A technology that performs well above normal standards or that presents an innovative approach to solving an environmental problem can face market penetration challenges due to lack of independent and credible evidence of its advantages. Other stakeholders, such as purchasers or investors who are committed to using environmental technology solutions are often faced with non-comparable, incomplete or un-tested performance information when assessing the available market options.
Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) provides an independent evaluation of new technologies with a view to validate environmental claims so that users, developers, regulators, and other parties can make informed decisions about purchasing, applying and regulating innovative technologies. Verification builds vendor credibility and buyer confidence by providing assurance that environmental performance claims are valid, credible and supported by high quality, independent test data and information.
ETV is not a certification scheme; instead it ensures that a product’s environmental claims are true and verified, and presents a clear assessment of the technology’s environmental potential and value.
A new ISO standard (ISO 14034) for ETV
In 2013, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accepted a proposal for a new standard on ETV and drafting of ISO 14034 began. Over the last three years, SC4/WG5 led the development ISO 14034 and successfully brought an international consensus among the experts and the ISO Member Bodies. In September 2015, the results of the DIS ballot showed 97% approval by the P-Members in favor of the standard. In December 2015, SC4/WG5 met in Salvador, Brazil, to finalize the standard and ensure its readiness for the FDIS stage. The FDIS 14034 was officially sent to the ISO Secretariat in March 2016. After revision and translation by the ISO Secretariat, the 60-day FDIS review and ballot of the ETV standard is expected to be initiated on August 10, 2016. If the FDIS results are positive, we should expect the publication of ISO 14034 by the end of 2016.
At the TC207 Plenary in Seoul, Republic of Korea, SC4/WG5 will now focus its efforts and discussion on the next steps and international path forward. Different topics will be covered such as the consideration and needs of a Guidance document to apply ISO 14034, the collaboration between the different parties and countries on ETV, the aspects of conformity assessment related to ISO 14034 and many other key issues.