Top Benefits of ISO 14001 Implementation and Certification
ISO 14001 is an international standard for the development and implementation of an environmental management system (EMS). Implementation helps organisations to improve on their environmental performance and reduce waste and costs associated with it. An independent auditing body performs ISO 14001 certification to determine if an organisation meets the requirements of the standard as related to the setup and maintenance of an environmental management system.
The EMS is a system put in place to help the organisation effectively identify, manage, control, and monitor environmental issues relevant to the organisation by following a holistic approach. ISO 14001 certification can be done alongside certification for other ISO-related standards, such as ISO 9001, which is the standard for setting up and maintaining a quality management system (QMS), or ISO 45001, for the setting up and managing of an occupational health and safety management system. Integration of the ISO 14001 EMS with the ISO 9001 QMS is possible. This integration helps to streamline management of the systems and to reduce the cost of compliance.
Who can get ISO 14001 Certification?
An organisation of any size can implement an ISO 14001 EMS and have a certification audit performed. The size, industry, and type of organisation do not matter. The standard is relevant to all organisations.
Key Benefits of ISO 14001 Certification
ISO 14001 is focussed on ongoing improvement. The organisation benefits from overall performance improvement. With monitoring in place to prevent stagnation, the organisation thus improves on its year-on-year environmental performance. Certification helps the organisation to demonstrate its compliance with statutory regulations. With improved compliance, the risk of hefty financial penalties for non-compliance with the particular country’s environmental laws is significantly reduced, if not eliminated. It also serves to demonstrate to clients and trade partners that the organisation operates within the boundaries of the law. To meet the requirements of ISO 14001 certification, the organisation’s leadership must be involved. This means the leadership must be committed to be compliant with the requirements. With the leadership’s involvement, a culture of compliance is created throughout the organisation.
ISO 14001 certification furthermore improves the organisation’s reputation in the international trade setting. This also helps to boost the confidence of investors and other stakeholders in the organisation. Implementation of the standard and certification accordingly give the organisation the ability to reach its strategic business goals through the incorporation of environmental management in its overall strategy. It gives the organisation a competitive edge locally and internationally as more and more business partners, as well as government and non-governmental bodies, are looking for trade partners that are environmentally responsible – ISO 14001 certification proves that the organisation is environmentally responsible. Though many firms implement ISO 14001, certification shows that the organisation meets all the requirements of the standard.
When trade partners that are concerned about the environment have to choose business partners or suppliers, they look favourably upon firms that have shown their commitment to responsible environmental management through ISO 14001 certification. With reduced wastage, lower costs, and improved performance gained through ISO 14001 implementation and certification, the organisation benefits from higher profits, improved efficiencies, and a more favourable image.
Cost reduction is a major benefit of ISO 14001 implementation and certification. Keeping in mind the importance to keep costs low in the modern business environment, this is one benefit not to overlook. Through usage of the compliant EMS, the business is able to identify, manage, and reduce the total number of environmental incidences per year. Every incidence is accompanied by costs, like clean-up, fines, liability pay-outs, and reparations. These costs include the loss of man hours. Reducing the number of incidences thus helps to reduce the organisation’s operational costs. Through improvement of the ISO 14001 EMS the organisation is able to reduce energy usage and the required amount of input materials for its various processes. With lower input costs, the organisation benefits from higher profits and thus growth prospects.
When planning to make changes, the organisation must look at the probability of successful outcomes. An important part of ISO 14001 certification is the audit to determine whether accurate data is used. With accurate data as the base of information and decision making, the probability for successful outcomes from implemented improvements is significantly better. The organisation can keep improvements on track and identify deviations sooner. This, in turn, enables the organisation to take corrective steps quicker and at a lower cost to recover. It thus translates into cost and time savings.
With continual improvement being one of the important aspects of ISO 14001 certification requirements, the compliant organisation can quickly move from small to large improvements in its various systematic processes. This helps to improve the organisation’s reputation faster and with the involvement of employees on all levels of the organisation, it is a concerted effort rather than just a management task. The employees thus come together as a team to improve the organisation’s environmental management.
Lower employee turnover is another benefit of ongoing compliance with the requirements of ISO 14001. Employees generally prefer working for companies that are environmentally responsible and concerned about the wellbeing of employees, responsible management of resources, and the impact of processes on natural resources. Employees are engaged in the processes and thus gain importance. The employee morale is generally higher and with it comes lower employee turnover. This, in turn, means lower cost to company, as recruitment and training of new employees cost money.
Is ISO 14001 Certification Compulsory?
No, though it is certainly recommended. Implementation of an ISO 14001-compliant EMS already offers several benefits for the organisation. Certification provides the proof of compliance. The certification audit is performed by a third party, which gives credibility to the certification.
Let us help your organisation reap the full benefits of ISO 14001 certification through our range of services, such as training, our e-Learning platform, templates for implementation, internal and external auditing, and preparing for certification. We also offer consultancy services, management reviews, and compliance maintenance guidance and services, as well as assistance in integrating the ISO 14001 EMS with your existing management systems.