Business and environmental impact of ISO 14001

Henk de Vries, DK (Deniz) Bayramoglu, A Wiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The International Organization for Standardization ISO has developed the ISO 14000 series of standards for environmental management as a response to the concerns about sustainable development expressed at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. The most important standard is ISO 14001, published in 1996 and slightly modified in 2004, which specifies requirements for environmental management systems. Worldwide, 188,815 organisations have obtained a certificate for their environmental management system based on this standard (ISO, 2009; figures December 2008). In this paper we address the extent to which implementation of this standard has contributed to sustainability and also whether implementation is not only an expenditure but also a source of business benefits. Design/methodology/approach: In order to answer these questions, the existing literature on the impact of ISO 14001 has been reviewed. Findings: Literature shows evidence for environmental and/or business improvements of organisations that have implemented the standard, however, the opposite can also be found. The performance indicators have been identified for which has this evidence could be found. Also the literature shows some moderating variables for the impact of ISO 14001. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the insights in the effects of ISO14001.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)425-435
Number of pages11
JournalThe International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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