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What is ISO 14001 and why should my business get certified?

Green grass with icons for a power station, tractor and irrigation system from iHASCO's online environmental awareness training course.

There is a strong argument for businesses to become more eco-friendly. As people are becoming more conscious of protecting the environment and government legislation leading the way for organisations to develop a sustainability strategy, many companies are set to increase their environmental spending to look after the planet. 

Not only is it morally, and legally, the right thing to do but for those businesses that go above and beyond there are also many benefits for showing commitment to the environment. Investing in ISO 14001 certification is just one of the many ways a business can prove its commitment to environmental management.

ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organisations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.

iso.org

Why should I get my business ISO 14001 certified?

Becoming ISO 14001 certified not only allows a company to reduce its environmental impact but it provides further benefits, including the following:

  • It helps businesses comply with current environmental legislation, as well as adopt any future regulations
  • It helps gain management and employee commitment to the environment 
  • It helps organisations prevent waste, which in turn can provide cost savings
  • Improves a company’s reputation/brand
  • It builds greater trust with customers to gain a competitive advantage by making business decisions based on reducing environmental impact - which creates a business that considers the environment above its profits, and
  • It encourages suppliers to reduce their environmental impact in order to win contracts for those companies committed to the ISO 14001 standard. 

Further proof for SMEs to focus on environmental sustainability…

E.ON’s Renewable Returns Report has found that as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, 80% of British consumers would be more likely to purchase goods and services in the future from a business that has made an effort to reduce their environmental impact. On top of that it found that 72% would take notice of whether a business acts in a climate friendly way and 65% feel it’s important the products or services they buy do not harm the environment. Consumers are taking notice of a business's impact on the environment and it is altering their buying decisions. The report, which looks at the impact on SMEs for a ‘green economic recovery’ after the pandemic proves that it is very much up to SMEs to demonstrate their commitment to the environment, and those that do will gain a competitive edge. 

How can I gain ISO 14001 certification? What are the requirements?

ISO 14001 can be achieved by any organisation, irrespective of the size and type. It requires continual improvement of an organisation’s approach and management system to the environmental standard. 

If you are looking to gain ISO 14001 certification one of the most straightforward ways to do this is to use an external company. They can take you through the process to ensure your policies and procedures meet the requirements of the standard, help you implement the changes, and arrange for an accredited audit to be carried out to independently certify your management system. Our friends over at QMS International are a leading ISO certification body and can help you reach certification in just 30 days. If you want to find out more get in touch with them here.

Environmental Awareness Training

Our online Environmental Awareness Training goes hand-in-hand with those companies wishing to reduce their environmental impact. It helps address environmental responsibilities in the workplace, as well as how every employee can make a difference. The 45 minute online training course is suitable for all staff and will help educate and motivate employees to make a commitment to protect the environment. 

Also interested in ISO 45001 accreditation? Read our blog here.

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