What is its carbon footprint? Is it made of environment-friendly materials? Is it safe?
From LED TVs to hair dyes to gypsum panel boards to donuts, most products today go through the “green sieve” required by the buying public concerned about what goes into their communities and their homes (not to mention their stomachs, in the case of the donuts). And it isn’t just personal health and safety anymore that drive these worries but a genuine collective concern about the environmental impact caused by their manufacture. That collective concern, in turn, has become a potent motivation for manufacturers to deliver quality products.
If you’re a manufacturer, how do you demonstrate to your customers and clients your commitment to quality products, your compliance with environmental standards and regulations, and to your stockholders, your capability to best the competition? For most successful manufacturers worldwide, it’s through ISO 14001.
ISO 14001 is an environmental management standard, a member of the ISO 14000 family developed by the International Organization for Standardization, the leading publisher of voluntary international standards. It specifies a general roadmap for an organization to follow so it can set up the kind of environmental management system that will allow it to achieve a good environmental performance. Being a generic standard, ISO 14001 can be adopted by a huge range of companies, including:
- Local governments
- Service, manufacturing, and process industries
- Large multinational companies
- Companies in all industry sectors, both public and private
For many countries ISO 14001 has become an essential part of the efforts of their industries to achieve progress, profitability, and sustainability.
The latest version of the standard, ISO 14001:2004, was released in 2004 and has since become the bar against which all environmental management initiatives have been measured. The reasons for its worldwide acceptance are many:
- It helps preserve/protect the environment
- It improves compliance with applicable environmental laws
- It minimizes power and resource use thus bringing down operating expenses
- It minimizes the chances of penalties and litigation
- It manages the organization’s environmental policies and procedures efficiently
- It encourages constant improvement in environmental performance
- It boosts employee morale
- It increases stakeholder confidence
- It helps secure business from companies that require compliance with environmental best practices, especially in the case of international customers
- It documents international-level environmental compliance, often a requisite when bidding for contracts overseas
- It demonstrates the company’s commitment to the environment
ISO 14001 online training is available from providers such as ISOcampus.com. ISO 14001 training equips an individual with the expertise to evaluate an environmental management system (EMS).