ISO 14001 implementation issues reviewed

Innovative approaches seen enabling more certifications for small and medium-sized enterprises

Innovative routes to implementing the international environmental management standard ISO 14001 could help increase numbers of certified small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to papers in a special issue of the journal Greener Management International devoted to ISO 14001. Despite rapid worldwide growth of ISO 14001 since its launch in 1996, SMEs are significantly under-represented, notes issue editor Ruth Hillary.

Three Swedish authors suggest that cooperative certification, as undertaken by 30 SMEs at the Hackefors industrial park in Linköping, could provide a model for others. A Danish consultant suggests that use of environmental performance evaluation guidelines in a separate ISO environmental standard (ISO 14031) could be used by SMEs as a stepping stone to ISO 14001. A third paper discusses experience in a Mexican project aimed at increasing uptake of ISO 14001 by SMEs.

Other papers focus on implementation of the standard in larger companies - Switzerland's UBS bank, Belgium's main power firm Electrabel and UK offshore contracting firm Amec Process & Energy - and in other types of organisations.

Follow Up:
Greener Management International and details of Issue 28, published by Greenleaf Publishing, tel: +44 114 282 3475.

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