The figures, released yesterday (24 September) by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) show a year-on-year increase of 22,500 certificates.

The UK has held its position as fourth in the global league table of certificates, behind China Italy and Japan.

Commenting on the rise, Martin Baxter, IEMA’s chief policy advisor and the UK’s appointed expert to the ISO 14001 revision working group, said: “The growth we’re seeing in the uptake of ISO 14001 is incredibly encouraging.

“The new standard raises the bar on the expectations it sets for how organisations manage their environmental performance, and will lead to a positive outcome for businesses around the world.”

The data on the global uptake of ISO 14001 comes just a week after a revised version of the standard was published, following a three-year review process.

The new version of the standard, aims to “better align with business strategy”, and support organisations becoming more resilient to external environmental change. Full details on the changes can be found here.

Business buy-in

A recent IEMA survey found that more than 40% of businesses said the revised standard will bring greater buy-in from senior management. A similar amount of respondents said they had saved at least £10,000 since implementation.

The majority of these savings were delivered through energy efficiency measures (71% of those surveyed) and improved waste management (64% of those surveyed).

Other reported benefits included meeting legislative requirements, enhancing stakeholder relations and generating new business opportunities.

In a recent blog for edie, Ian Nicholson, the managing director of sustainability consultancy Responsible Solutions, said the new standard offered a win-win for businesses and the environment.

Brad Allen

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