It used to be that you could stick a recycling bin on the corner of the office and be considered an environmentally-friendly business! But nowadays you need to do a lot more to win your green credentials.
While all sorts of ideas and off-the-shelf online solutions are doing the rounds, the best way for any organisation to ensure complete compliance is to achieve ISO 14001 environmental management system certification in Queensland.
The very nature of the process, from initial consultation to accreditation, ensures the organisation is 100 per cent committed to, and knowledgeable about, sound environmental management.
Choosing A Management System Consultant
The first step in securing accreditation is arranging a meeting with a management systems consultant. For Queensland, your best choice would probably be Standard Consulting in Brisbane.
A management systems consultant will start by asking questions, in order to learn all about your organisation. The idea here is not to enforce their point of view, but rather to work with the business owner to find the best solutions.
The consultant wants to take the organisation to the point where it can achieve accreditation. This will involve a number of processes, including the development and implementation of a tailor-made environmental management system, training and auditing.
Risk Mitigation Processes
Any existing management system and risk mitigation processes will be taken into account and probably integrated.
Indeed, the consultant may suggest a fully integrated management system, that not only covers environmental management, but also quality assurance and workplace safety.
ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) is an International Standard, used by organisations throughout the world. Regularly reviewed and updated to keep it relevant, the 2015 edition was released last year.
Comply with Legal Requirements
An EMS works in several ways to ensure organisations comply with legal requirements, minimise impact on the environment, minimise risk, make better use of resources, and reduce waste. Quite clearly, as EMS can be used by an organisation of any size, in any industry.
Achieving ISO 14001 environmental management system certification in Queensland is not easy – but then it’s not meant to be. It would be quite useless if it was!
But considering what’s involved, it is surprising that some organisations try and work through the process unaided.
Knowledge and Experience
The advantage of working with a management systems consultant is that he or she is across the latest legal requirements, as well as being experienced in your industry. Or at least, that’s the hope!
Take a look at consultancy company’s background. Do they have experience of working with businesses of all sizes? Are their trainers qualified? Do they have actual industry experience? And does that experience run across all major industries.
If a consultancy has longevity, it’s a safe bet that they know what they are talking about and can expertly guide your organisation through the process.
Benefits of Certification
ISO 14001 environmental management system certification brings many benefits, legally, morally and financially. For example, by having systems in place to evaluate potential risks, and stopping them before they happen, an organisation avoids the chance of prosecution.
By reducing its use of resources and minimising waste, the organisation will also reduce its costs.
And by meeting customer expectations as a responsible organisation, it can also expect to see a better reputation and growing customer base.
Targets and Benchmarks
ISO 14001 environmental management system certification in Queensland helps set targets and benchmarks, improving the State’s trading position and economy. And because it’s an international Standard, it can also open doors to the export market.
It is the management system consultant’s job to analyse the organisation’s current systems and identify areas of non-compliance, discuss ways of improving environmental performance and compliance, and gather all the information need to prepare the environmental management system.
This tailor-made plan will then be written, incorporating both the organisation’s specifics, as well as regulatory requirements and other necessary procedures.
Stamp of Approval
Once the management system is prepared, it needs to be implemented and audited, with training provided. Certification follows.
Successful accreditation can then be promoted through the organisation’s marketing material and packaging, and the news can be shared with all shareholders, boosting the organisation’s reputation.
With research revealing how highly consumers rate sound environmental management, the official ISO stamp of approval will be a powerful tool in attracting and retaining market share.
Just this month two researchers from the University of Mexico highlighted the impact that businesses have on the environment, saying that excessive production and consumption was leading to serious environmental degradation.
They said responsible businesses should integrate environmental management into their business model to minimise negative effects on the environment. And that for new businesses, there was no excuse not to.