In today’s world doing business is not an easy job. Previously businesses do charity to become part of CSR campaigns and to prove themselves environment friendly, but now businesses are facing more pressure and expectation levels have been increased to integrate environmental and social best practices into their operations.
This environment-friendly movement has been initiated not only to support the environment and control the devastation ratio but it can be profitable and can open a new door of opportunities for businesses if used properly. Companies who are environment friendly and believes in eco-business not only create a positive image of their company in the consumer market, it also attracts potential investors to invest in their upcoming projects as well as it helps companies to become trend setter or market leader in the industry.
Organizations can take benefits out of a solid sustainable program by implementing the requirements of ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System Standard
ISO 14001: 2015 is an international standard that provides guidelines on environmental management. It has several objectives such as prevention, reduction, restoration, and the management of the impacts of the environment on people, economics, and business management. The standard is applicable to all organizations regardless of size and complexity. It also has a voluntary certification scheme for environmental management systems.
Environmental management is an integral part of ISO 14001 and is based on the four principles of respect for nature, health and safety, sustainability, and democracy in decision-making. ISO 14001 specifies risk analysis, strategic planning and control, prevention, reduction, and recycling. It also specifies the source assessment, product identification, and introduction to the organization’s environment. The process of implementing ISO 14001 begins with an awareness program that includes training for all employees. After that, there’s a plan for the organization’s environment. The plan should include pollution prevention measures and should also have controls for hazardous substances, products, and waste disposal methods. Furthermore, there must be an audit system to check whether all environmental management requirements are being met. Organizations must then report on their efforts to improve environmental performance so that they can receive certification from third-party assessors.
The main goals of ISO 14NP are reducing pollution, enhancing sustainable development, improving stakeholders’ understanding of sustainability principles, and strengthening organizations’ performance in relation to the environment. To achieve these goals, it encourages appropriate policy-making at all levels of governance; promotes effective implementation; promotes accountability; promotes public participation; encourages innovation; and supports continuous improvement in practice. ISO 14001 specifies Risk Assessment according to ISO standard 170:2002 as the starting point for environmental management systems. This assessment identifies risks associated with critical processes and resources as well as possible solutions to avoid harm to people or the environment. Organizations must conduct an Environmental Audit according to ISO 9001:2008 to identify sources of pollution inside their environments and take appropriate action against them. After conducting assessments, there should be a plan for cleaning up contaminated areas and removing hazardous substances from the environment. The plan should also have strategies for protecting human health against hazardous substances in industrial processes or when handling products produced by industry or commerce.
Implementing ISO 14001 will help companies reduce their impact on the natural world around them by ensuring that their products are safe and environmentally sound. Having an in-house environmental management system ensures that all operations meet high standards while reducing harmful impacts on the environment. According to David Aikins-Smith in his essay ‘The Benefits of Environmental Management Systems,’ many organizations have benefited from implementing such systems- even in difficult economic times. As Aikins-Smith points out, ‘an EMS gives everyone involved with a company a common goal.