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Setting the standard

The International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) has released improved management and good practice standards designed to help recycling and other businesses minimise the impact of their work on the environment.

Its ISO 14001:2004 and ISO 14004:2004 standards will enable a greater number and variety of organisations worldwide to install effective environmental management systems.

They replace earlier environmental standards, clarifying them and making them easier to understand and use.

In particular, the new standards have been designed to be user-friendly for small and medium-sized businesses.

The standards have also been more effectively dovetailed with the ISO 9001:2000 standard for general quality management systems.

ISO secretary-general Alan Bryden said: These standards represent the state of the art in environmental management practice.

ISO 14001:2004 specifies the requirements for such a system, while ISO 14004:2004 provides more detailed guidelines on these systems.

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