By Robert Fenn
Sixty-eight percent of companies that use the ISO 14001 standard have either qualified or directly won business thanks to their green credentials. Those are the results of a customer survey carried out on behalf of the British Assessment Bureau, a U.K.-based certification body.
ISO 14001 is a standard with a set of requirements to help create an effective environmental management system (EMS). This allows organizations to benchmark their current performance and set out ways to improve upon it.
This figure was on par with the ISO 9001 quality management standard, which is traditionally seen as a prerequisite when bidding for public-sector contracts. These results show the environment is still firmly on the agenda of the public sector — and the knock-on effect is that going green is also a business winner.
A further 13 percent of respondents said the ISO 14001 certification helped them retain contracts with existing customers. As a result, 81 percent in total cited potential or actual financial rewards.
“As a result of having the ISO 14001, we have maintained a couple of contracts that we wouldn’t have without it,”
DMS Property Maintenance, a U.K.-based grounds care company, said in a statement.
For many years, experts and sustainability advocates built a persuasive argument that considering the environment has advantages beyond simply showing corporate responsibility.
Committing to reduce environmental impact is an opportunity to unite, engage and motivate staff. This improves collaboration, efficiency and staff retention, with the reward of achieving certification to a globally recognized standard as the icing on the cake.
It stands to reason that reviewing and minimizing resource use will reduce costs. Not only are fewer materials used and energy consumed, but there is also less waste to be dealt with as a result.
This is backed up by the results of the British Assessment Bureau’s survey, with 66 percent of respondents citing improved environmental performance and internal processes.
“We have managed to identify a number of costs we weren’t monitoring, and were able to plan a way to reduce them,”
Kentinental Engineering stated.
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Robert Fenn is a Director at the British Assessment Bureau, a U.K.-based Certification Body. Robert is an experienced speaker and writer on sustainability and corporate responsibility within the business world.