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1. Introduction: ISO 14021 and Its Place in the ISO 14000 Series

Organizations of all kinds are increasingly concerned to achieve and demonstrate sound environmental performance by controlling the impact of their activities, products or services on the environment, taking into account their environmental policy and objectives. They do so in the context of increasingly stringent legislation, the development of economic policies and other measures to foster environmental protection, and a general growth of concern from interested parties about environmental matters including sustainable development.

International Standards covering environmental management are intended to provide organizations with the elements of an effective environmental management system.... These Standards, like other International Standards, are not intended to be used to create nontrade barriers or to increase or change an organization's legal obligations (ISO Standard 14001, Introduction).

ISO 14001 and 14004 are the Standards for environmental management systems, and 14010, 14011, and 14012 deal with the general principles of environmental auditing, procedures for auditing environmental systems, and the auditor qualification criteria. The other documents in the ISO 14000 series are tools designed to assist businesses with measuring and communicating their efforts to minimize their environmental impacts.

ISO 14061 is a Technical Report designed to assist the forestry sector in applying ISO 14000 to its operations by providing a framework within which it may choose to measure sustainability indicators or other performance measures.

Documents in the ISO 14030 series are still under development. They deal with the issues of environmental performance evaluation, indicators, and reporting. The same information may be required for environmental reports and for verification of environmental claims.

ISO 14040-49 deal with the product life cycle; they cover the guiding principles of life cycle analysis, inventory, impact assessment, interpretation, and some sample applications. Credible environmental labelling is very dependent on an understanding of the life cycle of a product; consequently, the linkages between the 14020 and 14040 Standards are very important.

ISO and IEC guides are also available to help those developing technical standards consider the environmental aspects of products.

Document History

  1. CSA PLUS 14021 (2nd ed. pub 2008)

    Environmental claims: A guide for industry and advertisers

    • Most Recent
  2. CSA PLUS 14021 (1st ed. pub 2000)

    👀 currently

    The ISO 14021 Essentials

    • Historical Version