As the world realises the impact that they are having on the environment, customers and other interested parties are looking to suppliers to improve their Environmental Impacts.
There are a number of reasons why improving your environmental performance makes good business sense:
- Complying with legislation – rules are becoming increasingly tight as governments try to reduce the negative impact business operations have on the environment.
- Cutting costs – using less energy, water and raw materials will reduce your purchasing and waste disposal costs.
- Business opportunities – you may be able to create new products and market them as environmentally friendly, or work with organisations that require their partners to have good environmental credentials.
- Marketing opportunities – being able to demonstrate how your business is improving its environmental performance enables you to highlight this in the local media, enter award programmes and use relevant labelling schemes.
- Attracting and retaining staff – employees may be more willing to work for your business if you can demonstrate good environmental credentials.
- Improving stakeholder relations – in addition to your employees, other stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, investors and regulators are increasingly focusing on how a business manages its environmental performance.
- Future proofing – by understanding your business’ environmental impact, you can better appreciate how future changes, such as new legislation, will affect you.
One of the key ways of demonstrating your environmental impact controls and programmes for improvement is by the implementation of an Environmental Management System, commonly known as ISO 14001:2015.
The key benefits of 14001 include:
• Demonstrates your commitment to improving the environment
• Lowering business costs through reducing resource consumption and waste production
• Demonstrate green credentials when responding to tenders and stand out from competitors
• Management of environmental risks
• Can increase employee engagement in the knowledge that they are working in an environmentally friendly organisation
• Meeting environmental legal requirements
• Helps reduce insurance fees
• Committing to social responsibilities
Any business should always consider what they want to achieve by implementing the Standard also known as defining your objectives.
They should get the buy-in from senior management. It is essential that the management team support the objectives of an effective environmental management system and are committed to the process.
Get a good overview of existing processes and systems that are relevant to your business’s environmental impact. This will form the basis of your environmental management system and allow you to more easily identify any gaps.
To achieve ISO 14001:2015 there are some key factors to consider:
1. A complete gap analysis should be carried out between what the company does against what the ISO 14001 standard requires.
2. The company will need to write a documented system which should include an Environmental Manual (or similar document), processes on how to deal with waste management including the identification of regulatory obligations and waste controls. Any non-compliances should be recorded and suitably addressed including identifying the root cause of the non-compliance(s).
3. Where an existing Quality System is in place, consideration should be made to integrate the 2 systems together. This makes controlling the documented system easier as there is only one set of documentation to maintain. You could also consider integrating your Health and Safety documentation.
4. Key internal and external business issues need to be considered and transformed into risks and opportunities. These can be added to your existing ISO 9001 / 45001 system if you operate these standards.
From the review of the risks and opportunities, targets should be considered to reduce risks or achieve the opportunities identified. (this will be part of the monitoring and measurement required by the standard).
5. A review of the current methods of storing, identifying and disposing of waste should be undertaken to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and legislation.
Consideration should always be made to the waste hierarchy.
6. Further review of the company’s environmental impact should be considered to identify the key aspects and impacts from the processes and delivery of its products. This area should also include consideration to life cycle analysis and consideration.
7. Once the environmental system has been fully documented, the waste streams addressed, awareness training should be issued, and records retained.
8. As part of the operational controls implemented by the business, suppliers of materials and services should be vetted and requests made for their environmental programmes. Where suppliers are not able to demonstrate environmental considerations, influence (where possible) should be made to encourage improved considerations to the environmental impacts and reduction is impacts or conversion to a positive impact by introducing electric vehicles, changing from solvent to water-based chemicals etc.
9. Materials purchased should (where possible) be from sustainable sources and certification obtained to prove this is the case.
10. Further operational controls might include changing the lighting to a lower energy usage system, or simply introduce a “switch off as you go” program. Other areas to consider could be diesel usage on vehicles, emission monitoring etc.
11. A legal register should be created to show what environmental legislation applies to the business and how the business is complying with the regulations.
12. Finally, once the system is fully implemented, records are put in place to demonstrate how the system is operating, an internal audit should be completed to check all the system is operating as per the processes and regulatory compliance is being implemented.
Once the internal audits have been completed a full management review should be held to review the application of the system, review the current status of the targets and if they are being achieved and to ensure any non-compliances are being addressed and successfully closed out.
If the company requires the system to be externally audited by a UKAS certification company, we can arrange to have the audit carried out.
If a non-UKAS Certificate is acceptable, we can arrange an audit to be carried out by one of our professional auditors and a certificate issued upon successful audit.
For more details on how to achieve certification to ISO 14001:2015 or any other ISO Standards please feel free to contact us on 01889 881887 or email email@example.com.
Achieving ISO 9001 involves a logical steps starting with a review of the standard against the system you are currently operating and noting strengths and weaknesses. We can help you review this area to build a program of improvements to meet the requirements of ISO 9001:2015.
Achieving ISO14001 does not have to be hard work. With the right approach and with top management commitment we can guide you every step of the way to ensure that your procedures are fully compatible with the requirements of the standard.
QSC Consultancy can offer a full Health & Safety System compliant with ISO 45001 the Occupational Health & Safety Management System. This system will assist you in managing Health & Safety Risks and facilitate legal compliance.
Quality Systems Consultancy
Quality Systems Consultancy Ltd
Towers Business Park