14001 certifications increase 7%

24th September 2015


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  • Management ,
  • Certification ,
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  • EMS

Author

Tamlyn Embley

The number of ISO 14001 certificates issued worldwide increased by 7% in 2014, according to data from the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO).

IEMA says the 7% rise represents an increase of more than 22,500 in the number of 14001 certifications between 2013 and 2014. The total number of organisations certified to the standard worldwide in 2014 was 324,148, compared with 301,622 in 2013, according a survey by the ISO.

14001, the global standard for environmental management systems (EMS), is used in 171 countries to manage and improve organisations' environmental performance. China continues to have most certifications, with 117,758 certificates issued, while the UK remains fourth, behind Italy and Japan.

News of the increase in certifications in 2014 comes one week after the revised standard (14001: 2015) was been published. The latest version, which replaces the 2004 edition, adopts the generic "high-level structure" ISO is using for all management system standards. ISO says the structure will make it easier to integrate multiple management systems, while still having the flexibility to include bespoke environmental aspects into an EMS.

Martin Baxter, IEMA's chief policy advisor and the UK's appointed expert to the 14001 revision working group, said: "The growth we're seeing in the uptake of ISO 14001 is incredibly encouraging. The new standard raises the bar on the expectations it sets for how organisations manage their environmental performance, and will lead to a positive outcome for businesses around the world."

David Fatscher, head of market development for sustainability at BSI, the UK standards body, said: "ISO 14001 puts environmental management at the heart of organisations' operations. It enables them to meet environmental requirements, improve efficiency and environmental performance and is designed to help businesses remain commercially successful without compromising their environmental responsibilities."

According to a recent IEMA survey, about 40% of businesses saved at least £10,000 by implementing 14001, with some businesses saving more than £5 million. The majority of the savings were delivered through energy efficiency measures (71% of those surveyed) and improved waste management (64%). Wider benefits include improved environmental performance (38%), meeting legislative requirements (39%), and enhancing stakeholder relations and generating new business opportunities (both 22%).

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