Qualsys recently attended the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce's event, 'ISO 14001 – The Benefits to Your Business', an event aimed to increase awareness to Sheffield businesses of what ISO 14001 can deliver.
Qualsys’ Ben Saxton attended the event to acquire an appreciation of the message many of our clients are getting when looking at implementing standards. This forms part of our continued desire to understand the landscape that our client’s operate in and how we can bring solutions that deliver benefits to their organisations.
ISO 14001 sets out the criteria for an environmental management system. Often just viewed as a 'nice to have', the event gave clear reasons why embracing the ISO 14001 standard can deliver tangible results for an organisation. These advantages are wide ranging and include:
- reduction in exposure to non-compliance with environmental legislation
- cost savings (e.g. lower consumption, lower waste and reduce insurance cost)
- positive public image, demonstrating CSR
- demonstrate green credentials when responding to tenders and stand out from competitors
Rebecca Chapman EM Solutions started the event by putting ISO 14001 in context and how implementing the standard can bring real benefits to the organisation through a continuous cycle of analysis and implementation. As well as bringing operational benefits, the audience was made aware that companies can now face unlimited fines for breaking environmental laws when this was previously limited to £5K. Reason itself to look at implementing an environmental policy.
Tom Cullingford of Waterman Group spoke about the importance of integrating the standard into the business to ensure senior management adopt the practice and so it was an integral element of the business rather than a separate consideration. A successful implementation of a relevant standard will then impact on the audit activity, training requirements, risk analysis and document management requirements. Tom made the amusing point that an organisation should only look at ISO 14001 if it has a significance to their business, it is hard to argue an office based organisation can positive impact on their business by implementing 14001.
The audience also heard from Viridor who spoke about the services they offer that provides companies with a full audit trail of waste disposal. Investors in the Environment, a not for profit organisation who run an accreditation scheme designed to help businesses reduce their environmental impact and save money. InMotion also supported the event detailing the various travel schemes they offer to encourage low emission travel.