We are excited to announce that we have begun the process of implementing ISO 14001 into our organization. Our goal is to be an industry leader in not only waste management, but also sustainability for our organization and our customers’ organizations. We strongly believe that obtaining ISO 14001 certification will help us to reach this goal. We are partnering with Alabama Technology Network to ensure our implementation is thorough and efficient. Not sure what ISO 14001 is? Check out the information below.
What is ISO 14001?
ISO standards are developed by the International Organization for Standardization which is an independent, non-governmental organization currently made up of members from 164 different countries and operates its headquarters out of Geneva, Switzerland. The organization was founded in 1947 and has published over 22,000 International Standards. These standards cover nearly all aspects of technology and manufacturing.
The ISO 14001 standard focuses on creating environmental systems for an organization to manage its environmental responsibilities. This is one of the most popular ISO standards and is likely to become even more prevalent in the near future. Many organizations now put a high value on environmental sustainability. Implementing the ISO standard is a great way for companies to meet environmental goals.
The end result of an ISO 14001 implementation is an effective “Environmental Management System” that guides an organization’s procedures. The standard can be applied to any industry and type of organization; whether the organization makes a product or provides a service.
The organization must assess its risks and potential environmental impacts, among other items, and put a system in place to continually improve its processes. Obtaining certification shows a distinct level of dedication to excellence in environmental management.
Benefits of ISO Implementation
There are many benefits to implementing ISO 14001. The first, and perhaps most obvious, is the benefit to the environment. A main purpose of the standard is to guide an organization in minimizing its effect on the environment. A byproduct of this main purpose is that the organization should realize improved processes as a result of implementing the standard.
We expect these improved processes to allow us to better service our customers in all of our service lines, but particularly in our RCRA Compliance service. Another expectation is that obtaining this certification will allow us to provide services to some larger customers that require vendors to have this certification. We believe that being ISO 14001 certified will be a requirement of many industry leaders in the near future; and we want to be on the forefront of progress.
Finally, to many people/orgs, “ISO” means quality. And this is a worldwide perception. We are excited to join the ranks of all the great organizations that have implemented the ISO 14001 standard. ISO has identified its own set of “Key Benefits” related to ISO 14001. The published paper can be found on the ISO website, but a summary list of key benefits is reproduced below.
- Demonstrate compliance with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements
- Increase leadership involvement and engagement of employees
- Improve company reputation and the confidence of stakeholders through strategic communication
- Achieve strategic business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management
- Provide a competitive and financial advantage through improved efficiencies and reduced costs
- Encourage better environmental performance of suppliers by integrating them into the organization’s business systems
Obtaining certification can be a relatively long and involved process. Our preliminary projections show that we will obtain certification in early Q4 of 2019.
The work is not over once an organization obtains certification. A main theme of the standard is one of continuous improvement. That being the case, even organizations with the certification must constantly re-evaluate and improve their system to maintain certification.