ISO is the short name for the international
organization for standardization, a worldwide organization whose goal is to
promote the development of standardization to facilitate the international
exchange of goods and services. ISO sets operational quality and environmental
issues control standards for businesses in over 125 countries around world.
This organization has established ISO-9000 series for
quality management & ISO-14000 for environmental issues where ISO-14001 is
the core part of the series is known as environmental management system (EMS).
ISO certification is important because it is
recognized world wide as an accepted standard of quality. When companies can
accurately document their systems, they can compare their systems against a
recognized environmental standard and improve. Also, because ISO certification
is an understood standard, company can use it to gauge and select the vendors or
subcontractors they work with.
Representatives from some 50 countries around the
globe have agreed to the draft international standard (DIS) on environmental
management system (ISO/DIS 14000) issued by the international organization for
standardization (ISO) and formally adopted in 1996. It is intended that the
implementation of an environmental management system (EMS) based on this
standard will result in improved environmental performance.
In 1995 the world trade organization (WTO) encouraged
development of the ISO 14000 series of international standards as the “level
playing field” as required by international trade agreements so it can
facilitate free and open trade.
An environmental management system (EMS) (ISO-14001)
is as “that part of overall management system that includes organizational
structure, planning activities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, process
and resources for developing, implementing, achieving, reviewing and maintaining
environmental policy”. An EMS provides frameworks by which an organization can
systematically and consistently applies its environmental policy, disciplined
control over all aspects of their environmental impact and meets its legal