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A New Standard

Finished sweating through your ISO 9000 certification? Time to think about ISO 14001.

This story appears in the October 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 1998, SWD Inc. was one of the first U.S. companies to boast certification under the ISO 14001 environmental standard. With its automotive customers asking the 105-person Addison, Illinois, metal-finishing company to follow ISO 9000 quality standards, the then-new environmental certificate looked like the natural next step. "Because of the industry we're in, we have to deal with environmental laws on a continuing basis anyway," says vice president Tim Delawder, 35, whose father started SWD in 1980.

Today, more than 1,500 U.S. firms are under the ISO 14001 banner. While they make up a tiny fraction of American businesses, the number was up 23 percent during 2001. That doesn't rival Europe and Asia, however. The roster of 14001-certified Japanese companies was up 50 percent in 2001 to nearly 8,000.

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