ISO 14001, often known as an environmental management system (EMS), is a framework that assists organizations in managing their resources effectively and becoming more sustainable by lowering their environmental impact. It may be used by any organization, commercial or public, and it assists organizations in reducing waste both internally and across the supply chain. Obtaining ISO 14001 certification publicly indicates your dedication to environmental protection and can assist to enhance your company’s public impression. Yet, we are frequently questioned if implementing ISO 14001 is profitable. Implementing an ISO 14001:2015 EMS (Environmental Management System) is an internationally recognized way of controlling your company’s environmental impact. Here are several methods for determining whether or not adopting ISO 14001 EMS is profitable:
- Assessing risk and opportunity: This is a significant component of the new ISO 14001:2015 standard. Whatever approach you use for your EMS – SWOT analysis, risk register, or staff consultation sessions – it is critical that you examine the potential that an effective EMS can help you find.
- Resources: There is also a particular phrase in the ISO 14001:2015 standard, but it is essential that you can precisely estimate the resources, both in terms of man-hours and funds, required to perform your 14001 projects and maintain your EMS in the future. It might be beneficial to talk with similar-sized organizations that have implemented ISO 14001:2015 to get a sense of costs and timeframes.
- Training and Awareness: The successful functioning of the EMS depends on making sure that your staff, contractors, and stakeholders have received the appropriate ISO 14001 awareness training for EMS and are well-informed and aware. Similarly, to this, increasing business and improving profitability can result from letting clients and the larger business community know about the EMS and the company’s environmental values and goals.
- Driving continual improvement: This is essential to the EMS’s continued ISO 14001:2015 certification, but it’s also a big part of making sure that the EMS keeps the company profitable. It is crucial to increase performance to guarantee that you consistently obtain a high return on the investment in EMS, whether you do this through internal audit, corrective action, or another defined procedure that follows the “Plan, Do, Check, Act” cycle.
- Using performance evaluation: Another feature you should utilize to attempt to evaluate and ensure the profitability of the EMS is performance evaluation, which has its own clause in the standard. You may start by calculating the savings your EMS contributes to — including process savings, packaging and transport savings, energy and utility cost reductions, and so on. The work and contracts that your company has been able to acquire as a result of having ISO 14001 certification may then be measured. You will start to realize the actual return on investment for your EMS if you make sure to regularly gather and review this data. These three components should aid in moving your EMS and the business ahead if you incorporate this assessment into your risk and opportunity and continuous improvement cycles. Always keep in mind that performance evaluation is nearly useless without purposeful, planned actions to follow; only when the two are combined can improvement occur.