ISO 14001

What is ISO 14001:2004

The BSI describes the standard as follows:

“ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted standard that sets out how you can go about putting in place an effective Environmental Management System (EMS). The standard is designed to address the delicate balance between maintaining profitability and reducing environmental impact; with the commitment of your entire organization, it can enable you to achieve both objectives”.

Essentially the standard required that you identify aspects, ie: those elements that exist within the organisation’s activities or products that can effect a change (impact) on the environment and then be seen to take action to reduce, or better still eradicate, that impact. Energy consumption and emissions to atmosphere would be simple examples of these things.

Benefits of ISO 14001

All organisations are being pressured to recognize the need to protect our environment from dangers such as global warming and the ever increasing rate of the depletion of our planet’s natural resources. By adopting this standard then you will be seen to demonstrate your commitment to improving the environment.

As with the ISO 9001 standard, performance of the system must be measurable and hence quantifiable objectives will be set and when achieved will have delivered cost savings for example, if you have succeeded in reducing energy consumption. This could be effected by the acquisition of more fuel (energy) efficient plant and motor vehicles or by simply introducing procedures or new processes that lead to improvements in environmental performance.

Again and as with ISO 9001 tender opportunities are enhanced both in terms of opportunity and success rate. If more than one standard is adopted the weighting system is designed to further improve the success rate when tendering.

To be seen to be making practical steps to improve our environment does enhance the profile of the company which again will contribute to improving access to new business opportunities.

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