ISO 14001 Is Just About Recycling… Isn’t It?

19 Sep, 2023

The days of checking bins have gone! Find out how ISO 14001 has changed with the times.

In a world where environmental consciousness has become paramount, ISO 14001 stands at the forefront of environmental management systems. Long gone are the days when auditors sifted through bins during an ISO audit to scrutinise recycling efforts. While the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle remain fundamental to the Environmental Management System (EMS), the scope and purpose of ISO 14001 have evolved significantly to address the pressing challenges of today.

Every five to eight years, ISO member bodies engage in a comprehensive review of the International Standards to ensure they remain relevant and up-to-date. In 2015, ISO 14001 underwent substantial revisions, placing a heightened focus on environmental impact. These revisions elevated the role of environmental management in strategic planning, emphasised leadership involvement, and strengthened commitments to proactive initiatives.

Today, ISO 14001 resonates more profoundly with our times. Environmental impact, whether on a personal or business level, has taken centre stage, compelling individuals and organisations to seek ways to minimise their footprint.

Beyond Recycling: A Comprehensive Approach

Reducing environmental impact extends beyond the visible realm of recycling. ISO 14001 compels businesses to consider all environmental aspects related to their operations. These encompass:

  • Air pollution: Evaluating emissions from company vehicles and mitigating their impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Water and sewage issues: Addressing leaks and blockages to prevent potential flooding and pollution incidents.
  • Waste management: Minimising waste through prevention, reuse, recycling, and recovery initiatives.
  • Soil contamination: Taking responsibility for any land contamination caused by heavy metals, oils, chemical substances, asbestos etc.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaption: Championing proactive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit future global warming.
  • Resource use and efficiency: Implementing strategies to manage resources efficiently, ultimately resulting in cost savings.

Next steps…

If you’re ready to embark on your ISO 14001 journey, reach out to our team on 0330 058 5551 to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, complete our ‘Request a Quote’ form at the top of this page.

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