This topic includes a catalogue of over 30 environmental management and performance-related standards, technical specifications and guidance in the ISO 14000 series. It includes a brief description of each standard and what it aims to achieve, how they are implemented and the links to other standards in the ISO 14000 series.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an independent non-governmental organisation with a global membership of 161 national standards bodies. Through its members and their experts, ISO compiles and publishes a wide range of international standards to support products, services and systems that society depends on. The British Standard Institute (BSI) is the UK representative at ISO.

To date, ISO has published 22,000 international standards, covering most industry sectors, from manufacturing and technology to agriculture and healthcare. ISO’s portfolio also includes management system standards and monitoring, sampling and test standards to deal with specific environmental challenges such as the quality of air, water and the soil, as well as noise, radiation, and for controlling the transport of dangerous goods.

The ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards, technical specifications and guidance documents are designed to help organisations manage the environmental aspects and impacts associated with their activities, products and services. They also serve in as the technical basis for ensuring compliance with environmental regulations in some countries.

ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental Management, is responsible for developing and maintaining the ISO 14000 family of standards. Membership of ISO/TC 207 is among the highest of any ISO technical committee with national delegations of environmental experts from over 100 countries taking part.

The ISO 14000 series of standards for environmental management was launched to provide a practical toolbox to assist in the implementation of actions that support the complex challenge of sustainable development including resource depletion and the growing threat of global warming.

The committee’s current portfolio consists of over 30 published standards and other types of normative document. The documents are reviewed every five years and new standards are regularly added to the series once the final draft (FDIS) has been formally accepted by ISO’s members. For example, ISO is currently developing a mini series of standards on adaptation to climate change (ISO 14090 series).

Some of the standards listed in this topic are covered in more depth in the Environmental Management Systems and Reporting section on Croner-i.

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