New ISO standard will improve understanding of environmental management vocabulary

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A new terminology standard from ISO is expected to help users of the ISO 14000 series of standards save time and money and, at the same time, avoid any ambiguity in environmental management terminology.

Properly and universally understood, environmental terms and definitions enable clear controlled implementation and operation of environmental management systems. The new standard ISO 14050, Environmental management - Vocabulary, is intended to facilitate a coherent approach to the description of environmental management activities and the use of environmental management terminology, as well as contribute to a common understanding of environmental management terms.

ISO 14050 costs 104 Swiss francs and is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details) and from ISO Central Secretariat. This second edition replaces ISO 14050:1998. The new standard is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, subcommittee SC 6, Terms and definitions.

"Improper implementation due to lack of terminology, poor terminology, or inaccessible terminology actually costs money," said Håvard Hjulstad, Chair of ISO/TC 207 SC 6. "ISO 14050 is useful because it arranges the terms in a systematic manner that makes environmental management vocabulary easier to understand. The new standard will provide users with a better understanding of the ISO 14000 series as well as a better overview of environmental management terminology. And what's more, users of the standard will save time by not having to look up the terms in more than one document."

The new ISO standard collects and compiles into one glossary-type document all terms and definitions provided in the individual standards of the ISO 14000 series. It covers 106 terms and definitions along with the relevant source of the concept and in some cases, the special usage in a particular context in one bilingual edition.

"ISO 14050 reflects the results of a process of cooperation between the technical experts in ISO/TC 207 as a whole and the terminology experts working with ISO 14050 by presenting all the terminology for the whole ISO 14000 series of standards, " further noted Mr. Hjulstad.

"This will give users a much better overview of the terminology and at the same time, ensure consistency in the terminology of the individual documents."

The standard is aimed at all those using and implementing the ISO 14000 series as well as translators and technical writers within the field of environmental management.


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