International concern over damage to the environment (such as climate change, depletion of resources, and air, water and soil environmental pollution) is encouraging organizations to pay more attention to managing the environmental impacts of their activities and products and to focus on continuously improving their environmental performance. In order to reduce detrimental effects on the environment, more and more organizations are recognizing the need to include environmental performance in the design of their products (goods and services). The fact that legislation relating to the environmental impact of products is being implemented at an ever increasing rate worldwide is also encouraging many organizations to improve the environmental performance of their products. Such organizations need guidance on how to apply their efforts in a systematic manner, in order to achieve environmental objectives and to maintain continual improvement in the environmental performance of their products as well as their processes. Environmentally compatible product design (ecodesign) can be understood as a process integrated within the design and development that aims to reduce environmental impacts and continually to improve the environmental performance of the products, throughout their life cycle from raw material extraction to end of life. In order to be of benefit to the organization and to ensure that the organization achieves its environmental objectives, it is intended that ecodesign be carried out as an integral part of the business operations of the organization. Ecodesign might have implications for all functions of an organization. In order to carry out ecodesign in a systematic and manageable way, it is intended that organizations implement an appropriate process and then have, or have access to, the necessary competence to carry out and manage this process. An ecodesign process takes place within an organization's design and development area, and it is here that the knowledge required in carrying out and managing ecodesign is to be found. However, when it is intended that ecodesign be carried out under the umbrella of an environmental management system (EMS), then the person responsible for the EMS needs to have an understanding of what this process is and how it is going to be managed and controlled. In this way, the integrity of the EMS is not jeopardized and the environmental objectives for the products can be achieved. The general areas of knowledge required to incorporate ecodesign within an EMS are assessment of the impact of the products on the environment, identification of appropriate ecodesign measures to reduce the adverse effects of environmental impacts, and the design and development process and an understanding of how an ecodesign process and its management fit within an EMS. The first two of these areas are likely to be situated within the design and development area, but the third is clearly of major significance to the person responsible for the EMS. This International Standard primarily provides guidance on this third area. This International Standard is the first to cover and interrelate all three knowledge areas required for ecodesign within an EMS. ISO 14001 links management of an organization's processes with environmental impacts, but does not include design management processes. ISO 9001 covers the design management process, but does not explicitly cover environmental impacts. ISO/TR 14062 and IEC 62430 assist incorporation of the evaluation of environmental aspects and impacts into the design and development process, but as such, they do not fully explain the activities involved within an environmental and business management framework, such as those described in ISO 14001. This International Standard provides guidelines to assist organizations in establishing, documenting, implementing, maintaining and continually improving their management of ecodesign as part of an EMS. This International Standard is intended to be used by those organizations that have implemented an EMS in accordance with ISO 14001, but can help in integrating ecodesign in other management systems. These guidelines are applicable to any organization regardless of its size or activity. This International Standard applies to those product-related environmental aspects that the organization can control and those it can influence. This International Standard does not establish by itself specific environmental performance criteria, and is not intended for certification purposes. The committee responsible for this International Standard is NA 172-00-02 AA "Umweltmanagement/Umweltaudit" ("Environmental management/Environmental audit") at DIN.