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ISO 14025: Meaning, Standard and Requirements
Blog...ISO 14025: Meaning, Standard and Requirements

ISO 14025: Meaning, Standard and Requirements

Legislation & Standards
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There are so many different accreditations in the ISO series, that it can be hard to remember the differences between them all. What is an ISO 14025, and why is it important for environmental product declaration?
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The current state of climate change has encouraged companies to make serious changes in the way the operate their business – ultimately influencing many of them to seek global certifications to ensure their efforts towards sustainability and environmental concerns to potential business partners and the rest of the world. One of these accreditations that companies will seek to certify their excellence in sustainability are certifications in the ISO series.

There are a wide variety of ISO accreditations offered in the ISO series, such as the ISO 5001, ISO 9001, ISO 14067, and the ISO 14001 – which seek to rectify business management, environmental standards, energy efficiency, investor appeal, and ultimately – aid in the fight against climate change.

👉 What is the ISO 14025, how is it different from other certifications in the ISO series, and why is it important or worth acquiring?

What is an ISO 14025?

An ISO 14025 aims to create and provide detailed goals for those seeking to develop various environmental declaration programs, through the help of using the ISO 14040 – which helps to conduct the quantitative assessments necessary to determine the life cycle of a product, and ultimately further aid in the development of the measures necessary to provide other entities with an environmental declaration. 

ISO 14025 provides guidelines on how to use various environment information, which builds off of the guidelines presented in ISO 14020. In short, ISO 14025 is a culmination of other environmental declaration measures demonstrated in previous ISO certifications.

ISO 14025 certifications are most often used to facilitate more productive business communication, but the use of an ISO 14025 to encourage communication between businesses and consumers is still allowed. 

There are several different types of ISO certifications, but if a company is seeking to execute an Environmental Product Declaration, or an EPD for short – an ISO 14025 is the certification they are looking for.

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What is EPD and why is it important? 

An EDP, or an Environmental Product Declaration, is used by the International Organization for Standardization as a declaration to quantify all environmental data regarding the life cycle of a product so that companies can determine which changes should be made in order to pertain to the environment without sacrificing the functionality of said product.

The life cycle of a product accounts for the carbon footprint created by a product created from start to finish – meaning the life cycle of a product is measured the entire duration starting when a product is created and until it is delivered to the customer.

The four main stages of the life cycle of a product include  introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Measuring the life cycle of a product is important, as it can reveal where carbon emissions are being produced at unsustainable levels – and can help companies determine the best course of action to reduce their overall emissions. 

Think of the life cycle of a product like trying to study for a test – it’s futile to study what you already know, but productive and beneficial to study what you don’t know. Monitoring the life cycle of a product will work in the same way, as it can help to highlight the discrepancies between where emissions aren’t being excessively produced and where they are. 

An Environmental Product Declaration serves as a type 3, or stylized as type III, declaration – which serves as an independent summary explaining how that particular product contributes to environmental harm throughout its life cycle.

These type three environmental declarations are imperative for companies seeking to become more sustainable, as evaluating the life-cycle of a product can result in a more efficient and carbon-friendly product and company.

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How is an ISO 14025 different from other accreditations in the ISO series?

Given there are so many different certifications in the ISO series, such as the ISO 14067, ISO 5001, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and the ISO 20400 – it can be confusing to differentiate each ISO certification from the other. However, the main difference between the ISO 14025 and the other certifications in the ISO series is that the ISO 14025 is a culmination of two previous ISO certifications – the ISO 14040 and the ISO 14020.

The ISO 14025 serves well in conjunction with an ISO 14067 – as both of these certifications in the ISO series aim to increase the awareness on the importance of monitoring the life cycle of a product, and how measuring the life cycle of a product can ultimately lead to reduced carbon emissions.

The ISO 14025 differs from other ISO certifications, such as the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and the ISO 5001 as it is not specialized in rectifying the management of different systems throughout the business of a company – as these ISO certifications seek to improve a company's Quality Management System, Energy Management System, and Environmental Management System with the ISO 9001, ISO 5001, and ISO 14001 respectively. An ISO 14025 is more geared towards reducing the overall emissions of a product. 

However, it is important to note ISO certifications work better when more than one is accumulated. In other words, seeking to rectify an Energy Management System is easier when a company has already improved upon their Environmental Management System – and so on.

Therefore, obtaining an ISO 14025 is likely to be easier if a company dedicates themselves to improve the other components of their business model. 

Why is an ISO 14025 beneficial in particular?

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What are the benefits of an ISO 14025?

An ISO 14025 can widely benefit a company – as environmental declarations can help to stimulate consistent environmental improvement. Think of an ISO 14025 this way: imagine your favorite cosmetic brand has a well-known environmental certification – such as being B-corp certified. Once a company has acquired an official certification documenting their environmental efforts, the other products available by the company can often become instantly more attractive to their existing customers.

Therefore, committing to environmental declarations and the other values depicted in an ISO 14025 can help to stimulate business and continuous motivation to improve environmental habits within a business model.

Acquiring an ISO 14025 can help to improve Environmental Product Declarations, which in turn can help to improve the communication between various parties regarding the environmental impact of a single product, provide buyers with the opportunity for a fair comparison between different products with a life-cycle assessment, and encourage continuous environmental improvement for the company seeking or holding an ISO 14025. 

How can your company get an ISO 14025?

Similar to other certifications in the ISO series, acquiring an ISO 14025 certification requires an extensive checklist to ensure a company will be accepted to be certified for an ISO 14025.

First of all, the general premise of the program or mission of the organization must be clearly started when trying to get certified for an ISO 14025. This includes specifying the locale of the organization’s activities and which sectors are included in the business model. Despite the program type, any party seeking an ISO 14025 should be available to any entity practicing type III environmental declarations – as that is the overarching goal of an ISO 14025 to begin with. 

Companies determined to be certified for an ISO 14025 must show their continuous commitment to type III environmental declarations. In order to successfully accomplish this, administrative employees of companies striving to obtain an ISO 140525 should be prepared to maintain and demonstrate the importance of these environmental declarations to other instructors.

This also includes publishing the all of the organizations and interested parties affiliated with the project, making sure that all the requirements for Type III environmental declaration requirements are adhered to, developing a strategy to ensure the protection and reliability of data, allowing for various records and documents to be made available for public evaluation, publishing all necessary Type III environmental declarations and including revisions whenever necessary.

In the process of applying to be certified for an ISO 14025, companies must also specify the program’s mission, the operators involved in the organization’s business activities, which audience the business activity is meant to cater to, such as B2B or B2C (business to business or business to consumer respectively), other parties interest in the organization’s missions and their level of involvement, how they aim to define products and categorize those products, how they disclose and share data including how their handle confidentiality, how they choose to verify other parties contributing to their project or mission, where the funding and various resources for their business activities come from. All of this information should be made available to anyone requesting at any time in order to qualify for an ISO 14025. 

It is evident that consistent documentation and sharing of information, including environmental declarations, is compulsory for those seeking to be ISO 14025 certified. Is all of this consistent monetization of files worth being ISO 14025 certified?

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Is an ISO 14025 worth acquiring?

The continuous paperwork required to be certified for an ISO 14025 is arguably more intensive than other ISO certifications. However, acquiring all of this paperwork for an ISO 14025 can eliminate the need to practice transparency and data management required for other ISO and various environmental certifications. In other words, the rigorous documentation needed to qualify for an ISO 14025 can help to make the requirements for other certifications seem less daunting – and ultimately help organizations become even more recognized and acquire more certifications than they previously thought they were able to.  

An ISO 14025 can help companies demonstrate their environmental commitment to future employees, customers, and investors – and through the constant evaluation of the life-cycle of their products, companies ISO 14025 will be able to convince these future business collaborators of their efforts towards sustainability without a second thought. 

Sustainability has never been more prevalent than it is now, which also means the competition for showing a company’s dedication towards environmentally friendly efforts is getting stiffer. One surefire way to stick out from potential competitors is to get ISO 14025 certified – and show others companies that the intensive paperwork is worthwhile. 

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about ISO 14025 has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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