If you have not heard of ISO 14001, you probably will. Companies doing business with Fortune 1000 and/or global entities are more frequently seeing it required. Good news is that it is not a burdensome, costly initiative and it has significant potential benefits. There is much you can do on your own and lots of assistance available.
ISO 14001 has become the international standard for designing and implementing an environmental management system. The standard is published by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization), an international body that creates and distributes standards that are accepted worldwide. ISO 14001 provides a framework that an organization can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements. It is a voluntary standard that you can certify to.
An environmental management system (EMS), is comprised of the policies, processes, plans, practices and records that define how your company interacts with the environment. This system needs to be tailored to your particular company, because only your company will have the exact legal requirements and environmental interactions that match your specific business processes. However, the ISO 14001 provides a framework for creating your EMS so that you do not miss important elements needed for it to be successful. As you set waste-related objectives and targets, the Materials Marketplace may be one tool you use to pursue continual improvement.
These days it would be hard to debate the merits of having a plan when it comes to the environmental impact of a facility’s operation. Beyond the priceless payback associated with employee morale and public image, there is hard ROI associated with regulatory risk mitigation and savings from better managing energy, water and waste. There are many examples of this. What’s more is some of the largest companies are actually requiring ISO 14001 certification in order to be a supplier. This is most notable with the automotives and their supply chain.
ISO 14001 is really about making a good plan and managing to it. If you need help, let us know, there are many connections we can help you make and managing your material streams with the Materials Marketplace is a great way to start!