Is ISO 14000 Certification Useful?

I have not seen marketing value in becoming ISO 14000 certified. If you are a building product manufacturer that has had good results from the program, please comment to share your experience.

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ISO says the program, "is a management tool enabling an organization of any size or type to:
  • "identify and control the environmental impact of its activities, products or services, and to
  • "improve its environmental performance continually, and to
  • "implement a systematic approach to setting environmental objectives and targets, to achieving these and to demonstrating that they have been achieved."
The system may actually be a good management tool that provide focus for internal review of systems and policies. But I have not seen the North American construction industry writing it into its purchase specifications, and I know almost no designer or builder for whom ISO certification is a significant factor in product selection.

A few building product manufacturers have done the paperwork to get certified. Generally, they are divisions of huge, global concerns that have bought into the ISO regimen because it is required for their aerospace, pharma, or other divisions.

More, the ISO program seems like a gin for churning out paperwork and racking up inspection agency fees -- without demanding meaningful improvement. Let's say your policy for dealing with toxic waste produced in your factory is to bury the stuff in your back yard. Your plan to improve your environmental practices might be to bury it more deeply in your yard. As long as you plan for documenting your burial practices, you can still get ISO certified.

If I am wrong about this, let me know