Two key issues of ISO 14001 stand out - one, the obligations under the standard are voluntary and greatly depend on the objectives and targets that the city sets for itself; two, the ISO certification embodies a comprehensive/annual/external monitoring and evaluation system ensuring that the EMS put in place is indeed followed through and maintained.
Information would therefore play a key role in the acquisition, implementation and sustenance of the ISO certification. The collation, packaging and dissemination of information to the appropriate stakeholders inside and outside a city government therefore is critical for an effective and comprehensive EMS within a city government.
This would require, for example:
- Seminars and workshops to introduce the concept behind ISO 14001, the advantages and disadvantages of acquiring ISO certification. This is targeted at all staff members of the city government.
- City consultations and dialogue with other city governments, citizens groups and other stakeholders in developing a broad and comprehensive EMS.
- Indepth training and capacity building - of staff members and others within the city government responsible for implementing the EMS.
- Information dissemination of the ISO initiative to other organizations and the civil society at large for replication and follow-up.
- Consultancy and registration for ISO Certification - with the external agency that is authorized to provide the ISO 14001 certification.