Number of businesses with ISO 14001 soars to 300,000

More than 300,000 businesses around the world have achieved the ISO’s flagship 14001 environmental management standard, with more than a third of those located in China, new figures have revealed.

Data provided by the UK’s Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), showed the number of ISO 14001 certificates handed out has grown by 20 per cent in recent years, from 25,1548 in 2010 to 30,1647 in 2013.

The ISO 14001 standard is used by businesses as a practical guide to setting up an effective environmental management system, covering green goals such as reducing waste, cutting energy use and streamlining logistics. Accreditation provides assurances to stakeholders and customers that companies are measuring environmental metrics and improving their performance.

The UK now holds the fourth most certificates, up from fifth place last year, following China, Italy and Japan in the rankings. The UK also recorded the sixth biggest rise in certifications last year, with a net increase of 996 certificates between 2012 and 2013.

Martin Baxter, IEMA executive director for policy and engagement, said the figures were very encouraging, demonstrating the growing awareness of environmental protection among businesses.

“It’s fantastic to see that the total number of ISO 14001 certificates has not only continued to grow year-on-year, but that the total figure has reached a real milestone of over 300,000 certificates worldwide,” he said.

“With less than one year to go before the new version of the standard is expected to be implemented, I expect to see a continued trajectory of growth.”