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LAMS Kids' ISO 14000
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About this page: Why is it so special ? Who created it ? What's ISO's involvement ? What's the link with ISO 14000 ?
Who supports it ? How does it work ? What exactly is in the program ? How is integrity maintained ? What results does it achieve ?
What We Plan To Do At IS 227Q

  For two weeks we would hope to have students look at and understand their energy use. We take most things for granted. We turn on a faucet and expect water to come out. We place our trash on the curb and magically it disappears.
By watching our energy use over a two week period, we hope to have the children realize how they waste energy and how to begin to conserve energy. We will begin by taking a survey of electri energy in our home. We will attach tally sheets to these items and ask the members of our household to indicate on the tally sheet when items were used. This data will be tabulated and the total time for each day will be put on a form.
Viewing these forms and constructing graphs from this data will help our students understand their energy usage.

  There will be another component to our project; Water Usage. There will be a tally sheet for household members to indicate when the flush the toiles, wash their hands and even when they take a shower.

  We are starting a recycling program in our school with help from the student organization. Teachers will be give blue recycling pails for paper. Our project will show our students how our landfulls are closed and how we need to recycle and conserve.

  We will touch on Global Warming. We will show the movie An Incinveinent Truth. During the movie we will stop to discuss points and will fill in a movie worksheet during the film.

Why is it so special ?

Twenty per cent of the world's population is aged between 10 and 19. Clearly, what children and young people think and do about the environment today will influence the environment they live in tomorrow. The environmental awareness they develop when they are young will shape the impact they make on the environment as adults.

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program begins by developing environmental awareness - but goes much further. What makes it special is that it nurtures autonomous, "environmentally mature" children and young people who are confident in their ability to act positively on the environment.

They learn by their own experience that their actions can have a beneficial impact on the environment. In addition, they learn to network with children in other schools, communities and countries and so discover that collective action can be a force multiplier for resolving global environmental issues.
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Who created it ?

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program was created by Prof. Takaya Kawabe and Ms. Miyuki Koyama, respectively President and Secretary-General of the Japanese non-profit, non-governmental organization ArTech which operates the program.

Prof. Kawabe explains:
"Following the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, the United Nations announced plans to launch the 'Decade of Education for Sustainable Development' for 2005-2015. It is evident that the environmental education of children and young peoples is now one of the keys for the solution of global environmental problems and for achieving sustainable development."
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What's ISO's involvement ?

In October 2002, ISO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ArTech giving permission for the use of its name in the title of The Kids' ISO 14000 Program and allowing ArTech to use the ISO logo to demonstrate the organization's support.

In October 2003, ISO signed a new MoU under which ISO Central Secretariat pledged active support by using its communication media to promote the program, and by encouraging its dissemination worldwide through ISO's network of national standards institutes in 148 countries.
ISO Secretary-General Alan Bryden commented: "Just about everyone is agreed on the need to 'do something' to control the negative impacts of man's activities on the environment. Practical tools for achieving this, and for improving environmental performance, are provided by International Standards like the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard that is implemented by more than 50 000 organizations in 118 countries."

"Therefore, it is normal that ISO should respond positively to ArTech's desire for cooperation because its program demonstrates even to young children that the small, practical steps they take can have incremental, positive

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What's the link with ISO 14000 ?

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program teaches children to put into practice the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle which is the operating principle of the ISO 14000 standards on environmental management systems. The children learn to use the PDCA cycle to establish environmental baselines (such as domestic water consumption), set targets to reduce negative impacts and monitor implementation of measures to achieve the targets.

Co-founder of the program, Prof. Takaya Kawabe, commented: "In many cases in Japan, the parents of children participating in the program work in business organizations that are implementing ISO 14001, and the families live in municipalities certified to ISO 14001, or seeking certification."

"ISO 14001 enjoys recognition on the international scale as a tool for improving environmental performance. ArTech is therefore happy to incorporate reference to the ISO 14000 family in the name of its program because it aims on the international scale at educating children to the practical measures they can take to improve the environment, first in their homes, then in their communities."

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Who supports it ?

In addition to ISO, The Kids' ISO 14000 Program receives practical support from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the United Nations University (which has cooperated since the launch of the program).

It has received expressions of support from the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) and the Japanese Environment Ministry (MOE).

Support has come from a number of Japanese business organizations and the Japanese operations of multinational companies.

Launched in Japan in 2000, the program is now on its way to becoming an international one. By December 2003, schools or other organizations (including ISO national member institutes) from many countries were preparing to, or expressing strong interest in, implementing or supporting the program.
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How does it work ?

First of all, children and young people participating in The Kids' ISO 14000 Program learn to apply the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle at the heart of the ISO 14000 environmental management system standards. They do so by implementing PDCA in their own homes to:

- measure environmental aspects such as water and energy consumption
- set targets to reduce negative impacts
- achieve concrete results and compare them with the target
- draw lessons from the experience in order to make further improvements.

Children thus learn by experience that they can reduce negative environmental impacts and improve environmental performance.

Next, in cases where the children's parents work in organizations pursuing certification to ISO 14001, there is a potential for synergy between programs in the work place and activities at home. The possibilities are increased when they live in a community where the local authority too is promoting the use of ISO 14001. This creates opportunities for joint action programs between schools, enterprises and local government.

In any case, The Kids' ISO 14000 Program encourages participants to network with children engaged in the program in other schools and communities, both nationally and internationally. Children learn by direct experience that cooperation and team work, regardless of frontiers multiplies the efficiency and effectiveness of their environmental management efforts.

Throughout the program, there is an emphasis on feedback and two-way communication between the children and their teachers. This helps to build self-confidence in the young people which will serve them well as they grow up, giving them the strength to tackle environmental and other challenges in their adult lives.

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program is a powerful learning tool. Here and now, it helps children to achieve measurable environmental results on their own doorsteps. For tomorrow, it forms responsible, environmentally mature citizens with a global perspective.

Plan - Do - Check - Act

The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is the operating principle of ISO's management system standards for the environment (ISO 14000) and quality (ISO 9000).
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What exactly is in the program ?

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program begins with training of "Eco-Kids' Instructors" who, in turn, train teachers at schools that have decided to participate. The teachers learn how to manage the program in their classes and how to use the program workbooks and evaluation manuals.

The program is suitable for children from the age of 10.
It comprises four levels:

1 The Introductory Level enhances the environmental sensitivity and awareness of children. It also introduces them to the methodology of environmental management based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle of the ISO 14000 environmental management standards. It takes about two weeks to complete this level.

2 The Primary Level introduces the PDCA cycle to the participating children's families who put it into practice together in the family home. For example, with the help of their families, the children establish environmental baselines (such as domestic water or energy consumption, or amount of waste generated by the household), set targets to reduce negative impacts, and monitor their implementation. Their actions are recorded in their workbooks for evaluation by their teachers. This level takes about eight weeks.

3 The Middle Level develops greater mastery of the ISO 14000 PDCA approach to environmental management by applying it to regional environmental issues. The young people practice its implementation in a project on which they work as a group. Working through this level takes from several months to one year.

4 The Highest Level again has the young people applying the ISO 14000 approach to regional environmental issues, but this time in collaboration with other groups in foreign countries. Duration is one to two years.

After the participants complete their workbooks or projects, these are sent to ArTech for evaluation and marking by the Eco-Kids' Instructors and then returned to the children. This recognition of the children's work and positive feedback valorizes them and encourages them to continue.

On successful completion of the primary, middle and highest levels, the young people are invited to an award ceremony where they receive a certificate from The Kids' ISO 14000 Program International Committee, which is appointed by ArTech and comprises representatives of organizations cooperating on, or supporting the program.
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How is integrity maintained ?

The three guiding principles for implementation of The Kids' ISO 14000 Program, in whatever country it takes place, are the following:

1. Retain the essential points of the original concept and the aims of the program in the workbooks at each level.

Develop an understanding of the program in its totality, which consists of instructors, workbook, training course, manual for evaluation, manual for teachers.

2. Take account of the different geographic, climatic and socio-economic characteristics in different countries and regions, and respect cultural differences.

Obviously, from country to country, or even between regions, there may be important differences in heating and cooling systems. These need to be taken into account in preparing the workbooks. In addition to the physical environment, the different technologies used are products of the "wisdom" of the national or regional culture and this heritage must be understood and respected to ensure the relevance and effectiveness of the program.

3. Nurture a "sense of togetherness" for working on global environmental issues.

The ultimate target of the program is to form a worldwide network of "environmen­tally mature" children. It is well known that environmental ­problems know no frontiers and that, for example, one country acting alone cannot stop global warming. Therefore, it is crucial for children to understand the need to work together to resolve global environmental issues.
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What results does it achieve ?

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program has achieved the following results during three years' operation (2000-2003) in Japan:

Increasing participation

The program was launched in 2000, when 450 children took part in a pilot project. By the third quarter of 2003, more than 50 000 Japanese schoolchildren had participated.

A clear trend has been established: once a local government administration or local education authority holds a pilot project in one school, the program spreads to other schools and municipalities throughout the administrative area, and from there to neighboring provinces.

With the above ripple effect, the number of Eco-Kids Instructors trained to support the program increases - which stimulates further growth.

Growing awareness

Survey evidence points to increased environmental awareness among 80% of children that have participated.

One study of children three months after their participation showed that environmental awareness persisted.

Environmental awareness also increased among 60% of family members, including parents, of participating children. This revealed the effectiveness of environmental education of adults by children.

Improved communication

Participating children require the cooperation of their families in implementing the program in their households. This increases the number of exchanges - by as much as 85% in one household studied - and generally improves communication within the family.

One Japanese city is using the program in its efforts to reduce crime by young offenders because it believes that improved communication within families removes one of the factors that can drive young people to crime.

Reduced emissions

Reductions of carbon dioxide emissions of 10-15% per household have been demonstrated.
Synergy with enterprise and community environmental programs

Business and local government organizations in Japan have taken a keen interest in The Kids' ISO 14000 Program. Reaching their employees and citizens in their homes, it complements, reinforces, or even multiplies their own enterprise or community programs and efforts to build environmental awareness and in their own ISO 14001 implementation programs.

Value-added learning

The Kids' ISO 14000 Program has proved to be effective when used in combination with other environmental programs, such as nature study and conservation.

The program has been shown to be value-adding and enhancing in its effect. For example, one survey showed that children who had participated were keener to reduce the number of plastic bags used at supermarkets.

The program has also proved to interact well with other school subjects. For example, program workbooks have been used in national and foreign language teaching, and the program has also inspired environmental themes for drama classes.

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