ISO is an international management certification that companies voluntarily try to get. It isn’t a government certification. Its origin is independent and purely market oriented. It’s actually taking a step further then government and put pressure on organization to adopt regulations. The concept is simple: you write what you do and do what you write. This way, you clarify and document every daily tasks or other derivative procedures. You make sure that what is supposed to be done is official and is done the way it is pre-establish.
There are different types of certifications. The ISO 9001 certifies the quality of a companies’ product. It assures that you always do what is necessary to deliver products of good quality. The ISO 14001 is another type of certification where you document every aspect of the company that touches the environment. It assures, first, that the company executes all its environmental operation in legality. Second, it analyzes all the impacts made on the environment and put pressure to continually improve his position. The ISO 14001 candidate constantly searches to minimizing his environmental impacts that is under his control. For example, they try to reduce energy consumption, to maximize recycling, to minimize costs on future generations and all other environmental aspects.
ISO applies environmental regulations that normally the government should apply. It is working well do to the fact that it enters in the general dynamics of market law. Normally an organization that is certified ISO will get more clients and has better chance to succeed. It is quite a rigid certification to get but when you have it, clients know they are dealing with a reliable company and expect quality. After all, a company that makes money only in the present, but cost money to future generations is in fact not contributing to the society.