The ISO Survey reveals biggest-ever rise in ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certifications

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The ninth cycle of The ISO Survey - for 1999 - reveals that certifications of conformity to the organization's ISO 9000 (quality) and ISO 14000 (environment) management system standards have experienced their biggest-ever annual increases.

As a companion to the survey which, as in previous years is provided free as an information service, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is also offering against payment an electronic version that for the first time includes industry sector breakdowns on a country-by-country basis.

At the end of 1999, the number of ISO 9000 certificates issued worldwide totalled 343 643. This was an increase over the previous year of 71 796 - 26,4 % - the highest recorded since the survey was launched in 1993. (The ISO 9000 series was first published in 1987; no worldwide statistics exist for the early years up to 1993.)

The number of new ISO 14000 certificates issued worldwide in 1999 was 6 219 - an increase of 78,85 % - bringing the total to 14 106.

Here follows a selection of highlights from The ISO Survey for 1999:

ISO 9000

Australia was the country which experienced the highest growth in ISO 9000 certification, with 8 663 new certificates. Australia was followed by the USA, with 8 067; China, with 6 864; Germany, with 6 095; Japan, with 5 951, and Britain, with 4 737.

The number of countries where ISO 9000 certificates have been awarded to organizations also increased during 1999, from 141 the previous year to 150. The newcomers were Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Kazakstan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Madagascar, and Samoa.

The following countries passed significant milestones in terms of their totals of ISO 9000 certificates issued:

  • 1 000 certificates: Argentina, Greece, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, United Arab Emirates;
  • 5 000: Brazil, India;
  • 10 000: Canada, Japan, Republic of Korea;
  • 15 000: China, France;
  • 20 000: Australia, Italy;
  • 30 000: Germany, USA;
  • 60 000: Britain.

ISO 14000

Japan, with 1 473 new certificates, experienced the strongest growth in ISO 14000 certification, followed by: Britain, with 571 new certificates; Sweden, with 547; Spain, with 409; Australia, with 356, and USA, with 345.

ISO 14000 certificates had been issued in 84 countries or economic areas by the end of 1999, compared with 72 at the end of the year before. The newcomers were: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Macao (China), Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Saint Lucia, Syria, Trinidad & Tobago, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe.

The following countries passed ISO 14000 certification milestones:

  • 100 certificates: Brazil, China, Hungary, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Norway;
  • 500: Australia, France, Spain, Sweden; Switzerland, USA:
  • 1 000: Germany, Britain.
  • 3 000: Japan.

The ISO Survey is compiled annually by the Central Secretariat of ISO (International Organization for Standardization), the developer of the ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 families, and more than 12 7000 other voluntary International Standards covering almost the entire range of business activity and technology. ISO itself does not carry out certification and does not issue either ISO 9000 or ISO 14000 certificates. This is done independently of ISO by more than 570 certification bodies active around the world. The survey is based on data supplied by certification bodies and by ISO national member institutes. It is the unique source of information for a worldwide picture of certification to ISO's management system standards.

The survey includes world totals and regional and country-by-country breakdowns of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certifications. Like the previous year's survey, the 1999 edition includes industry sector breakdowns on a worldwide basis. This time, however, ISO answers a constant demand for more detailed information by carrying out industry sector breakdowns on a country-by-country basis. This additional information is being made available in a special electronic version of the survey, against payment. ISO is not, however, charging for the habitual version which is provided free, as in previous years, despite new or expanded features.

The new feature consists of a "table of worldwide equivalence" which lists the local designations of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 standards adopted as national standards in 102 countries. Expanded are the tables on withdrawn certificates which, under the heading of, "Organization decided to discontinue certification", include additional categories to indicate what motivated such decisions.

The ISO Survey of ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 Certificates: Ninth Cycle - 1999 (ISBN 92-67-10322-9) is available free (handling costs for bulk orders) from ISO national member institutes and ISO Central Secretariat, and can also be downloaded from ISO Web site:

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