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SO14000 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 programme.

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

As a number of national standards emerged (BS 7750 being the first), the International Organization for Standardisation (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 create 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 actually guidelines, many to help you 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ISO 14010 provides general principles of environmental auditing (now superseded by ISO 19011)
ISO 14011 provides specific guidance on audit an environmental management system (now superseded by ISO 19011)
ISO 14012 provides guidance on qualification criteria for environmental auditors and lead auditors (now superseded by ISO 19011)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+ 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 the only ISO 14000 standard against which it is currently possible to be certified by an external certification authority.

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