Businesses often strive to succeed in more ways than meeting sales targets and business objectives. Success is also measured by the international standards an organization meets. Certificates and awards are just icing on the cake, as the real measure of excellence is when a business not only meets international standards but maintains them. These certificates and awards are often worn by an organisation like a badge of honour, and for good reason.

If yours is a business that’s committed to leaving the world a better place than you found it, then you probably already have an environmental management system or EMS in place. An EMS is a collection of processes and best practices that enables organisations to significantly reduce their environmental impact while improving business processes and increasing efficiency. Environmental management systems may be certified to ISO 14001, which sets out criteria for EMSs to measure and improve their environmental impact. ISO 14001 is defined as a set of guidelines that enable organisations to “improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste” to further gain a competitive advantage and increase stakeholder trust. But what exactly is ISO 14001 and what are the benefits of getting certified to this international standard?

 

ISO 14001: How the international standard benefits your business

Improving your organisation’s approach to environmental management is important not only for the prestige of getting certified to ISO 14001. It also ensures that your business is being socially responsible and mindfully making decisions that create the least environmental impact. Here are some benefits of getting certified to the ISO 14001 standard.

 

Complying with ISO 14001 standards increases the efficiency by which your business uses resources.

The consumption of resources has long been an issue in industries across the globe. After all, the Earth is a finite resource, which is why environmental organisations call on businesses all over the globe to be more mindful about how resources are consumed and spent. Meeting ISO 14001 standards means that your business optimally uses resources while decreasing environmental impact. It streamlines your processes to ensure that waste is reduced and costs associated with it is minimised.

 

Demonstrates how your business complies with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements for environmental management systems.

While it is not a requirement to get an ISO 14001 certification, obtaining compliance to such standard brings a certain world-class quality to your business’ products and services. It is a testament to how your company complies to the current and future statutory and regulatory requirements for EMS and how you are committed to meeting such standards.

 

Engages stakeholders, leaders, and employees to be more mindful about environmental issues.

ISO 14001 compliance not only brings world class quality to your business, it also encourages the active participation of stakeholders, leaders, and employees to stay committed to meeting the requirements of the global standard. Incorporating environmental issues into business management also increases awareness of such issues, cultivating values enterprise-wide.

 

Encourages improved environmental performance of suppliers as your company integrates them into your business systems.

Complying to the ISO 14001 standard also encourages your suppliers to be more mindful about their EMS. It is important for businesses to partner with suppliers who share the same environmental values so that they can make a better environmental impact together. Integrating such standards into the business system, which includes your suppliers, encourages collaboration and cooperation among teams.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About ISO 14001

 

Who is the ISO 14001 certification for?

Any organisation, big or small, can get certified to ISO 14001. Whether yours is a business that specialises in manufacturing products or providing services, you can implement an environmental management system and have it certified to ISO 14001.

 

How long is an ISO 14001 valid for?

To be certified to ISO 14001, your business must have an environmental management system in place. Following an ISO documentation audit and ISO implementation audit, a certifying body will issue an ISO 14001 certificate for your business. This is valid for three years, however, your business will undergo a surveillance audit annually following the issue of the certificate. At the end of three years, if you opt to continue with the certification, you must undergo a re-certification audit.

 

Are there costs involved in getting an ISO 14001 certification?

The certification process will entail some costs. You may enlist the assistance of environmental management consultants for guidance on the proper steps to get certified, as well as the requirements and cost estimate involved.

If you are looking to install an environmental management system or already have one and would like to have it certified to ISO 14001, get in touch with environmental management consultants at ICS Consulting, a company with years of experience providing in-depth knowledge and best practices on how to obtain ISO certifications for any type of business. Head over to ICSconsulting.com to know more.