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A New Standard

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

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In 1998, SWD Inc. was one of the first U.S. companies to boastcertification under the ISO 14001 environmental standard. With itsautomotive customers asking the 105-person Addison, Illinois,metal-finishing company to follow ISO 9000 quality standards, thethen-new environmental certificate looked like the natural nextstep. "Because of the industry we're in, we have to dealwith environmental laws on a continuing basis anyway," saysvice president Tim Delawder, 35, whose father started SWD in1980.

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

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