Every business is looking for ways to reduce its impact on the environment and become a more sustainable organisation. However, this can be a challenging and complex process to undertake. When it comes to operating a truly effective Environment Management System (EMS), achieving ISO 14001 can help transform your business.

However, what is ISO 14001, and how can it help you? So, we thought we would take a closer look…

What is ISO 14001?

Achieving ISO 14001 is incredibly important, and it is often considered the primary ISO standard in relation to your Environmental Management System. This family of standards are entirely related to your EMS and have been created to help organisations of all sizes to reduce their impact on the environment. As with all ISO systems, 14001 focuses on a high-level structure, allowing it to be easily integrated into a wide range of existing ISO management systems.

The standards examine the entire organisation and how your operations could negatively impact the environment. It also helps to ensure that they are complying with all applicable regulations, environmental requirements and laws.

First introduced in 1996, the ISO 14001 family has been continuously adapted over the years, evolving to the changing standards and practices across the globe. The current framework was introduced in 2015, designed to provide businesses with the tools and guidance to significantly reduce their environmental impact.

The early iterations of ISO 14001 focused predominantly on the management of adverse environmental impacts and pollution control. However, the latest standard introduced in 2015 focuses more on a risk-based approach. This allows organisations to better plan their approach to sustainability, prioritising those risks and opportunities that are most relevant to their operations.

How ISO 14001 helps to become more sustainable 

ISO 14001 examines the entire structure of your organisation and the practices that your implement, helping you to identify core areas for improvement in every aspect of your business. As the importance of sustainability becomes more of a focus, ISO 14001 can help to transform any organisations approach.

ISO 14001 is effectively a four-point process for businesses, requiring them to:

– First, identify all of the environmental aspects of their organisation. This includes all of the ways their organisations interact with the environment, including emissions, pollutions, waste, use of natural resources and energy use.

– From there, ISO 14001 helps businesses to determine the impact that these aspects are having on the environment.

Stage three then helps businesses implement adequate controls that can help eliminate these impacts where possible, or at the very least to minimise their impact.

The fourth aspect of ISO 14001 is to monitor and measure these controls to ensure that they are continuously helping to improve the organisation’s sustainability.

By understanding the impact your organisation is having on the environment and implementing strategies to minimise and monitor this, it can significantly enhance your green credentials. But, of course, implementing ISO 14001 is not just a great way to help you improve your sustainability. It can also provide a wide range of benefits:

Reduce Cost 

An effective EMS will help businesses to reduce their outgoings by allowing them to conserve energy and input materials.

Boost profits 

Alongside reducing costs, implementing ISO 14001 can also help to boost profits by reducing wastage and improving efficiency.

Safer 

ISO 14001 helps organisations to become safer places, focusing on implementing the best practices, significantly reducing the risk of liable accidents in the process.

Develop stronger relationships

Being able to showcase ISO 14001 compliance demonstrates that a business is environmentally conscious. This, in turn, makes them more attractive to suppliers, clients and stakeholders alike. It is also a globally recognised certificate, allowing organisations to branch out into new sectors.

How Oscar Compliance Solutions can help 

Being able to demonstrate your organisation has achieved ISO 14001 can provide a wide range of benefits and help you to become far more sustainable. Here at Oscar Compliance Software, our mission is to help our clients achieve these certifications, allowing them to implement the most effective EMS possible.

Our dedicated team will visit your premises to determine your overall environmental aspects, alongside helping you develop clear targets and objectives. We will then help you create and implement the processes and procedures required to help ensure you conform to ISO 14001. We can also create bespoke templated documents to help you ‘fill in the gaps’ in areas where you might need further support.

With this complete, you will then be required to operate as per your EMS for a short while in order for certification to be completed. A third-party auditing body conducts this final stage, but our experienced team will be able to ensure you are meeting all requirements.

Want to find out more about how we can help you? Get in touch with our team today for your free, no-obligation quote.