ISO certifications in environmental management systems grew 9 percent to 285,844 in 2012 while energy management certifications grew 332 percent to 1,981, according to the annual ISO Survey of Certification.
The survey, now its 20th year, charts the number of ISO certificates issued globally to management system standards in the past year. ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has a membership of 163 national standards bodies from industrialized and developing countries in all regions of the world.
The survey found that overall, the number of certifications to ISO management systems across all seven standards grew 4 percent, with food, energy, medical devices and information security showing the largest increases.
ISO 14001, which gives the requirements for environmental management systems, retained its global relevance for organizations wishing to operate in an environmentally sustainable manner, according to the survey. The top three countries for ISO 14001 were China, Japan and Italy.
Certifications in energy management, or ISO 50001, grew the most in Europe and Southeast Asia, two regions that had the highest demand for certification in general. The top three countries for the total number of energy management certificates were Germany, Spain and Denmark, according to the survey.
The German government’s new energy policy, which was implemented in 2011, has helped drive adoption rates of energy management certifications. The ISO survey forecast the trend will continue over the next few years as the short-term benefits of energy efficiency become more noticeable.
In October, Samsung Electronics received ISO 50001 energy management certification for all of its sites worldwide. The company’s Gumi, South Korea site was the first to receive certification, in July 2011. Samsung has cut GHG emissions 57 percent since 2008, and plans further reductions by minimizing energy waste.
China led all other countries in the number of certificates issued to ISO 9001 (for quality management systems), ISO 14001 (for environmental management systems ), ISO 22000 (for food safety) and ISO/TS 16949 (for the automotive sector). However, Japan takes the lead in ISO/IEC 27001 with around 35 percent of the certificates for the information security sector issued in that country.