For the company that uses ISO 14001, it's a guide for the implementation of a cyclical process to identify the things an organization has or does that causes an impact on the planet. These things are called aspects. It then helps to establish management controls to address these aspects.
Smart companies use it to optimize their business. It enables the company to follow a systematic approach for robust and credible environmental management. While the standard outlines what global expectations are, it is solely the responsibility of the user how this occurs. If ISO 14001 is new to you, and you want to learn a little more about how it can help your small business clients, click here.
For shareholders, stakeholders or someone interested in how your small business clients manage their environmental issues (with a direct or indirect business connection), it's a demonstration of commitment and accountability to better environmental management. ISO 14001 may be used as a criterion for investing, or doing business with another entity.
For big companies with business around the globe and countries with trade relations, it enables an apples to apples discussion on what things (aspects) need attention in their supply chain and in trade agreements. It can inform the people making decisions whether a company they are working with are trying to minimize their environmental footprint, increasing their value add.
ISO 14001 is a business tool can be used to:
- screen green suppliers
- manage a client's environmental footprint
- green their productivity
- help with corporate reporting
- market their business (not the product)
ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard:
- backed by international consensus
- recognized as a mechanism for risk management
- that provides evidence of due diligence
- that can reduce regulatory burdens, or lower penalties
ISO 14001 leads a series of guidance standards that can help entities green their productivity and manage the aspects of their business to reduce their environmental impacts. The results – lower costs and improved profitability. The series addresses many facets of environmental management including environmental auditing, labelling, performance evaluation, greenhouse gas management, environmental design, life cycle assessment, an organization's carbon footprint, etc. The list is growing.
The Economist magazine (29 July 2002) summarized it well: "The usefulness of standards is embodied in a simple axiom: when everybody else is doing A, it is not such a good thing to do B."
We need small businesses to be part of the "A" team. Why? They represent 98% of the business population in most countries, and about 50% of a nation's health and wealth. Collectively they can have a profound impact on the environment. We need to make sure that ISO 14001 is a viable, practical, cost effective option for them. That's why the EnviroReadyReport was developed.