There are many advantages to business’ developing environmentally friendly, socially sustainable practices. Not only does it help them meet their regulatory obligations, it also allows them to develop more efficient, effective processes, increase customer confidence, and reduce expenditure, thus increasing profits. With the pandemic not yet over, the wider public is rightfully concerned about whether the business’ they are dealing with are practicing the most efficient, environmentally friendly practices, and companies that can demonstrate this will have a competitive advantage over other organisations. This article will explain how the implementation of an environmental management system across a business works to improve all of the business’ practices, by employing a methodical, straight-forward process to ensure that they are environmentally efficient and effective.
The International Organization for Standardization has developed an internationally recognised business management standard, ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, to help companies develop proven successful strategies to minimise their environmental impact. This Business Management System helps organisations achieve their environmental goals in a clear and direct manner, by providing them with strategies to:
- Reduce unnecessary expenditure: By certifying to this Standard, business’ will be able to develop supply and resource management strategies. They can use these to harness their available resources, ensuring that they take full advantage of them, and that waste is minimised.
- Strengthen their reputation: Certification to this Standard proves that the business takes its environmental practices seriously, and is actively working to develop socially sustainable practices. This can increase customer confidence and help distinguish one organisation from another, and thus enhance a business’ reputation.
- Meet their compliance obligations: By certifying to these standards, organisations are meeting their regulatory commitments, proving to relevant bodies that they are operating a safe, environmentally friendly business. This helps business’ to continue to operate in an efficient manner, keep their costs down, and demonstrate a commitment to environmentally friendly practices.
ISO 14001 certification minimises environmental risks
One of the central benefits of ISO 14001 certification is that it helps companies effectively identify and manage all environmental risks within their operations, through the implementation of a clear control process. This sees the business performing an audit of the existing operations to determine which business activities could potentially impact the environment, and the possible effects of the impact. Once these have been identified and catalogued, the company can then take steps towards finding and implementing environmentally sustainable alternatives.
For example, a business may circulate a significant portion of its internal correspondence via hard copy printouts. The environmental management system will require companies to investigate whether processes such as these are as environmentally friendly as they could be, and if not then the business will be required to work at developing alternative procedures. This could mean that correspondence that was previously done via hard copy is now conducted through electronic means. This works at both keeps costing down and ensuring the business is operating in an environmentally friendly manner.
ISO 14001 adheres to the PDCA cycle
To ensure that the goals it sets out to reach are met, the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System works within the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, which helps business’ achieve their goals by ensuring that they are worked towards in a methodical, straight-forward manner. The planning stage requires companies to familiarise themselves with the applicable environmental regulations, audit their existing activities to determine what potential environmental impacts exist within their operations, and then outline and develop processes to ensure the environmental performance of the business is improved upon. The following stages of this cycle see business’ implementing their procedures and developing processes to track their success, deal with unexpected situations, and ensure everything runs smoothly.
In short, by certifying to an environmental management system, business’ are proving that they are a leading player within their market, adhering to efficient, environmentally friendly practices, and committed to continual improvement.
Contact us for more information
If you would like to know more about how implementing these standards can help your business achieve its environmental goals and remain a competitive industry player then please contact Anitech’s specialist consultants today at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 1300 802 163. Simply give them a rundown of your business and some of the environmental challenges it is facing, and they can explain to you how these standards can be implemented to help your organisation achieve its environmental goals. We are also trialling the socially sustainable circular economy model with clients, so feel free to ask us how this can benefit your business.
Please click here to read about digital transformation, which is another way business’ can improve upon their processes.