Protecting the environment, meeting your legal obligations and reducing costs

What is environmental management?

It is now widely agreed that we need to live more lightly on the Earth. There are innumerable examples of environmental mis-management; problems with the ozone layer, plastics in the seas, pollution in the air, contaminated lands and more. The ISO 14001 environmental management system provides a framework to address these issues.

Since the mid 60’s there has been a growing environmental, one-world, awareness and (most) Governments are now taking the environment more seriously placing pressure on companies and institutions to improve their environmental performance.

What is an environmental management system?

The ISO 14001 environmental management system seeks to ensure you improve your environmental performance over time. It is most easily understood as a “book of best environmental practice” for a company or an organisation. Its objective is to provide a proven framework that helps you to assess and reduce the environmental impact your company’s operations have on the environment.

Like its sister standard, ISO 9001, underlying the ISO 14001 environmental management system is a process of creative destruction; the objective of which is to ensure the organisation improves its environmental performance over time.

The ISO 14001 environmental management system provides a framework that asks a company to:

•  Identify the impact of the organisation’s activities on the environment;

•  Ensure the organisation conforms to current environmental regulations and legislation; and

•  Commit to a process of continual environmental improvement.

What are the benefits of ISO 14001?

There have been many studies into the benefits of ISO 14001. One study by Aspects International Ltd confirmed that organisations implementing ISO 14001 had:

•  Improved market share – 80%

•  Improved financial performance – 60%

•  Improved legal compliance – 81%

•  Improved product benefits – 60%

•  Improved customer satisfaction – 78%

•  Achieved pay back in 1 year – 60%