What is ISO?

International Organization for Standardization – Not an acronym

“ISO” is a word, derived from the Greek isos, meaning “equal.

From “equal” to “standard”– line of thinking that led to the choice of “ISO” as the organization’s name.

International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Worldwide federation of national standards bodies from over 100 countries, one representative from each country.

Non-governmental organization (NGO) established in 1947, located in Switzerland.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is US representative to ISO


1987 –

World Commission on Env. & Development (WCED) published “Our Common Future”

First use of “sustainable development”

Called for the development of effective env. management systems by industries

1989 –

Creation of Strategic Advisory Group on the Environment (SAGE)

Recommended that a new ISO Technical Committee (TC) be formed to develop standards for EM

January 1993 –

ISO creates TC 207 (TC 176 over QMS standards – ISO 9000)

Fall 1996 –

ISO 14001 adopted

ISO 14000 Standards Family

Management System standards EMS, auditing, EPE (14030)

Product standards LCA (14040), labeling (14020)

A series of guidance documents and standards to help organizations address environmental issues.

14001: Environmental Management Systems

14004: EMS general guidelines

14010: Guidelines for Environmental Auditing

14011: Guidelines for Auditing of an EMS

14012: Auditing – Qualification criteria

14020: Environmental Labeling

14030: Env. Performance Evaluation (EPE)

14040: Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) ISO 14001 is the specification standard that is a model for an environmental management system. ISO 14004 is the guidance for the EMS specification 14001 is the only specification standard in the ISO series.

Becoming ISO 14001 certified

Registration body examines EMS for conformity to the ISO 14001 standard Not a compliance audit, an EMS audit Facility awarded registration Does NOT mean that products are more environmentally friendly.