As usual, the folks at TC 176 and their suck-ups are panicking that a totally-predicted, entirely-preordained outcome has come to pass. In short, people are pissed off that ISO added “climate change” requirements to a quality management system standard (as well as every other type of management system standard), and now they are scrambling to rewrite history to save their sorry asses.

The entire move was done just so ISO’s Secretary General, Sergio Mujica, could make his CV look good for his planned run for United Nations Sec-Gen in 2026, when his term expires at ISO.  Mujica then coordinated with a few ISO toadies, including Scott Steedman of BSI, to issue a mandate that “climate action” or “climate change” be inserted into all ISO standards, regardless of whether or not the issue was related to the subject matter of the standard. Mujica and Steedman then called this ISO meeting, which was not based on any international summit, the “London Declaration.” This was a cringe-worthy attempt to give the memo the international gravitas of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which resulted from an actual international summit.

Get it? Both “Paris Agreement” and “London Declaration” have city names in them, so they must be equally valid on the world stage.

London Declaration: Fight Climate Change

ISO’s London Declaration came out in 2021, and over the past three years, ISO has been clearly and unambiguously claiming the decision was intended to fight climate change. In other words, ISO was insisting that by putting climate change into standards, it would force end-user organizations to make changes to their operations to reduce carbon emissions. This would eventually result in “net zero” carbon emissions worldwide.

Again, they were overt and absolutely crystal clear on this. Let’s look at some quotes:

Quote 1, from ISO here (emphasis added):

A game-changing moment for the environment could see a real acceleration in business and governments’ race to net zero. Launched today, the London Declaration is a push from ISO to transform the approach to climate action and advance international work to attain net-zero goals.

Following recent research that shows fewer than one in four of the world’s largest companies are on track to meet basic climate change targets, and Europe will miss its 2030 climate goal by 21 years, the Declaration promises to embed key climate considerations into every new standard that is created. It will also retrospectively add these requirements to all existing standards as they are revised, a change on an unparalleled scale.

Quote 2, from BSI here (emphasis added):

The new London Declaration is a game-changing moment for international standards which will enable a real acceleration in government and industry tackling climate change and their transition to net zero.

Immediately, as if having shared the same spiked punch, officials from all over the world began parroting ISO’s talking points, without applying the slightest bit of critical thinking or independent thought. That latter page from BSI, for example, quotes a number of international standards body representatives who repeat ISO/BSI’s talking points, insisting that the London Declaration aims to fight climate change (emphasis added):

From Denmark:

Reducing climate impact is a top priority for Danish Standards and our strategic standardization activities, and we are proud to be leading efforts in ISO in order to reduce, among other things, the huge global climate impact represented by food waste.

From Spain:

UNE supports the London Declaration to fight climate change with standards.

From Switzerland:

… SNV will actively contribute to providing standards that help in the fight against climate change.

From Italy:

We are proud that standardization is not only at the forefront of climate change action, but is expected to be an efficient and pivotal tool to fight one of the greatest challenges the world is now facing.

From Costa Rica:

As the national standards body of Costa Rica, a country that has been a pioneer in fighting climate change, INTECO fully supports the London Declaration.

From China:

SAC is willing to work together with all ISO members in the development of relevant International Standards to combat climate change, promote the effective implementation of the London Declaration, and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN SDGs.

From Thailand:

TISI commits to supporting the London Declaration and will make every effort to combat climate change with standardsfor a more sustainable future.

From Korea:

KATS reaffirms its commitment to the London Declaration and will provide unwavering support to ISO in its efforts to combat climate change.

From The Netherlands:

You can’t fight climate change without reaching agreements. …That’s why we fully support the London Declaration.

From Singapore:

Singapore Standards Council supports the London Declaration to combat climate change through internationally agreed standards.

From Indonesia:

BSN strongly supports the London Declaration as a means to mitigate the impact of climate change.

From Norway:

Standards Norway fully supports the London Declaration. In close collaboration with our stakeholders, we will strengthen the fight against climate change with standards.

From Austria:

Austrian Standards International is seriously committed to join forces in the fight against climate change. We support the London Declaration and want to contribute to reaching the goals of the climate agenda together with other ISO members.

From Kazakhstan:

KAZMEMST proudly supports the London Declaration and believes that, with the help of International Standards, we will be able to make a leap to a cleaner, more sustainable world.

And from Turkey, which must have been writing after about ten Red Bulls and a few double-shot espressos:

TSE strongly supports the London Declaration. We are in a climate emergency. The implementation of climate-friendly standards prevent the most devastating effects of climate change, and protect the health and well-being of current and future generations.

You get the picture.

Time to Pivot

Now, however, as ISO pushed out its mandatory Amendment to ISO 9001 and other management system standards, without allowing any voting on the text, it finds itself facing the voice of the only people that really matter: end users who buy their standards and pay for the attendant ISO audits.

And those users see through this transparent effort by ISO to get Mujica into the UN. They are not buying it, and the overwhelming response to this craven political move has been outrage.

So ISO threw up the Batsignal, and Nigel Croft crawled out from his rock to once again try and save the day, much as he did by trying to spin ISO 9001:2015’s “risk-based thinking” by lying to everyone and insisting “risk has always been implicit in ISO 9001.” (No, it was explicitly not covered by ISO 9001.)

Now Croft is telling people that, no, the London Declaration and the insertion of climate change was not about fighting climate change, but about reacting to it after the fact!

From Croft, on LinkedIn (emphasis his):

If you are a ski resort operator and there is no snow, an agri-food company whose crops are not of the usual quality due to drought, or if you are a train operator and your services are disrupted because the rails are buckling due to excessive heat (as actually happened when the UK hit 42C in 2022) then I hope you will begin to see that Climate Change is an issue that can affect your organization’s ability to “consistently provide conforming products and services” as per ISO 9001:2015 Clause 1.1.

Don’t forget that we are talking about climate change ADAPTATION, and not only MITIGATION.

Then, in response to a comment by Alex Ezraokhovich, Croft thought he’d “Croftsplain” a bit more, as if the entire world hadn’t read the prior three years of press releases by ISO. This is a masterclass in gaslighting. (Again, emphasis his.)

Surprised that you find this confusing. It’s really quite simple. All organizations need to look at climate change, its implications on their ability to meet the objectives of their management system and ADAPT accordingly if necessary. Some may CHOOSE to help MITIGATE climate change or be required to do so (for example by reducing their carbon footprint) by relevant interested parties (for example sustainability-conscious customers or even regulators).

Pause on that. Go back and read all those quotes from ISO, BSI, and their horde of brain-dead ISO member delegate morons. Did any of them say anything at all about reacting to climate change? Or were 100% of them insisting putting climate change into ISO standards would “combat” or “fight” climate change?

That’s no minor distinction. To say you are going to “fight” something means you intend to prevent it from worsening or, even, reverse it. To “fight” it means you intend on, eventually, “defeating” it.

Reacting” to climate change is something altogether different. It admits defeat or, at best, a draw, and forces the losers to do something to reduce the damage it causes on them. “Reacting” to climate change means, in effect, that climate change has won, and you will just have to find a new way to survive under its reign.

There was never any way that Mujica’s craven move to suck up to the UN was ever going to “fight” climate change, and it became apparent literally within hours of him releasing the amendments. Heck, if ISO were serious about climate change, they would have instituted a ban on international travel for all events not requiring face-to-face meetings — which is basically all of them. ISO didn’t. Mujica doesn’t care about the climate, he cares about getting himself into the UN Sec-Gen seat.

Croft is a serial liar. But even though no one should trust a single word that comes out of his mouth (and they should follow the money to see where those words come from), he’s granted great powers by Mujica and the ISO Exec because he lies on their behalf. Meanwhile, Ezrakhovich was ejected from all ISO committees everywhere in the world because he dared to call out ISO on key issues, such as its support of Russia and jamming climate change into standards.

Consensus? Bullshit. If you don’t toe the line, you get thrown out on your ear.

So from Croft’s point of view, he’s winning since they keep giving him more and more power. But that doesn’t mean he’s not a full-on liar and gaslighter.

Anyway, there you have it. Within just 48 hours of releasing their “amendment,” ISO was forced to launch a damage control campaign that completely contradicts the past few years of content they were pumping out on this very subject. There will be dupes who believe it, but the rest of us know better.

The only way to fight this is, of course, to show ISO who’s boss: that’s the people who buy their standards. Stop buying them, and stop incorporating them into contractual requirements, and ISO will die on the vine. And Mujica can crawl back to Chile and live in the obscurity he deserves. Ditto for Croft.


ISO 14001 Implementation