What are the benefits of being ISO 14001 certified as environmentally responsible? The first and most obvious benefit is that having an EMS service might simply keep you out of jail. This is without a doubt the most important benefit. If an unexpected environmental issue results in a breach of environmental regulations, you're effectively working, and a certified EMS may be able to act as a defense of due diligence in most Australian jurisdictions.
Another advantage of implementing an Environmental Management System to ISO 14000 if your company is highly visible and subject to a high level of scrutiny from the community is that it helps the company understand what they should be communicating to whom.
Then there are the practical gains and productivity increases that come with using a structured management system, such as the following list of advantages:
- Saving money by producing less rubbish and so minimizing the costs connected with waste disposal.
- Reducing the quantity of energy utilized and, as a result, the operational costs of the company
- Increased market competitiveness as a result of being able to differentiate yourself from some of your competitors the need of having a certified management system as a criterion for bidding is becoming more widespread among government bodies.
- A reduction in expenditures as a result of fewer incidents and the expenses associated with their rectification;
- Improved public and regulatory view of the organization; Increased client and customer satisfaction
- Capturing institutional knowledge through appropriately documenting, managing, and communicating environmental information;
- By performing regular and rigorous reviews of environmental performance, the likelihood of unpleasant shocks is decreased.
- Cost savings gained by greater operational efficiency and, when applicable, lower consumption of hazardous materials and waste generation;
- Effective and efficient communication on environmental problems, both inside the firm and with those outside of it; and
- Emphasizing the importance of environmental performance in the firm's culture and trying to improve the community's perception of the organization.
According to the conclusions of a four-case research study, having an effective environmental management system that adhered to ISO 14001 in Australia was connected with significant economic advantages.
- One company avoided a $70,000 fine because it was able to show the regulator (through its certified EMS) that its systems and procedures ensured that they had taken all essential protections and that their corrective action processes would reduce future events.
- Another company boosted its recycling rate by more than 95%, reduced or replaced its packaging, implemented lead-free soldering, and eliminated halogen from one of its manufacturing processes.
- A walk-through programme used as part of another company's environmental management system resulted in a 40% reduction in water treatment expenses. This discovery led to the construction of an energy monitoring system that has the potential to save the other firm more than 10% on its large energy bill.
- Another company discovered that by establishing an environmental management system, they were able to lower their usage of electricity during non-operational hours by 61%. Furthermore, the corporation may now sell rubbish that was previously destined for a landfill.
If your company already has a quality management system that meets ISO9001:2015 or a safety management system that meets AS/NZS 4801:2001, implementing an environmental management system that follows the same logical path will be straightforward. Because ISO 14001:2015 is similar to the other Standards, typical system elements that have already been implemented (such as document and records management, management review, and internal audit) will meet the requirements of the environmental management system, providing additional efficiency and operational dividends.
However, one of the most major benefits of establishing and successfully executing an environmental management system is the environmental benefit. This benefit presents itself in a variety of ways, including reduced pollutants, greater efficiency, reduced waste, and increased general awareness.