Weak ISO draft threatens Europe's environmental management standards

The European standards body, CEN, is under orders to adopt an environmental management standard in order to offer firms an alternative route to attaining registration under the EC's eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS). It is considering adopting the draft international standard ISO 14001 - and if it does so then the UK will have to withdraw its own environmental management standard, BS7750. However, ISO 14001 offers a much weaker set of directions than BS7750 and EMAS as a result of fierce lobbying from business interests in the USA driven by a fear of opening up avenues for litigation. CEN does not have to adopt ISO 14001 but is now under considerable pressure to do so to avoid creating a barrier to trade.

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