ISO 14001 is a globally recognised standard for environmental management. It provides the layout for implementing a management system to help with monitoring, managing and reducing your organisation’s environmental impact.

However, certification is usually viewed as something that will only be of benefit to large businesses, with fears about how much time it will consume and costs associated. Though this isn’t the case with thousands of small and medium sized businesses in the UK are reaping the benefits of implementing an ISO 14001 environmental management system.

The top 7 benefits for SMEs as a result of certification to ISO 14001

Manage Environmental Impacts

Through identifying your biggest impacts, it becomes easier to put plans into place to control these. For most office based SMEs this will be procurement of office items, waste generated, energy used and air travel.

Ensure Environmental Legal Compliance

For small organisations it can be difficult to be aware of and ensure all compliance obligations are met without the luxury of having a specific person or resource in charge of this. This can include things such as waste duty of care and non-financial reporting requirements. Local authorities and the environment agency can issue costly fines for non-compliance additionally the potential impact on brand reputation can lead to lasting negative effects.

Increased Morale and Retention

When attracting and keeping employees, especially from younger generations, there is an increasing focus on purpose. 64% of Millennials state they won’t take a job from a company that doesn’t have strong CSR practices.

Increased Environmental Awareness

Creating an environmental policy with input from all team members can raise the levels of engagement and awareness. The organisation is able to tailor this to what is important to them, using communication and training.

Reduce Operational Costs

A UK study found average annual cost savings of £4,875 per £m turnover for SMEs during the first two years of implementing their EMS.

Advantage During Tender Process

As tenders become more and more complicated and rely heavily on environmental documentation. Having ISO14001 accreditation will potentially provide you with a competitive advantage during the pitching stage of the tender process. 

Drive Innovation

Focusing on environmental risks is important to ensure future-proofing, especially in relation to changing attitudes of consumers and regulation shifting towards a net-zero economy. This provides opportunities for innovation of your product/services and way of doing business, with more forward thinking organisations setting Science Based Targets, 63% of company executives have said by doing this they have seen an increase in innovation.

Embed sustainability

An EMS provides a holistic way to ensure sustainability is embedded throughout your organisation. Sustainability Solved™ by Will Richardson can help you achieve this.