In the modern era, many firms are keen to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Being environmentally friendly can help to save money, it can improve efficiency and when it comes to creating an image and identity that many customers associate with, it is hard to argue with being considered to be an environmentally friendly firm. However, a firm cannot just say that it is environmentally friendly and then not back it up, there is a need to provide proof of the environmental activities a firm undertakes and this where environmental certification can be crucial for businesses and customers.
The environmental certification that is instantly recognised is the ISO 14001 and it is applied all around the world. This certification provides information on how an organisation can make improvements to its performance with respect to environmental awareness and it can also help a firm to comply with all of the standard legal obligations it needs to meet. At the heart of the ISO 14001 is the EMS, the Environmental Management System and once this has been placed, it is standard practice for a firm to engage with a third party to ensure that an annual evaluation takes place.
There is a decision for you to make over ISO 14001
There are a number of pros associated with implementing ISO 14001 but of course, there are a number of cons associated with this action as well.
Some of the pros are:
- It is recognised internationally
- It provides reliable credentials about a firm
- It gives immediate notice about the environmental performance of a firm
- It can help to reduce waste
- It can help to minimise the carbon footprint of a company
- It can lower costs like energy bills, tax and insurance bills
- It allows a time to allocate resources and time in a more effective manner
Some of the cons are:
- It can be extremely costly to implement if not done properly
- It could require a lot of administrative work
It can be seen that the pros of implementing this system outweigh the cons but it is important to be aware that not all of the pros and cons are of the same weighting for your firm. If you find that the two cons are of significant value, it may be that you need to seriously think about implementing ISO 14001 at your firm.
There are alternatives to this system, which are more affordable, but they do not offer the same sort of instant recognition around the world. While there is a higher level of cost involved with the ISO 14001, it is a cost that will bring about benefits in the long term. If you believe that there is a need to speculate in order to accumulate, this is exactly the sort of investment that will prove its worth in the long term. Some firms will attempt to make savings by implementing a lesser known certification or by buildings towards the ISO 14001 at a much slower pace. If a potential customer doesn’t recognise the certification that you provide (UKAS), they will likely dismiss your offering and look for a firm that will provide certification that they are aware of and which they are comfortable with.
In this regard, saving money becomes a false economy as you will lose out on money in the long term, so there needs to be a trade off with regards to which system you should use. This is where firms need to evaluate their own needs, expectations and budget but the confidence that comes from having a reputable certification is often all the support that a firm needs to stand out in the global market place.
Depending on how you view your business and what impact you are looking to make, the benefits offered by ISO 14001 may be exactly what you are looking for and could be instrumental in pushing you on in business.