The Immense Need For The ISO 14001 Standard

ISO 14001 may have appeared to be yet another way to make money off companies, but it is in fact the complete opposite. ISO 14001 certification aims to assist organizations in maximizing their profits through efficient processes and procedures while impacting the environment less.

ISO 14001 certification

We have all seen the movies of what will be if we continue on the downward spiral we are caught in at present. Climate change is very real, and is affecting us all tremendously. Strange weather pattern, melting polar ice caps, flash floods, droughts, this is all caused through the human and industrial carbon footprint.

Thousands of lives are lost through devastating weather occurrences, wild life and animal life is becoming extinct as their livable habitat is depleted. Smoggy air and chemical spewed into the environment cause illness and even deathly disease. Children are born with abnormalities. Why on Earth would we continue on this path of destruction? In the name of money, material gain, and industry is the answer many will give.

It no longer has to be so.

There is a way that both can exist in almost harmony with one another. Let’s face it, if industry continues as it has been for so long, there will soon be no resources left to mine and use in these industries. Humans rape and pillage the Earth for what she has to provide, but they haven’t given a thought to what will happen when she no longer has any more.

What legacy are we leaving for future generations? If the path continues as it is, the material wealth and monetary gain will be of no use to those future generations. The time is now to try and find a harmonious co-existence where the environment is given the respect that it deserves.

ISO 14001 was developed and finalized in 1996. This is a mean by which industry and environment can co-exist. It is a learning curve for all and the benefits for both the organizations and the environment are far reaching.

ISO 14001 is an environmental management system which provides regulations by which industries must abide in order for them to be deemed as environmentally friendly. With all the attention on the decline of the environment, implementing these standards will only do worlds of good for the credibility of the organization and it’s attempts at improving and reducing the impact their processes have on the environment.

Certification is internationally recognized which makes it a standard by which each industry in the world, that is certified, conforms to. Regulations such as these make the trade between international companies that much easier as the requirements are standardized. Companies are taught to effectively run their organizations without excessive use of power, use of unnecessary raw materials, and are shown how to effectively use their waste materials rather than discard them into the environment to wreak havoc on the sensitive ecosystems that live there.

Yes, the process is costly and time consuming but can you really put a price tag on our environment? The answer is a resounding no! What future do your children or grandchildren have, if we continue to destroy what is also rightfully theirs?

The benefits to the company itself are invaluable. The additional profits through cost saving actions, will pay for your environmental management system implementation one hundred fold, and all within a matter of years. Your employees will no longer be subjected to unhealthy working environments, they will be a part of something meaningful which will result ultimately in a healthier working environment. Each employee will be accountable, giving them a purpose for their position. More efficient systems will allow your employees to feel less stressed and more readily available to work to their potential. Happy, healthy, and contented staff are the keys to productivity and a company that is motivated for a common cause.

It is however, not only up to the employees to take responsibility, the management and top management have to be actively involved in the processes and really understand the processes and procedures themselves. The too need to be accountable for their actions and decisions. Communication lines are opened up between employees and management and everything regarding the management system is readily available for whoever requires or feels they would like to have a look. Results are documented and change is ever-progressing. The only way to perfection is through change. Change what isn’t working as effectively as it should and keep what is working. The employees are the workforce that will do most of the heavy lifting as such and in saying that, they need to be clear on the objectives of the management system and their role in the process.

Training must be provided to ensure that all employees are on key with their knowledge and skill relating to the management system and their position therein. This is a chance to increase the quality of your employees, give them meaning for their often mundane jobs, allow them to be part of something that is greater than you or them. Allow them the chance to shape the future for their families and those who come thereafter.

I know all this environmental talk often seems just that, talk, but take a look around and see for yourself. Be aware of how areas are mined and never rehabilitate, forests are destroyed and never replanted. Industry is taking over and there is nothing that is going to stop that. What can be done is the way in which these industries perceive the environment and how they respect it. Yes, the documentation involved is prolific, but really it is for a cause that will far outlive us.

Damage has been done, and we aren’t sure we can undo that, but going forward we can ensure that how we treat the environment is completely different. The environment provides for us on a personal and business level, don’t you think it’s about time we showed it the honor and respect it deserves.

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