In the past, it seemed like anyone who suggested recycling or using greener methods of production was called a tree hugging hippie. However, in today’s society, that’s no longer true. Recycling programs exist in almost every major city, and businesses around the world are looking into greener, more environmentally friendly ways of producing, shipping, and advertising their products. To many, though, going green is a behind the scenes tactic – surely it can’t affect business that much, right? Wrong. Consumers, especially environmentally conscious ones, often will support businesses that go green over those that don’t. Sometimes, they are even willing to pay a bit more if it means saving the environment!
Boosting your green image, however, can be somewhat difficult. How can you go about learning exactly what methods to implement to make your business more environmentally friendly? Research can help bring these methods to light, as can looking at practices implemented by competing businesses. However, their practices are not always apparent, and they may not be willing to share their methods with you.
One of the ways to learn how to boost your green image is to get an ISO 14001 accreditation. ISO 14001 is part of the ISO 14000 family of standards. ISO 14000 is internationally-recognized as a standard for environmental management systems. ISO 14001, a subset of ISO 14000, contains all of the core standards used by businesses for creating and implementing environmental management standards. These environmental management systems (EMS) can then be used by businesses, organisations, and other groups to measure and document how they impact the environment.
All of these standards were updated in 2004 and now require businesses to really look at how they deal with the environment and how their activities affect the world around them. This updated set of standards now requires attention to many details, but while it now requires businesses to do more to get accredited, it has a number of different benefits for a business that does complete the accreditation requirements. They include saving on energy costs, using fewer materials, reducing the cost of waste management, lowering distribution costs, and improving the image of the business among their customers and the public in general.
Businesses that wish to become ISO 14001 accredited must first meet all of the requirements and then be externally audited and certified by an independent certification body. This certification body itself has to be accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, while each individual auditor has to be accredited by the International Registrar of Certification Auditors.
While it may take some time and effort to make your business ISO 14001 compliant, it is well worth it. By making your company more environmentally friendly, you will learn how to save money, save resources, and will become more appealing to your customers who are environmentally conscious. Never underestimate the impact that going green can have—you may be surprised just how much being green can affect your profits.
QMS International PLC specialise in Assessment and Certification, with Associate offices around the world. Successful issues of more than 16,000 Certificates in 60 countries. Supplying training, consultancy and certifications for ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and more.
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