The chances are you’ve already heard a little about ISO management systems. But what exactly are they, and why should your business get certified?

The question you might want to ask yourself is not, “why should I get certified?” but “what am I waiting for?”

Corporate responsibility is here to stay

The sun has set on the time where providing decent services or reliable products were enough to win over and keep customers. Gone too is the notion that extras such as a great website, user-friendly app or device-friendly shopping experience are enough to hold your customers’ attention. These days, the discerning consumer has gone green – and they want you to too.

A growing number of today’s global shoppers are keenly aware of the potential for business to do good in the world – big brands, from clothing chains such as American Apparel and H&M, technology giants Google and Apple, food and beverage brands like Nestlé and Heineken, and pharmaceuticals P&G have responded to the demand for sustainability in business and are leading the way, employing environmental policies and globally-recognised environmental management systems (EMS) to address their corporate responsibility and ultimately boost their corporate identity. And this shift in consciousness is filtering down to SMEs worldwide and is a mind-set that marks a permanent swing in how companies will conduct their business now and into the future.

Why should my business get ISO 14001 certified?

There’s a growing body of research that suggests a correlation between environmental performance and financial performance. A first step that any business can take in improving its environmental performance is to attain an ISO 14001 certification. This ISO standard is the most recognised international standard for environmental management systems and can be applied to any organisation, no matter its size, and regardless of the sector of activity. As certifications go, it really is the de facto standard for accreditation.

How does ISO 14001 work?

The essence of ISO 14001 is that it centres on the relationship between your organisation’s environmental policy, as set by the organisation itself, and a process of continual improvement:

  1. Once your organisation establishes its own, personalised environmental policy, this policy becomes the basis for a plan of action for improving your environmental performance.
  2. After you’ve implemented your plan, you will review its effectiveness – it’s during the review process that you will identify adaptations that can be made to revise your plan to further improve your environmental performance, and then the cycle begins again. It is this concept of a repeating cycle and continual improvement that is at the heart of ISO 14001.

What message does being ISO 14001 certified send to my customers?

Getting ISO 14001 certified publically declares your company’s commitment to environmental excellence. Not only will this bear a positive impact on how your customers view your brand, but it will also boost your image and credibility to suppliers, shareholders, investors, your employees and the public at large.

What are other advantages of ISO 14001?

The other benefits to be felt by attaining this certification include:

  1. You will actively reduce your company’s pollution and waste generation, while lowering your overheads on energy such as heat and light, thereby making it cheaper to run your business and improving your bottom line.
  2. You will establish a competitive edge over rivals in your industry.
  3. You will easily monitor and control the impact of your company’s operations on the environment now and into the future.
  4. By proactively establishing an environmental policy and action plan, you will ensure that you comply with national and international legislation on environmental protection, thereby protecting your company and potentially decreasing public liability insurance costs for your business.

ISO 14001 is a standard that every business, no matter its size, should be implementing right away in order to stay competitive in a world gone green. To learn more about attaining ISO certification, call Global Green Consultancy today on +353 (0)71 9611722 or email us on