Press release

IISD launches informative guide for business on ISO 14000 standards

November 17, 1996

WINNIPEG — The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) launched Global Green Standards today, a report that tracks the development and interpretation of ISO 14000 standards. This interpretation facilitates the understanding of what environmental management system standards are, as well as why and how they can effectively be applied in an organization. "Global Green Standards was written with the intent to explain why people and companies should pay attention to voluntary standards like the ISO," said Arthur J. Hanson, President and CEO at IISD.

Global Green Standards simplifies the complex issues of environmental management systems and explains how adhering to voluntary standards can help consumers, governments and companies monitor ways to reduce their environmental impact and increase their long-run sustainability.

What is ISO 14000?

ISO 14000 is a series of standards that defines a voluntary environmental management system which will help companies manage their environmental issues in a systematic way. It was developed by industry and other stakeholder representatives for the member countries of the International Organization for Standardization. Used in conjunction with appropriate goals, and with management commitment, the standards may help improve corporate performance. They will provide an objective basis for verifying a company's claims about its performance. This is particularly important in relation to international trade, where at present there are no easy ways to verify assertions about environmental performance.

Why is this report useful?

The report highlights what stakeholders interested in sustainable development should understand about the 14000 standards and how the standards relate to global trends in sustainable development. It also explains what ISO standards can and cannot do for their organizations.

Global Green Standards is a plain talk guide to understanding ISO 14000 within the context of several relevant issues: such as the relevance of ISO 14000 standards to the World Trade Organization and the implications for new international trade rules, as well as its implications for the developing world.

"A decade from now we may recognize these standards as one of the most significant international initiatives for sustainable development," said Hanson. "For all of those who have heard about voluntary environmental management standards or ISO 14000 this book provides an easy way to make sense of the issues."

Where can I get a copy?

Copies of the report are available from the IISD for $14.00. Order your copy of Global Green Standards today by calling (204)958-7700 or order on line from our Catalogue. A free Portable Document Format version is also available along with related publications.

What is the IISD?

Head-quartered in Winnipeg, IISD's mission is to promote sustainable development in decision making internationally and within Canada. To be sustainable, development must improve economic efficiency, protect and restore ecological systems and enhance the well-being of people. IISD's work contributes new knowledge and concepts, analyzes policies, identifies and disseminates information about best practices, demonstrates how to measure progress, and builds partnerships to amplify these messages. IISD is a prominent research institute in the field of sustainable development. The work on Global Green Standards is related to IISD's initiatives on corporate reporting and trade and sustainable development.

The International Institute for Sustainable Development was established in 1990 with continuing financial support from Environment Canada, CIDA and the Province of Manitoba. It also receives revenue from foundations and other private sector sources.

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.