Latest ISO Survey shows continuing strong growth of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification

Few minutes to read

This news belongs to our archive.

Tagged as Management systems
Published on

The 10th cycle of The ISO Survey shows that ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification in 2000 experienced another year of strong overall growth, coupled with a redistribution of the roles of leading ISO 9000 countries.

On 31 December 2000, the worldwide total of ISO 9000 certificates was 408 631, an increase of 64 988 over the previous year. Although the increase was well down compared to the record 71 796 experienced in 1999, it was the second highest recorded in the 10 surveys carried out since January 1993. The number of countries in which ISO 9000 certificates have been issued rose in 2000 from 150 to 158.

ISO 14000 certification has now been included in the last six cycles of the survey, from December 1995 on. The worldwide total of ISO 14000 certificates at the end of 2000 stood at 22 897, an increase of 8 791, which beat the previous year's record increase of 6 219. The number of countries where ISO 14000 certificates have been issued rose in 2000 from 84 to 98.

The 10th cycle of The ISO Survey of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Certificates is available free of charge as a paper document (ISBN 92-67-10336-9) which can also be downloaded from ISO's Web site - The survey is also available on CD-ROM (ISBN 92-67-10337-7), which costs 44 Swiss francs. This version has additional features, notably a country-by-country breakdown of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certification by industry sector. The CD-ROM and free paper version can be obtained from ISO's national member institutes (a complete list is posted on ISO's Web site) and from ISO Central Secretariat (

ISO 9000 highlights

Apart from the strength of the continuing worldwide growth of ISO 9000 certification, the other principal ISO 9000 finding of the 2000 survey is the extent of the change in identity of the six countries which experienced the highest increases over the year. Of the 1999 leaders, only China and Japan survive, with Australia, the USA, Germany and the United Kingdom dropping out. Their places were taken by Italy, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the Czech Republic.

The top six ISO 9000 countries for 2000 were as follows:

  • first, China which moved up from third position to take the lead with an increase of 10 548 certificates, bringing its total to 25 657;
  • second, Italy, with 9 298 new certificates (total: 30 367);
  • third, Japan with an increase 6 765 (total: 21 329);
  • fourth, the Republic of Korea with an increase of 3 891 (total: 15 424);
  • fifth, Spain with an increase of 3 877 (total: 12 576), and
  • sixth, the Czech Republic with an increase of 2 355 (total: 3 885).

In the survey's regional comparison, Europe retains its first place with the highest number of ISO 9000 certificates. In 2000, 29 879 new certificates were issued in Europe to which new top six countries Italy, Spain and the Czech Republic contributed a total of 15 530 certificates between them.

The overall European total for 2000 was 220 127 certificates, representing a regional share of 53,87 %. However, this compares with a European share of 83,02 % recorded in the January 1993 survey, indicating the growing interest in ISO 9000 certification of other regions which are closing the gap on the European lead. This is particularly true of the Far East which is next with a regional share of 20,05 % (compared with only 2,46 % in the January 1993 survey) and 81 919 new certificates issued in 2000 - to which China, Japan and the Republic of Korea accounted for 21 204 between them.

The following countries passed ISO 9000 certification milestones:

  • 30 000 certificates - Italy;
  • 20 000 - China and Japan;
  • 15 000 - the Republic of Korea;
  • 10 000 - Spain;
  • 5 000 - Israel;
  • 1 000 - Romania, the Russian Federation and the Philippines

ISO 14000 highlights

A worldwide total of 22 897 ISO 14000 certificates was reached by the end of 2000, representing a increase of 8 791. Europe and the Far East were again the regions that accounted for most of the growth.

Europe, with an increase of 3 656 certificates, accounted for 48,13 % of the regional share, slightly down in percentage terms on the previous year's 52,21 %. The Far East, which experienced a comparable increase of 3 531 certificates, improved its position in terms of percentage from 30,84 % to 34,42 %. The other regions of the world are far behind: the nearest is North America, with a regional total of only 1 676 certificates - and increase of 701 - representing only 7,32 % of the world total, slightly up on the 6,91 % of the previous year.

Of the ISO 14000 top six countries for 2000, Japan, the United Kingdom and Sweden - in that order - were again, as in 1999, the three countries that experienced the highest increases in certificates awarded. They were followed by the USA in fourth place, then the Netherlands and Australia. Compared to 1999, the USA moved up two places from the sixth position to the fourth, where it replaced Spain, which dropped out of the top six. The Netherlands came in to fill the fifth position, replacing Australia, which fell back to the sixth place.

The survey results of the top six ISO 14000 countries in 2000 are as follows:

  • first, Japan - increase, 2 541 (total: 5 556);
  • second, United Kingdom - increase, 1 042 (total: 2 534);
  • third, Sweden - increase, 519 (total: 1 370);
  • fourth, USA - increase, 406 (total: 1 042);
  • fifth, the Netherlands - increase, 381 (total: 784), and
  • sixth, Australia - increase, 341 (total: 1 049).

The following countries passed ISO 14000 certification milestones:

  • 5 000 certificates - Japan;
  • 1 000 - Australia, Germany, Sweden and the USA;
  • 500 - China, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Republic of Korea and the Netherlands;
  • 100 - Argentina, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong - China, Mexico,
  • Singapore and South Africa.

Press contact

Journalist, blogger or editor?

Want to get the inside scoop on standards, or find out more about what we do? Get in touch with our team or check out our media kit.