What are the benefits of ISO 14001?

Comprehensively breaking down the benefits and nuances of ISO 14001 accreditation

The following article aims to explore the varying benefits of obtaining ISO 14001 certification, to help you better understand whether the standard is for you and your organisation.

In this article we will cover:

Reading time: 5 Minutes

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 is a tool an organisation can use to reduce the impact it has on the environment and better prepare for climate-change events that could affect it. It fits into the ISO 14000 family of practical tools to help an organisation manage its environmental responsibilities.

How can ISO 14001 certification benefit my business?

ISO 14001 is recommended for any organisation, regardless of its size, wanting to reduce its environmental impact and get ready for what climate-change might bring. Beginning on the certification journey can seem quite daunting, so we have put together a list of benefits, to show why the certification is well worth having.

What is ISO 14001?

If you would like to understand the standard and its implications further, read our “What is ISO 14001?” article.

Environmental benefits

In the process of certifying to ISO 14001, you will need to determine how your organisation’s activities affect the environment. This could be from a number of aspects, such as:

  • emissions to air (e.g. carbon, F-gases, particulates)
  • pollution to land or water
  • use of raw materials and natural resources (e.g. water consumption)
  • use of energy
  • energy emitted (e.g. heat, radiation, noise, light)
  • generation of waste or by-products
  • use of space

As the standard aims to reduce your impact on the environment, this also improves the efficiency of the business. If we take waste, for example, the process of certifying will ask you to identify and mitigate all waste, from the unnecessary running of machinery to an improvement of processes, reducing excess materials and costs. The cost of waste management should also go down and the need for the processing and removal of waste will be lessened.

Also, by considering your energy usage, using more renewable energy resources and improving energy-saving processes, your company becomes more efficient. When efficiency is improved, this will lead to reduced costs of running the business.

Organisational benefits

One of the key requirements of ISO standards is that you need to monitor and measure performance and set targets. This will help you identify areas for improvement resulting in cost reductions and increased profits.

In addition to increased profits, ISO 14001 certification can help set your organisation apart from competitors. Consumers, public sector, corporate and business clients of all sizes are becoming more and more conscious of climate issues and many chose to deal only with environmentally responsible organisations. Certification is evidence that you take the environment seriously. 

In many sectors, government and corporate tenders require ISO 14001 as a minimum. Without it, your business will not be considered no matter how good you are at what you do.

Becoming certified to the standard may also result in reduced insurance premiums for some companies. The certification provides proof that your company is performing well as a result the due diligence in managing your environmental impact. This means that there is less chance in your organisation being found liable for environmental negligence.

Attracting and retaining talented employees is a constant challenge in most organisations. Having strong environmental policies aimed to reduce the impact of your operational activities is something now included in employees’ decision-making when choosing who to work for. Everyone wants to be proud of their employer.

Regulatory and reputational benefits

Becoming ISO 14001 certified ensures your business is keeping up to date with the regulations. Reputational damage and fines can devastate companies that don’t comply with the regulations. Obtaining certification ensures you keep ahead of the game.

Customer research in 2022 has shown that organisations need to demonstrate their commitment to environmental performance in order to win over customers. Having an ISO badge on your website allows your company to immediately reassure customers of your positive environmental reputation.

Katy Deacon

Katy Deacon is a chartered engineer with a specialism in the public sector
Katy has a Beng (Hons) degree in air transport & aeronautical engineering, as well as Masters degrees in Information governance & assurance, and Renewable energy, low carbon buildings, electrical building services design.

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