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Environmental Law

2009

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Green standards

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The International Organization For Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards As Swords And Shields, David A. Wirth Feb 2009

The International Organization For Standardization: Private Voluntary Standards As Swords And Shields, David A. Wirth

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

Private voluntary standards such as the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) 14000 series have played an increasingly important role in encouraging corporations to adopt more sustainable business models on their own initiative and not in direct response to governmentally mandated requirements. ISO standards have a number of benefits, including promoting international uniformity; elevating environmental issues within an enterprise; promoting international trade; and providing a minimal level of environmental performance in countries with less than adequate regulatory infrastructure. Concerns about ISO standards include the relationship to public regulation; and ISO 14001's essentially procedural, as opposed to performance-based, character ...