Today is about as hot as it usually is in the Highveld of South Africa. In my case the difference between having a garden office here and one in Johannesburg is the absence of a pool!
Next week I will be returning to Gauteng, to speak at a breakfast briefing with Catherine Warburton at her offices in Johannesburg on the 14th of July. We will be looking at the changes being proposed to ISO14001 and what this means for business, with a particular emphasis on how the standard will help organisations meet their legal compliance obligations and supply chain challenges. If you are in the region details of the invitation are available here.
Whilst preparing the material for the presentation I was thinking again about the role of standards as a driver for creating more sustainable business. Larissa and I attended a BSI/ IEMA workshop in May to look at the role that standards play in business. It is apparent that they are used in a variety of ways to drive improvement and engagement and help with streamlining processes. Our blog on this can be found here.
The question of how standards might is getting more attention with the proposed changes to ISO14001. ISO140001 is the benchmark environmental standard that has been adopted globally by businesses seeking to demonstrate their environmental credentials. The proposed changes are significant as they restructure how an organisation should approach implementing the standard. There is a greater expectation to understand organisations’ environmental issues, including the interests of stakeholders. The extent of an organisation’s impact on the environment is extended to the supply chain and there is a greater emphasis on demonstrating environmental compliance.
I thought I would highlight the top ten commercial benefits of implementing ISO14001 or, in the case of the events sector, ISO2012 . They are:
By meeting the requirements of the ISO, organisations will benefit in the following ways:
- identify risks associated with threats and opportunities and its compliance obligations
- enhance environmental performance
- provide assurance to stakeholders, customers and anyone else involved, that the event has been planned and implemented in a sustainable manner
- help differentiate an organisation from its competitors, helping to win new business, improve reputation and brand image
- help reduce carbon emissions and waste and improve resource efficiency of the supply chain
- improve relationships with the employees, local communities, suppliers and other relevant stakeholders
- challenge an organisation to improve its processes and look towards continual improvement
- streamline internal procedures, providing cost benefits of legal and other requirements
- demonstrate legal compliance
- provide a foundation and support for an organisation’s continued legal certification
The changes reinforce the convergence between sustainability standards and ‘sustainability legislation’. Such legislation is becoming increasingly relevant in a number of ways: through the procurement mechanism and training staff on key environmental issues that affect the company, including what laws affect the organisation and how they control issues arising from these laws. Our next blog is going to cover in more detail the compliance requirement under the revised ISO14001 standard.