This paper reviews the ISO 14000 standards, especially the standards on environmental management, life cycle assessment and environmental performance evaluation. It presents examples of how ISO 14000 was implemented in Norwegian shipping and shipbuilding. These examples are the results from a research program in which four shipyards and one shipping company in Norway collaborated with the research foundation More Research. The holistic view and life cycle approach were essential to this research program. The environmental effects related to construction, operation and maintenance of ships were evaluated, and the results were presented by means of environmental performance indicators. The indicators were placed in a three-tier informational structure. Finally, it was demonstrated how the use of ISO 14000 as a complement to ISM can focus the shipping companies ' strategic efforts on areas which may yield the biggest economic returns for the future.

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