There are numerous International Standards being used to support public policy in the field of environmental management.

Standards to help address problems related to climate change are one important example.

Climate change has been identified as one of the greatest challenges facing countries, governments, business and citizens over future decades. Climate change has implications for both human and natural systems and could lead to significant changes in resource use, production and economic activity.

In response, international, regional, national and local initiatives are being developed and implemented to: limit greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the Earth’s atmosphere (ISO 14064 series & ISO 14065); enable organizations to establish the systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance in order to reduce GHG emissions and other related environmental impacts and energy cost through systematic management of energy (ISO 50001); and manage the organization’s environmental responsibilities in order to reduce environmental impacts and identify ways to reduce waste and energy use (ISO 14001).

Who is involved?

The effects of climate change are impacting economies, societies and the natural environment at both global and local levels. As greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to increase so will the severity of climate change impacts. Addressing climate change involves a complex combination of political, policy, business, technical, social and environmental issues that relate to all economic sectors and countries. In this regards, climate change initiatives and policies are being driven at all levels. At the international level, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has established treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol to reduce GHG emissions. Other international organizations, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), are also actively studying and addressing climate change issues. Regional organizations in various regions of the world, such as Europe and Asia, are also working and coordinating climate change initiatives in addition to country-specific actions (refer to table).

The three major standards organizations – ISO, IEC and ITU – have standardization projects aimed to directly or indirectly tackle climate change. ISO is by far the standards organization with the most committees and projects in that area. For example, the ISO Climate Change Coordinating Committee (CCCC), ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, and, more specifically, ISO/TC 207/SC 7 on GHG management and related activities have published or plan to publish standards in the near future to cover mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

How is regulatory cooperation in this field achieved?

Regulatory cooperation is achieved through the establishment of treaties by international or regional organizations, which are adopted as laws and regulations by specific countries. Countries are ultimately responsible for developing the strategies and actions aimed to meet those treaties and laws and, in most cases, International Standards like those developed by ISO are used as the framework or basis for the regulations that support those treaties and laws.

Below are various examples of how ISO standards are being used to support GHG schemes and programmes, as well as environmental management policies in countries around the globe.

Examples of ISO standards used in national, regional or international GHG schemes and programmes

Country Iso standard Programme  / Scheme Mandatory Voluntary
AustraliaOngoing

ISO 14065

carboNZero/CEMARS  (JAS- ANZ accredited )   Yes

Belgium

Ongoing

ISO 14064-1

National Communication   Yes

Brazil

ISO 14064-3

Carbon Disclosure Project

 

Yes

Germany

ISO 50001

Energy efficiency within the framework of tax capping: the amendment of Energy and Electricity Act intends to use EMAS and Energy MS according to ISO 50001

   

Germany

ISO 50001

ISO 14001

Energy efficiency within the framework of the European Energy Efficiency Directive: Energy Audits according to EN 1624701 or within the framework of EMS according to ISO 14001 or Energy MS according to ISO 50001

   
ItalyOngoing

ISO 14065

Emission Trading Scheme

Yes  

Italy

ISO 14065

Voluntary programme

 

Yes

Italy

ISO 14064-1

Voluntary programme

  Yes

 

Italy

ISO 14064-3

Voluntary programme

 

Yes

Italy

ISO 14066 

Emission Trading Scheme

Yes  

Italy

ISO 14066 

Voluntary programme

 

Yes

JapanOngoing

ISO 14064-2

ISO 14064-3

ISO 14065 

ISO 14066

J-Credit Scheme

 

Yes

PolandOngoing

ISO 14065

ISO 14064-3

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No
600/2012 of 21 June 2012 on the verification of greenhouse gas emission reports and tonne-kilometre reports and the accreditation of verifiers pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. Official Journal of the European Union  L 181/1, 12.7.2012

Yes  
PolandOngoing

ISO 14064-1 

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 601/2012 of 21 June 2012 on the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council Official Journal of the European Union L 181/30, 12.7.2012 Yes  
PortugalOngoing

ISO 14064-1 

ISO 14064-3

ISO 14065

Airport Carbon Accreditation Scheme form Airport Council International (Europe and Asia Pacific)

 

Yes

PortugalOngoing

ISO 14065:2012

EU ETS
Regulation on Accreditation and Verification
Yes  
ThailandOngoing

ISO 14064-1:2006 

Domestic carbon market

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO 14064-2:2006 

Domestic carbon market

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO 14064-3:2006

Domestic carbon market

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO 14065:2007

Domestic carbon market

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO 14066:2011

Domestic carbon market

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO/TS 14067

Thailand Carbon footprint for product scheme

 

Yes

Thailand

ISO/TR 14069

Thailand Carbon footprint for organization scheme

Yes  

Turkey

ISO/IEC 17025:2017

National GHG scheme/program

Yes  

Turkey

TS EN ISO/IEC

National GHG scheme/program

Yes  

Turkey

TS EN ISO

National GHG scheme/program

 

Yes

Turkey

ISO 14064-1 

National GHG scheme/program

 

Yes

Turkey

ISO 14064-3

National GHG scheme/program

 

Yes

Turkey

ISO/DIS 14067.2

International GHG scheme/program

 

Yes

UKOngoing

ISO 14065

Directive n.2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC

Yes  

UK

ISO 14064-1

Defra (Dept. of Environment, Food and Agriculture) guidance on how to measure and report GHG emissions

 

Yes

UK

ISO 14064-2

GHG protocol for GHG accounting

 

Yes

Examples of ISO Environmental Management Standards used in support of other public policies

Country Iso standard Programme / Scheme Scope and coverage Mandatory Voluntary

Germany

ISO 14001

Harmonized standard in the European new legislation framework and the eco-management audit scheme

   

Yes

Germany

EN

ISO 14004

Harmonized standard in the European new legislation framework and the eco-management audit scheme

   

Yes

Germany

ISO 14006

Harmonized standard in the European new legislation framework and the eco-management audit scheme

   

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Sweden 

ISO 9001

or

ISO 14001

 

Recycling of electronics

Yes  

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Indonesia

ISO 14001

Third-party certification

Manufacturing, construction (incl. services), chemical (incl. services), mining (incl. services), etc.

 

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Australia

ISO 14001

Government

Suppliers requested

 

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Canada

ISO 14001

     

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

France

ISO 14001

Sustainable development policy

Public administration (all sectors)

Yes  

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

France

ISO 14001

Common sustainable development policy

Public account consortium (EDF-GDF Suez-RATP-SNCF-AREVA)

 

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Italy 

ISO 14001

     

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Japan

ISO 14001

Inspection of management matters for public works

Public works

Yes  

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

Japan 

ISO 14001

Support system of local governments

   

Yes

Independent International Organisation for Certification (IIOC)

ISO 14001

 

All activities for customer

 

 

JapanOngoing

ISO 14001

Environmental Management Systems Registration Scheme

   

Yes

UK

ISO 14000

EMAS

EU Yes  

UK

ISO 14000

ESOS UK Yes  

UK

ISO 14000

EP-OPRA

UK Yes

Yes

UK

ISO 14000

Industrial Emissions Directive

EU Yes

Yes

UK

ISO 14000

UK offshore guidance

UK  

Yes

UK

ISO 14001

Executive Order 13423, “Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management”

US federal agencies

 

Yes

EXAMPLES BY SECTOR Overview

http://policy.iso.org/
Energy management
To continually improve energy performance and sustain it over time.
http://policy.iso.org/
Environmental management
To address problems related to climate change, for example.
http://policy.iso.org/
Food products
To ensure that food is safe for consumption.
http://policy.iso.org/
Laboratory medicine
To offer an important alternative to prescriptive regulations.
http://policy.iso.org/
Medical devices
Standards play an important role in allowing the rapid introduction of new medical device technology.
http://policy.iso.org/
Radio services
IEC/CISPR is responsible for the protection of radio services.
http://policy.iso.org/
Railways
IEC/TC 9 is responsible for the electrical equipment and systems used in railways.
http://policy.iso.org/
Road vehicles
Work to harmonize worldwide regulations for road vehicles.
http://policy.iso.org/
Ships and marine technology
Defining standards and requirements that affect safety, security and the environment.
http://policy.iso.org/
Transport of dangerous goods
How regulatory needs can lead to revisions and improvements in ISO standards.