ISO Guide will help reduce environmental impacts of products

ISO has published an updated edition of its guide to reducing the potential environmental impact of products by taking environmental aspects into account in product standards.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff November 7, 2008

ISO has published an updated edition of its guide to reducing the potential environmental impact of products by taking environmental aspects into account in product standards.

Every product has an impact on the environment during all stages of its lifecycle, from extraction of resources to end-of-life treatment and the need to reduce the potential adverse impacts on the environment of a product is recognized around the world.

The newly published ISO Guide 64:2008, Guide for addressing environmental issues in product standards , is a practical tool for addressing these issues, as well as a contribution to sustainable international trade.

This Guide is intended for use by all those involved in the drafting of product standards. Standards writers are not expected to become environmental experts but, by using this Guide, they are encouraged to:
* Identify and understand basic environmental aspects and impacts related to the product under consideration
* Determine when it is possible and when it is not possible to deal with an environmental issue through a product standard.

However, the identification of these aspects and the prediction of their impacts is a complex process. When writing a product standard, it is important to ensure that an evaluation as to how products can affect the environment at different stages of their lifecycle is carried out as early as possible in the process of developing the standard.

ISO Guide 64:2008 proposes a step-by-step approach, based on the principle of life-cycle analysis, in order to promote a reduction of potential adverse environmental impacts caused by products.

The implementation of ISO Guide 64:2008 will help to make standards writers aware of how it is possible to make an effective contribution to environmental improvement through a product standard, and how to reduce potential adverse environmental impacts of products.