There was a time when a commitment to green credentials was regarded as an alternative agenda. Being socially conscious was admirable, but it wasn’t a profitable business strategy.
In recent years, sustainability has crept into boardroom conversations. There’s been a shift in focus and environmental management has gradually moved its way up the agenda. This is in part due to growing awareness of our impact on the planet, yet largely driven by cost savings and market opportunities.
The companies which have monitored their water and energy use and assessed waste management processes have identified improved efficiency and reductions in spending. As soon as it becomes profitable to go green, the idea spreads.
Environmental Management is Critical at all Stages of the Supply Chain
Customers, stakeholders and other influencers have also highlighted the need for businesses to be informed at all levels of the supply chain. It’s not enough to improve your processes if your suppliers aren’t environmentally responsible. This has driven a growing number of businesses to only pass contracts to companies that can prove their green credentials.
In response, many industries have introduced environmental standards and regulations that companies must adhere too. Suppliers and contractors can only be engaged if they can evidence their commitment to criteria including waste management and energy and water efficiency.
According to the BSI Group, 76% of companies that work towards ISO 14001 Environmental Management are driven by regulatory and industrial compliance.
Not in our Industry
Until now, environmental responsibility may not have had a significant impact on your industry, but expect that to change.
Two crucial factors have put the environment into the spotlight in recent months. Firstly the Blue Planet II series brought the scale of marine pollution to millions of viewers. The sight of so much plastic waste floating in the world’s oceans was a shock to many and has invoked action.
Secondly, China announced that it was no longer willing to accept the UK’s plastic waste. They closed the door on our waste management strategy and in truth, the UK has no other viable option. There certainly isn’t capacity to store and process the high volumes of plastic in the UK. After just a few weeks, we are reaching capacity.
Politicians, business leaders and the population are recognising that drastic action is needed to significantly reduce plastic production, change consumer habits and find viable waste management solutions. Sustainable production and consumption is essential and everyone will need to take responsibility.
The Benefits of ISO 14001 Environmental Management
Working towards ISO 14001 certification provides your company with the opportunity to:
- Audit current processes and procedures
- Use a clear structure to develop an environmental plan
- Implement the plan throughout your business for consistent results
- Monitor the outcomes
- Make further improvements
Whilst ISO certification is a company led process, Qualitation provides expert support to guide you through to certification. We have a 100% success rate and our advice is always tailored to your business.
When your business has achieved ISO 14001 certification, it will have earned a globally recognised standard. This can benefit your operations in the following ways
- Adherence to regulatory and industry requirements
- Increased credibility
- Access to new markets and business opportunities
- Reduction in carbon footprint
- Reduction in spend on energy, water and waste management
- Greater customer satisfaction
Leading by Example
There’s no need to wait until plastic tax or another environmental levy is enforced. Unilever, Coca Cola and Dell are among leading brands that have publicly backed environmental action. Many other businesses have already taken their responsibilities seriously. Through ISO 14001, they have transformed their operations and below are three examples:
Shades of Comfort states that ISO 14001 led to the company being awarded prestigious contracts. It has also improved both employee and client confidence in the brand.
Tata Global Beverages recognises that ISO 14001 has contributed to efficiency and consistency in operations, whilst reducing costs. The company now feels confident that they can deliver the best standards of practice.
Legal and regulatory compliance led Laminar Medica to achieve ISO 14001 certification. Access to new business, more effective management and reductions in energy and waste costs have been beneficial side effects.
Implementing a 25 Year Environmental Plan
The Environmental Audit Committee has called on the Government to ‘make producers financially responsible for the plastic packaging they produce’. This, along with other strategies that move the UK forward in achieving Paris Climate Agreement targets, will inform the Government’s new 25 Year Environmental Plan. This will impact on all businesses, meaning it is time for us all to take action.