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ISO and Japanese Cities
The ISO 14001 Initiatives of
Public Authorities in Japan


ISO 14001 defines a voluntary environmental management system (EMS). Used in conjunction with appropriate goals, and with management commitment, the standards help improve environmental performance and reduce negative impacts. They provide an objective basis for verifying claims about a local government's environmental performance in its day-to-day operations.

Consumers, governments and companies up and down the supply and production chain are all seeking ways to reduce their environmental impact and increase their long-run sustainability. For local governments, the key goals are to be environmentally efficient, and serve as a model for resource-saving and replication.

This section explores the intersection of city governments, EMS and the ISO 14001 series. It outlines the justification for cities to implement an EMS for their day-to-day operations, and seek ISO 14001 certification. It provides case studies of four Japanese cities and prefectures (Shirai city, Itabashi ward of Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and Gifu Prefecture) that have attempted, or are int he process of obtaining, ISO certification.

The case studies were written by Makiko Yashiro, Programme Assistant at the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan.


Shiroi Town
Tokyo's Itabashi ward
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Gifu Prefecture

"Cities, Environmental Management Systems and ISO 14001: A View from Japan" - by Hari Srinivas and Makiko Yashiro, Paper prepared for the International Symposium on Sustainable City Development Seoul, South Korea - 6 and 7 October 1999 MS Word file PDF file

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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org