There is an ever-greater awareness of the environmental impacts of human activities. Governments, international organisations, and local authorities promulgate more regulations daily to deal with this impact on the environment. The awareness of improper ecological management is also seeping down to individuals. More people are becoming aware of the consequences of unsustainable processes. An effective environmental management system (EMS) is now a vital part of any organisation’s operations. Having an EMS based on the ISO 14001 standard has many potential benefits for companies. A JAS ANZ accredited certification body like Best Practice can assist you with ISO 14001 certification. They can even help integrate the EMS with existing international standards like ISO 9001 (quality management) or ISO 45001 (health and safety).
Benefits of An ISO 14001 EMS
Having an effective process-based EMS to measure environmental performance has many direct benefits for a company. Having the certification to prove this increases those benefits, which we’ll explore below:
1. Meeting Legal Requirements
ISO 14001 is a process-based EMS that focuses on identifying, monitoring, and eliminating or lessening your impact on the environment. Already having these processes in place helps you to follow existing or new regulations. You’ll often find that you’ve already made improvements to follow new laws using the EMS processes. In this way, your company can be seen as a leader in environmental management and sustainable operations.
2. Higher Success Rate Implementing Changes
A vital element of the ISO 14001 EMS is the accurate collection of data, to track changes and environmental improvements your organisation makes. By collecting data and tracking performance, you increase the chances of making successful changes as you map your progression. Even if you get it wrong the first time, proper analysis allows you to find and correct the mistake faster. Flexibility like this benefits your business and saves money.
3. Enable Faster Process Improvement
Another feature of ISO 14001 is the emphasis on continual improvement. Once again, the collection, analysis and tracking of data help identify risks. Early identification of risks stops them from growing into larger problems. Once you see a process isn’t working the way it should, you can change and improve it, benefitting your company. Faster process improvement translates into cost savings for you and your customers. Lessening environmental impact improves your company’s public perceptions.
4. Cost Control Improvements
As we have explained above, the higher success rate in making changes and faster process improvement cut your company’s costs. ISO 14001 forces you to look at the entire lifecycle of your product. Examining each stage of the cycle means finding ways to reduce waste. You can also cut energy costs by looking at more efficient production methods. The EMS gives you the tools to examine and improve the way you do things.
5. Improved Image and Credibility
Lessening your environmental impact is a worthy goal in itself. Once people and organisations see your success in this area, it improves your image. The improved image eases your relationship with regulatory bodies and the community. Also, it means that other companies are more willing to do business with you and share some of the reflected goodwill. Being certified to an international standard for EMS also gives you access to more business partners and customers.
6. Advantage Applying for Tenders
Even if a tender doesn’t list ISO 14001 as a requirement, you have an advantage. Just having the certification shows that you have committed to sustainable business practices. Additionally, your enhanced reputation with regulatory bodies and government organisations is advantageous to anybody who engages your services. Once you have a reputation as a leader in best practices, more organisations want to be associated with your products and services.
We have listed the top six direct benefits of ISO 14001 certification. There are many other less immediate benefits and spin-offs. We live in a world that’s becoming more aware of sustainability. As a result, governments enact more regulations to control these elements of how a company operates. You need an excellent process-based EMS to help you cope with these changes, even if an EMS isn’t a priority for you. The added benefit of an ISO certification enhances your company’s image. A better image helps smooth business transactions.