Although developing an environmentally friendly, socially conscious operations is an important way a business can show a commitment to ethical business practices, exactly how do you think a business should demonstrate a commitment to socially sustainable practices? Many companies try to approach this issue on their own, by setting their own environmental targets, such as asking their staff to limit their power usage, rather than working towards clear compliance goals. While this can be somewhat effective, it is much more beneficial for organisations to work at aligning their socially conscious business practices with their regulatory environmental obligations. Doing so proves that they are aware of what is required of them as a business, and they are taking active steps to achieve this. This article will discuss how organisations can clearly work towards this goal through the implementation of a certified Environmental Management System (EMS).
An Environmental Management System helps develop an efficient operations
Businesses looking to reach and maintain their environmental obligations, and develop an efficient operations in the process, should consider implementing the internationally recognised ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standards. This is a certified Business Management System that helps companies develop clear, straight-forward practices for reaching their socially sustainable goals and obligations. Further, it can also help organisations reduce their overall expenses, develop a more efficient operations, and open trading doors with other companies.
Specifically, ISO 14001 requires companies to audit their entire operations against both their regulatory environmental obligations and their own targets to identify:
- Unnecessary resource usage and wastage: Businesses may not realise that they are overusing and wasting resources until they conduct a comprehensive audit of their usage. Simple steps such as always turning lights off in rooms that are not in use, having workstations enter sleep mode after a period of inactivity, and distributing work correspondence electronically rather than by hardcopy can accumulatively make a big difference when it comes to reducing energy usage, and developing a more socially sustainable operations.
- What their environmental legal requirements are: All businesses must follow their applicable rules, regulations, and laws when it comes to minimising the environmental impact of their operations. However, what their specific requirements are will depend upon several factors, including their industry, location, work type, and so on. ISO 14001 requires companies to familiarise themselves with applicable workplace legislation, and develop socially sustainable practices than both meet and maintain them.
- Existing processes that are inefficient and convoluted: A key benefits of ISO 14001 certification is that it helps companies assess the effectiveness of their existing processes, and determine whether they could be phased out in lieu of more efficient processes. For example, many businesses conduct transactions through multiple touchpoints, with clients required to go through a convoluted process. ISO 14001 will help businesses determine whether more efficient, straight-forward processes could be implemented, such as assigning customers to the one staff member, rather than requiring them to deal with multiple people throughout a transaction. Not only does this increase overall efficiency, it also helps develop a culture of trust, as customers will see clear examples of how the business values their time.
ISO 14001 consulting specialists can help with this process
While the main purpose of an EMS is to help businesses minimise the environmental impact of their operations, ISO 14001 certification can also help companies in other ways. For example, organisations that are already ISO 14001 certified (a number that is growing every day) may be reluctant to conduct business with companies that are not, as their business practices have not been comprehensively audited, and thus dealing with them could expose ISO 14001 certified businesses to risk.
To find out more about how ISO 14001 certification can specifically benefit your organisation, please contact our ISO 14001 consulting specialists today through this simple online contact us form or by phone at 1300 802 163 for a short, obligation-free consultation. All you need to do is tell them about your operations, including its industry, size, and location, and they can discuss with you some of the specific benefits ISO 14001 could bring to your operations. After this, they can talk you through the certification specifics, what your business should be doing to prepare, and get started on helping your company to achieve its socially sustainable goals. Aren’t you interested in hearing more about that?