14001 certifications rise ahead of revision

30th October 2013

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The number of ISO 14001 certifications jumped 9% in 2012, following confirmation from ISO that the world's leading environment management standard would be revised

The latest results of ISO’s annual survey of global management system certification rates reveal that more than 285,000 14001 certificates were issued worldwide during 2012.

ISO announced in November 2011 that the standard was to be significantly changed for the first time since 2004, and may be one explanation for the 9% leap in certifications last year compared to the previous year. In 2011, the number of 14001 certificates issued rose by just 6% – the slowest growth rate since the standard was launched in 1999.

ISO’s latest research also confirms that adoption of 14001 continues to be highest in China, Japan and Italy, with Spain also ranking as one of the top countries for growth.

Commenting on the data, Martin Baxter, IEMA's executive director of policy and the UK’s appointed expert on the revision to 14001 said: “The growth in the number of organisations using the standard is recognition of the business value that can be gained from investing in environment and sustainability.

“The UK’s position in the top five countries is recognition that UK companies are enhancing their competitiveness through improved efficiency and enhanced reputation.”

Other results from the 2012 survey reveal that certification to ISO’s energy management standard, ISO 50001, more than trebled in its second year, with close to 2,000 certificates issued across 60 countries. ISO figures confirm that the highest number of 50001 certificates were in Germany, Spain and Denmark.

Certification rates against ISO’s flagship standard, the quality standard ISO 9001, rallied in 2012, increasing 2% following a small decline in 2011. Meanwhile, certifications for ISO’s newer food safety and IT security standards continued to show strong growth in 2012, with numbers increasing 20% and 13% respectively.

A second committee draft of the revised 14001 was published last week and is out for consultation until 21 January 2014. IEMA will be asking for members' feedback on the amended draft before the end of the year.

Representatives on the group working to revise the standard have confirmed it remains on track to be published in the first half of 2015.

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