In addition to EMAS and ISO 14001, there are several dozen other environmental management systems in existence worldwide. The project undertook a comparison of the various systems with regard to their essential characteristics and the factors key to their success. A total of 16 systems were compared on the basis of almost 100 different criteria. Key success factors identified included the diversity of the systems and thus their flexibility; low cost; the political and financial support received by some of them; and the regional or sectoral identification potential the systems offer.
adelphi used the findings from the study to place the resultant knowledge at the disposal of an ISO working group dealing specifically with the issue of SMEs' use of ISO 14001. The aim of the working group was to determine whether SMEs can be more effectively won over to ISO 14001 based on a step by step approach. The results of its study were also presented at the 12th Plenary Meeting of the ISO in September 2004 in Buenos Aires.