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Great Expectations (December 01, 2002)

Get your ISO passport for the global marketplace


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December 1, 2002 by Lynn Johannson

In this increasingly global marketplace it’s more important than ever to meet the growing green expectation of customers, beat the competition and be profitable. ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS), is becoming the passport criterion that gives customers and external stakeholders confidence that a supplier manages the environmental factors affecting their businesses in an organized and professional manner.

To certify or not to certify

ISO 14001 is a robust, credible management system to improve your environmental performance. Like ISO 9001:2000, the international standard for quality management, it’s voluntary. An EMS that meets or exceeds the requirements of ISO14001’s “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycle allows an organization to self-declare.

However ISO 14001 has traditionally been marketed with an emphasis on certification or registration, a service that is provided by a third party known as a registrar. A misconception exists that an organization must “certify or die,” even though certification is not a requirement.

As small business represents the majority of business (by employment numbers) in any country, it limits the adoption of ISO to the Fortune 500 elite. This is especially unfortunate in countries like Canada where the plethora of business and the bulk of GDP rest in the hands of small business.

EnviroReady Report

To break through the barriers for small business without lowering the value of the standard, a Canadian-based entity, the Registry developed a level of verification that is referred to as an EnviroReady Report.

Conceptually, the report sits horizontally between self-declaration and third party registration.

The report process marries ISO guidelines and the annual activity that generates mandatory financial statements; the latter being something that organizations of all sizes must undertake to submit their taxes.

While the Report process was developed with the more limited resources of smaller organizations in mind, it is not restricted to them. Feedback from big companies indicates that they are interested in the report for their own lower risk areas. They will continue to use third-party registration for their higher risk operations.

A professional accountant may provide the service once he or she has received a Certificate of Recognition after successfully passing a learning process and examination.

Only those with this designation are recognized to provide this service. Registry maintains the exclusive learning process and the global database of these professional accountants. u

For more details on the EnviroReady Report, visit www.14000registry.com