The actual concept for ISO14001 came about back in the early 70s. Now of course the basic ideas of environmentally friendly manufacturing and materials production have been around long before then and began to take hold with the masses on a grander scale beginning in the early 1960s. However, there was one thing in particular that took place in the early 1970s that was a game changer.
That was that leaders of countries around the globe began to meet and forge agreements to reduce emissions, and work to protect the environment in general. Now this was good but there was just one thing lacking and that was an enforcement body and procedures. As important as these agreements were, they were all in effect simple handshake deals that really had “no teeth” in them at all.
So with all in agreement that the environment needed to be protected on an international scale, the problem was just who would enforce any agreements and what would be the penalties if there were to be any. Also if a system of enforcement were to be put in place, what would then over see it to insure that developed and developing countries were to be treated fairly?
Even to this day the international community continues to meet and make agreements as newer and more damning data continues to be gathered that points to the urgency of finding solutions. In the end though, it was and continues to be dynamics in the marketplace that are proving to be the impetus for real change. Not the diplomats and politicians. In short, it’s today’s savvier shopper who created the real demand for the ISO14001 certification system.
The fact is that this system and others like it have proven that in today’s marketplace it pays to be sensitive to the environment as one goes about their business. It’s a two sided coin you see, because on one hand there is a certain percentage of the general shopping public who will pay extra for properly certified goods.
At the same time though, there is also the consumers who will boycott without being told to do so any business they perceive to be harming the environment. Add both of these percentage numbers together and what you will come up with a sizable combined figure that only continues to increase.
One area that your firm can focus on as it begins to make basic preparations for ISO14001 certification, is recycling, and alternative energy usage as well as production. Now of course these are but one part of all that will be considered by the examining and auditing authority, but recycling and alternative energy technologies are readily available.
Chances are there are areas in your business where materials should be getting recycled that aren’t and also areas where materials made from recycled products can be brought in. At the same time, you may want to take into account that solar panels are now fully cost effective. In fact photovoltaic technologies are now so cost effective that the average solar system costs some 60% to 70% of the value of the power it will produce over its 25 year service lifetime.
FPA Consulting Ltd is recognised as a market leader in commercial project and quality management for both the public and private market sectors. Visit the website for more details. ISO 14001 Accreditation