Environmental Management Systems standards such as ISO 14,001, first published in 1996, today are a widely used tool to drive continual improvement in environmental management practices within business and industry, as well as public institutions.
Over 250,000 organizations in 155 countries worldwide are certified to ISO 14001.
The main focus of the Environmental Management committee has been the ongoing revision of ISO 14,001 which covers two significant aspects.
The first is a revised high level structure common to all new management systems standards which will allow its integration with other management systems (such as ISO 9,000 for quality management).
The second aspect aims to address the potential implications of evolving stakeholder expectations and new developments in the field of environmental management systems (EMS) since 1996 including sustainable development, environmental performance improvement, legal compliance, strategic business management, conformity assessment, environmental impact in the value/supply chain, stakeholder engagement and external communication.
Other environmental management standards have been developed to address specific business needs such as social responsibility, sustainable procurement, the demonstration of carbon neutrality and the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services.
A now well-known standard is ISO 20121 for Sustainable Event Management. Inspired by the London Olympics 2012 and based on BS 8901, it was published in time to be trialled during the development of the Olympics and contributed to achieving the high sustainability credentials of the Games.