ISO 14000

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ISO14000 Series Environmental Management Systems

ISO 14000 is a series of international standards on environmental management. It provides a framework for the development of an environmental management system and the supporting audit program.

The main thrust for its development came as a result of the Rio Summit on the Environment in 1992.

As a number of national standards emerged (BS 7750 being the first), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created a group to investigate how such standards might benefit business and industry. As a result this group recommended that an ISO committee be created to prepare an international standard.

ISO 14000 Series is the set of standards relating to environmental management system. The structure of the standards is as follows:
---Environmental management systems;
---Environmental auditing;
---Environmental performance evaluation;
---Environmental labeling;
---Life-cycle assessment;
---Environmental aspects in product standards.

ISO 14001 is the corner stone standard of the ISO 14000 series. It specifies a framework of control for an Environmental Management System against which an organization can be certified by a third party.

Other standards in the series are actual guidelines, mainly to help achieve registration to ISO 14001. These include the following:
---ISO 14004 provides guidance on the development and implementation of environmental management systems.
---ISO 14010 provides general principles of environmental auditing (now superseded by ISO 19011).
---ISO 14011 provides specific guidance on audit of an environmental management system (now superseded by ISO 19011).
---ISO 14012 provides guidance on qualification criteria for environmental auditors and lead auditors (now superseded by
ISO 19011).
---ISO 14013/5 provides audit program review and assessment material.
---ISO 14020+ covers labeling issues.
---ISO 14030+ provides guidance on performance targets and monitoring within an Environmental Management System.
---ISO 14040+ covers life cycle issues.

Of all these, ISO14001 is not only the most well-known, but is also the only ISO 14000 standard against which it is currently possible to be certified by an external certification authority.