3 Meaningful Reasons to Enhance Your Environmental Performance with ISO 14001

a pair of hands holding a globe shaped ball of grass

With mounting environmental disasters, unusual weather patterns and pollution in the seas, climate change and environmental performance are major news. In response, pressure groups are increasingly vocal. Governments are creating more environmental regulations. And consumers are more environmentally aware of their choices and who they want to buy from.

It all amounts to a massive amount of pressure on businesses to improve their environmental performance.

After all, everybody has an obligation to protect the environment. So, it’s unsurprising that businesses are being urged to work towards friendlier environmental practices. 

ISO 14001 addresses this need head-on. It enables you to improve your performance. But additionally, it also rewards you with certification that proves your environmental credentials to your customers and clients.

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001:2015 is the international standard for environmental management systems (EMS). In fact, it’s the most widely used EMS in the world. 

An EMS helps you to identify, manage, monitor and control your environmental issues in a holistic way.

The certification itself – ISO 14001 – is the principal management system standard that specifies the requirements for –

  • The formulation of your EMS
  • The maintenance of your EMS

helping you to –

  • Control your environmental aspects
  • Reduce impacts
  • Ensure legal compliance

In addition, ISO 14001 certification gives you a distinct competitive advantage. This is because it shows consumers that you’re mitigating your environmental impact, and that you’re committed to the protection of the environment.

a lizard on a white plant of wood with iso 14001 written on it

How Does ISO 14001 Improve Environmental Performance?

Like all ISO management system standards, ISO 14001 includes the need for continual improvement, to your business systems, and also to your approach. It places greater emphasis on the leadership team and requires a stronger commitment to proactive environment-boosting initiatives.

There are three highly compelling reasons why ISO 14001 certification is beneficial to your business:

  • Environmental Legislation – Does your company comply with all environmental statutory or regulatory requirements? During the implementation process, an evaluation of legal compliance is carried out in order to fulfil the requirements of the standard. This demonstrates that you understand your legal duties. Plus, it ensures that you’ve got processes in place to comply will all relevant legislation.  As a result, your risk of incurring fines, possible prosecution and reputational damage is significantly reduced, if not eradicated altogether.  

  • Environmental Controls – Environmental controls need to be implemented as part of the certification process. But first, your significant environmental aspects need to be identified. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you’re expected to put control measures into place that address the full life cycle of the aspect. (NB. Aspect refers to a product or service that interacts or can interact with the environment).  These controls might include:
    – Better segregation of waste
    Processes and controls for discharging effluence
    – Waste and recycling management

  • Environmental Improvements – The management system requires you to set objectives, communicate them to the workforce and monitor progress. As these objectives are met, they’re replaced with further objectives, baking in continuous improvement of your environmental performance.

In short, if you’re serious about improving and / or enhancing your environmental performance, an ISO 14001 compliant management system is the platinum standard for achieving your goals. It provides a powerful framework for improvement. But it’s not just you shouting about how great you are. ISO 14001 is certified by a third party. This provides your stakeholders with added reassurance that you’re committed to protecting the environment and working towards a more sustainable future.

To find out more about how Brookfields Consultancy can assist you with your ISO 14001 certification process, call 0208 720 6851 or email me at meggan@brookfields-consultancy.co.uk

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