ISO 14000 Environmental Management system
ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.
ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors.
The ISO 14000 is a family of internationally-recognized standards for environmental management systems that is applicable to any business or organization, regardless of size, location or income. These standards are developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which has representation from committees all over the world. The ISO 14000 family includes most notably the ISO 14001 standard, which represents the core set of standards used by organizations for designing and implementing an effective environmental management system.
Other standards included in this series are ISO 14004, which gives additional guidelines for a good environmental management system, and more specialized standards dealing with specific aspects of environmental management.The main thrust for its development came as a result of the Rio Summit on the Environment held in 1992. As a number of national standards emerged, the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) created a group to investigate how such standards might benefit business and industry. As a result this group recommended that an ISO committee be created to create an international standard.
The ISO 14000 environmental management standards exist to help organizations minimize how their operations negatively affect the environment. The major objective of the ISO 14000 series of norms is "to promote more effective and efficient environmental management in organizations and to provide useful and usable tools - ones that are cost effective, system-based, flexible and reflect the best organizations and the best organizational practices available for gathering, interpreting and communicating environmentally relevant information" .
It offers a source of guidance for introducing and adopting environmental management systems based on the best universal practices, in the same way that the ISO 9000 series on quality management systems, which is now widely applied, represents a tool for technology transfer of the best available quality management practices. In structure the ISO 14000 series is similar to ISO 9000 quality management and both can be implemented side by side.
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