Environmental management standards focus on improving environmental awareness across an organization’s value chain.
Environmental standards cover a broad range of key topics allowing organizations to create effective environmental management systems, understand environmental performance to allow improvement, consider the environment in the creation of products, and provide good practice guidance on auditing environmental management systems. These standards range from single issue standards to environmental management systems and cover a wide range of options to meet environmental issues including life cycle assessment, eco-design, environmental management, and greenhouse gas management.
Environmental standards and publications help businesses not only to become greener and more environmentally responsible but to save money and reduce waste. From environmental management systems, to eco-design and labelling, environmental management standards can help organizations meet increasing environmental requirements from both customers, investors and regulators.
Environmental management standards can be divided into four categories: environmental management systems, ecodesign, environmental performance evaluation and environmental auditing.
Trends and on-going work in Environmental Management
Revisions to ISO 14001 and ISO 14004
ISO 14001 has undergone its first major revision since 1996. This includes the integration of a new high-level structure of common terms and headings that will appear in all management systems standards. This new revision aims to strengthen legal compliance, improve understanding of environmental performance and consider environmental aspects that impact an organization. ISO 14004 has been revised to meet the new ISO 14001 standard.
The European Union’s Eco-design and Energy Labelling directives contribute to the EU's 2020 targets for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions, via more than 30 implementing regulations. At the end of 2011 the EU mandated CEN to develop standards that support eco-design regulations across a wide range of products from machine tools and air conditioning to domestic ovens and hobs. A 'CEN-CENELEC Eco-design Coordination Group' was set up as a discussion, coordination and communication platform bringing together all parties involved by mandate. At the international level, a new cross-sector standard for eco-design for designers is under consideration.
Links to standards and other support materials related to Environmental Management
These are listed within the sub-theme pages of environmental management.