and the new category of breakdown of withdrawn certificates. The survey is currently available from the ISO Central Secretariat. A free summary is also available.

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