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Eye on ISO 14001:2015 Environmental management systems

Incorporate ISO’s world-wide trusted 14001 series into your business strategy whatever your sector, service or product offering, to help do your part towards positive environmental action.

Koru a new unfurling silver fern frond

Koru New Zealand Fern by Bernard Spragg CC0 1.0

Within the space of a single generation we’re witnessing the imperative need for climate action and sustainability across all aspects of business and all sectors. With a global problem, we need consistent and connected global solutions.

Revised in 2015, ISO’s Environmental Management Systems standard was first published in 1996, when the world had not seen the full extent of climate change we are witnessing today – retreat of New Zealand’s glaciers, devastating forest fires across the world, loss of Arctic sea ice and sea level rise, an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events, and changes in rainfall and weather patterns.

The need for doing things differently is growing stronger.

Climate change impacts you, your business and your supply chain

So what can you, as a business owner, policy maker or industry influencer do in the face of such challenges?

You can start with incorporating ISO’s trusted 14000 series of standards into your strategy. As a series of tools and frameworks they help integrate a plan, do, check, act model of continuous improvement.

Achieving a balance between the environment, society and the economy is considered essential to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable development as a goal is achieved by balancing the three pillars of sustainability, or triple bottom line, so you have economic success with minimal environmental impact and positive social impact.

Environmental management makes business sense

Business operates within a shifting culture where consumers and stakeholders have a growing desire for transparency and accountability around resource use, waste management and environmental impact, and even across the whole supply chain.

Integrating a systematic approach to environmental management supports:

  • Prevention or mitigation of adverse environmental impacts (on both society and your organisation)
  • Assisting your organisation with compliance obligations
  • Influencing the way your organisation’s products and services are designed, manufactured, distributed or consumed
  • Doing a life cycle analysis examining environmental aspects from development to end of life (towards a cradle to cradle or circular approach)
  • Financial and operational efficiency benefits to strengthen your market position
  • Communicating environmental information eg corporate social responsibility and annual sustainability reports.

Standards also help break down barriers to trade – did you know for every appliance sold in New Zealand there are many others that do not meet minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) and thus are not sold in New Zealand’s market? This gives better performing appliances the competitive edge and thus a rightful place in the market, based on a consistent understanding of what is ‘acceptable performance’.

With increasing synergy between international partners – supported by international agreements – minimum standards will be core to future international business, as recognised through the substantial reference to standards in the recent G7 declaration.

Environmental management reflects the dominant trend

The political climate is shifting towards carbon neutrality with government targets for public sector to be zero carbon by 2025 and national net zero carbon by 2050.

The ISO 14001 series is used in over 170 countries, and there have been over 300,000 certificates issued. Consensus-built with input by a massive 120 participating countries’ representatives, the ISO 14000 series helps you to be distinguished from other organisations for competitive edge.

Environmental problems do not stop at borders and tools for tackling them need to be effective on a global scale. Policy-makers and regulators have growing expectations on organisations to steward the environment in modern organisations.

Environmental performance doesn’t need to rely just on compliance and the requirements of environmental management systems are the same for small, medium or large businesses. Through self-determination and self-declaration you can demonstrate conformity with the world’s trusted standard, to show commitment to doing things better. For people, planet and profit.

Get confidence with environmental management through the ISO 14000 family

Integrate ISO 14000 series today and work towards your first, or improved, sustainability report for 2022. Take action for better environmental performance by using the identical New Zealand and Australian adopted version of ISO 14001 (AS/NZS ISO 14001:2016).