Sustainability is a hot topic and something that a lot of individuals, businesses, consumers and manufacturers are having to address in order reduce the impact of their actions on the environment.
But with so many ‘green claims’ and marketing ploys being used by companies it can be difficult for businesses to find a way to clearly and easily demonstrate to employees, customers and stakeholders, their commitment to sustainable development.
This is where ISO certification can prove invaluable, with standards that not only go a long way to improving key aspects of your business but by providing real, tangible proof that you are not only environmentally aware but are dedicated to reducing their global footprint.
The Importance of Sustainability
Eco friendly, sustainability and going green are just some of the phrases that are used by companies claiming that they are being environmental responsible, but very few are actually taking any real or effective steps to make a positive change to their business and the environment for the better.
The current environmental state of the earth is reported upon daily detailing the alarming state of the world, from deforestation, pollution and climate change to the lack of remaining natural resources. With technical advances there are so many great options, alternatives and solutions available to help organisations across the globe implement realistic, cost effective and beneficial changes that will help to benefit their business and the planet.
How Do I Know My Businesses Environmental Impact?
This is a key step on the path to becoming a more sustainable business model – identifying, recognising and acknowledging the impact your organisation has on the environment. This covers everything from energy consumption, emissions and waste to pollution and resources.
A ‘green audit’ can be a great way for companies to detect potential issues, shortcomings or areas of concern that could be changed to improve the sustainability of the business. There is often a fear within organisations that becoming a more environmentally friendly business means big, intrusive and costly changes that occur at a detriment to the company and its profits but this is far from the truth.
By implementing small, vital changes such as those required for some ISO standards, organisations can improve their processes and procedures in ways that are sustainable and socially responsible but still in line with their business goals.
What ISO Standard Is Relevant for Sustainability?
The main ISO standard that has a focus on the environment and sustainability is the Environmental Standard – ISO 14001.
ISO 14001 creates the vital framework that organisations need to resolve their sustainability issues including areas such as;
- Air emissions
- Generation of waste
- Use of energy
- Use of resources and materials
- Energy emitted
- Land pollution
- Discharge to water
By looking into your current environmental impact, ISO 14001 will help you to get a better understanding of how your business interacts with the environment, recognise environmental compliance requirements and establish targets and objectives that will need to be achieved to gain certification.
What Are the Benefits of ISO 14001 Certification?
For companies of all size, scope and type there are many advantages to gaining certification to the standard but just a few of the main benefits of ISO 14001 include;
• Reduced environmental impact which allows companies to utilise the systems and processes that are already in place and bring them up to the international standard.
• Reduced costs are achieved as a result of improved efficiency that increase the bottom line from the reduction of expenditure or resources.
• An improved corporate image amongst employees, prospective partners and existing customers comes from the enhanced credibility that organisations have when they hold this internationally recognised hallmark of quality.
• Improved compliance ensures that your business is always ready for any external audits that may occur, saving valuable time and money that is often wasted on surveillance or paying penalties.
• Insurance costs can be lower for businesses with ISO 14001 certification which depending on the type and size of your organisation can mean big savings every year.
• Having certification to the standard can help you to gain a significant advantage over competitors when tendering for business.
If you would like to know more about making your business more sustainable and how ISO 14001 certification can help then please do not hesitate to get in touch and one of our knowledgeable advisors will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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