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  • International Workplace
  • 19 November 2019
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New standard for establishing smarter sustainable strategies

A new standard designed to enable organisations to decide which environmental measures and strategies to use to value environmental aspects and their impacts has been introduced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Organisations need to know which environmental measures and strategies are economically sound. For example, valuing natural resources and performing environmental cost-benefit analyses are both strategically and tactically important steps in sustainable development programmes.

ISO 14007, Environmental management – Guidelines for determining environmental costs and benefits has been designed to enable organisations to determine and communicate the costs and benefits associated with their environmental aspects, impacts and dependencies on natural resources. It tells organisations how to carry out cost-benefit analyses for different environmental options.

Martin Baxter, Chair of ISO/TC 207’s subcommittee SC 1, Environmental management systems, explains:

“There is a growing drive towards valuing natural capital, as well as a need to undertake a monetary assessment of an organsation’s environmental aspects and impacts. ISO 14007 helps in creating transparent and accurate data, which in turn may remove a hurdle for sustainable development – to understand the value of sustainability.”

The new standard complements ISO 14008, Monetary valuation of environmental impacts and related environmental aspects, published in March 2019. It describes methods for valuing environmental aspects and impacts, providing the essential data that feeds into such cost-benefit analyses. Hence, the two standards dovetail with one another.

“Sustainability is about preserving human wellbeing for present and future generations. And wellbeing is closely linked to an economy where natural capital plays a critical role for the future,” concludes Baxter.

ISO 14007 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, subcommittee SC 1, Environmental management systems, whose secretariat is held by SCC, ISO’s member for Canada. ISO 14007 is available from your national ISO member or through the ISO Store.