August 2016

China ISO 14001 Certificate - An Introduction

In certain industries with tight environmental demands, possessing a China ISO 14001 certificate may be an essential requirement for Chinese companies. Holding this certificate indicates that the company’s environmental management system has been certified to the ISO 14001 standard.

In Mainland China ISO 14001 certificates are not as common as their quality management cousin ISO 9001, but can still be widely found in many industries.

A 2015 ISO survey determined that there are over 110,000 valid ISO 14001 certificates in China – far more than any other country.

What is a China ISO 14001 Certificate?

ISO 14001 certificates in China are issued to organizations by certification bodies to certify that their environmental management system meets the requirements of the standard.

The certificate varies in appearance depending on which certification body is was issues by, but note that certification bodies usually provide certified organizations with both a Chinese and English language version.

Below is an example of a China ISO 14001 certificate issued by the certification body CQM.

What Information is Contained in a China ISO 14001 Certificate?

From viewing a China ISO 14001 certificate it is possible to ascertain some detailed information about the certified organization, and significantly, the certification body that issued the certificate.

Determining whether or not the certificate is valid, relevant and issued by a certification body with a good reputation is critical to understanding the worth of the document.

The following information, at a minimum, about the certified organization should be included on a China ISO 14001 certificate:

  • Certificate number
  • Name of the organization
  • Addresses covered by the certification
  • Standard number (ISO 14001) and revision year (usually 2015 or 2004)
  • Scope of certification
  • Issue date and expiry date

It should also be possible to ascertain the following information about the certification body:

  • Certification body name
  • Their logo
  • Accreditation logos
  • Accreditation numbers

Who Issues a China ISO 14001 Certificate?

China National Accreditation Service Mark

The majority of China ISO 14001 certificates are issued by certification bodies which are accredited by CNAS (China National Accreditation Service), China’s member of the IAF (International Accreditation Forum).

The certification bodies accredited by CNAS include many domestic certification companies as well as a large number of familiar international names (BSI, TUV, BV, SAI etc.) which have operations in the country.

A China ISO 14001 certificate is issued after the company has been audited and found to meet requirements of the standard.

Unless you have resources to audit the facility yourself, it is important to make an evaluation about the reputation of the certification body in order to determine the value of the ISO 14001 certificate issued.

For extra reassurance it is worth figuring out whether or not the certification body also has overseas accreditation.

Who Uses the China ISO 14001 Certificate?

Chinese companies which have a strong commitment to environmental protection and reducing their environmental footprint will often choose to certify their Environmental Management System to ISO 14001.

It is also worth noting that for some multinational companies, holding ISO 14001 certification is a requirement for suppliers, so there can also be a business benefit to holding this certificate.

Awareness of environmental issues in China is increasing and the number of Chinese companies holding ISO 14001 certification is expected to continue to increase in the future.

How to Verify a China ISO 14001 Certificate?

Unfortunately, like other certificates in China, there are many photo-shopped or fake ISO 14001 certificates used by companies looking to get an unfair advantage.

Providing fake documentation not only raises serious questions about a company’s trustworthiness, but also indicates an increased risk of fraud.

You can read our helpful guide on which Chinese ISO certificates you can trust, and attempt to verify a certificate yourself using some of the resources identified we have identified in this article.

Alternatively, China Checkup offers the Chinese Certificate Verification service – an easier way to verify a Chinese ISO 14001 certificate with confidence.

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