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Environmental Management System (EMS) standards establish a framework for how a business manages its key environmental hazards and risks, known as environmental aspects and impacts. They can help whether your business offers products or services and regardless of your size or industry. They can also help new businesses start off on the right foot by ensuring processes meet your legal requirements and recognised international standards like ISO 14001:2015. An EMS will help you clarify environmental business objectives and assist in the avoidance of expensive mistakes and fines, often enforced by local authorities, the country environmental agency and government.

To comply with the international standard, you’ll first need to implement an EMS.

Implementing an EMS can help your business to:

  • Achieve greater consistency in the activities to manage your Environmental impact

  • Manage their emergency activities effectively

  • Reduce expensive Environmental mistakes

  • Meet legal obligations and enhance trust

  • Improve waste efficiency and cut your costs

  • Improve customer satisfaction

  • Drive sustainability levels within your business

  • Market your business more effectively as a conscientious company

  • Exploit new market sectors and territories with additional certification

  • Manage growth more effectively by making it easier to integrate new employees and locations

  • Demonstrate neighbour awareness and consideration

  • Tender / Quote for business that requires certification to ISO 14001

  • Save on energy, waste and water

For example, the environmental system of a manufacturing business might include looking at more efficient and effective ways to reduce your environmental impact from your manufacturing processes or drive down waste thus reducing your recycling or waste management costs. Many companies are also looking at ways to not only reduce your environmental impact, but re-use the waste materials they produce, or work with other companies that can re-use the material.

The ISO 14000 series of standards is the main set of International Standards applying to the management of environmental systems. It includes ISO 14001, the key internationally agreed standard for an EMS. Businesses can be certified against this standard through an external 3rd party certification body.

Achieving ISO 14001 certification could lead to new business. Not only can it help distinguish you from competitors, but many large businesses and public sector organisations require suppliers to be ISO 14001 certified. It’s a globally recognised achievement, so may lead to a higher profile and increased business overseas.

The process of achieving certification can be much more straight forward than before, especially if you adopt one of the new electronic software tools that can assist in manging key elements of an EMS and sharing responsibility across a business so everyone gets involved. As the world we live in becomes more aware of the damage we impart on a day to day basis, the emphasis on Environmental Management shall grow. Don’t be left behind when your competitor gets over the line before you, ensure you are one step ahead of the pack and drive down costs in your business through an effective EMS.

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