What Are the Economic Consequences of ISO 14001?
A developing country standard-setting official was ruminating about the disappointing lack of environmental performance measures in ISO 14001. In his view, it was not clear whether ISO 14001 would be a paper stamp or would help improve environmental performance. This, he felt, was an economic question and therefore a political one:
This anecdote is revealing in several respects. Firstly, the issue that ISO 14001 raised for this official was riot environmental protection but trade. Developing-country standards officials and firms are concerned not so much with the environmental advantage and economic opportunity that ISO certification may or may not bring, but with the economic disadvantage that they perceive may come from not getting involved.