Spain was Europe's star performer with a huge two-and-half-fold increase in 1999 taking its 1998 total of 164 to 573. Both Germany and Britain passed the 1,000 certifications milestone, adding 48% and 62% to their respective 1998 totals last year. France, Sweden and Switzerland joined Spain in passing the 500 mark (see table below).
EU accession countries started to show a respectable increase in certifications in 1999 compared with 1998. The Czech Republic's total increased from 42 to 60, Poland's from 15 to 72 and Turkey's from 50 to 66.
Europe's share has declined significantly from 88% for all certifications of the ISO 14000 family of standards, in which the environmental management standard ISO 14001 predominates, in 1995 to 54% in 1998 and 52% last year as the rest of the world, led by Japan, makes increasing inroads.
ISO is an international body based in Switzerland, which develops voluntary technical standards applicable to organisations carrying out any activity, including business, public administration or government departments, of any size in any country. The ISO 14000 family is a generic management system, concerned with environmental management and is concerned with what an organisation does to eliminate its harmful effects on the environment. Certification is carried out by national certification bodies and is checked by independent, national auditors.
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