Some of the biggest management challenges facing the metals industries are driven by customers rather than regulators. Recently, Ford, General Motors and Toyota have announced that they will require their first tier suppliers to comply with the ISO 14000 standard for Environmental Management Systems. Most, if not all, metals industries have adopted environmental management practices for operating their production facilities, maintaining their control equipment, and monitoring their compliance status. However, the metals industries have not embraced a standard set of environmental management practices with the same widespread enthusiasm as the chemical industry has adopted the "Responsible Care" program.
Also, the metals industry management systems designed to demonstrate compliance with federal, state and local regulations will not necessarily satisfy the requirements of ISO 14000. The jump to ISO 14000 compliance may therefore be troublesome for many affected metals industries companies. One benefit for these companies is that most of them are already certified under ISO 9000 guidelines, and so the documentation aspects of complying with 14000 will not be entirely new.