What is ISO 14001 & Why is it Important?

Posted by

Ruth Singleton

on 17 Sep 2020

What is ISO 14001 & why is it important?

At Skillcast, we are committed to protecting the environment. That's why we value ISO 14001 certification, which we have maintained consistently since 2010.

About the International Organization for Standardization

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards. Their standards offer solutions and best practices for almost all types of technology and business, helping companies and organizations to increase performance while protecting consumers and the planet.

Developed through global consensus, their standards aim to break down barriers to international trade. Some well-known standards include ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 27001 (information security management).

What is Environmental Management System certification?

This standard allows businesses to set up an EMS that will help them reduce waste, improve resource efficiency and cut the cost of waste management.

ISO 14001 is the International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS). It was designed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to help businesses and other organisations to reduce their environmental impact.

Any business in any sector can implement the ISO 14001 framework and apply for their environmental management plan certification. This makes ISO 14001 one of the most popular standards in the world.

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Why should you get ISO 14001 certification?

Gaining an ISO 14001 certification can be a useful tool to add credibility by demonstrating that your product or service meets the environmental protection expectations of your customers. And for some industries, certification may be a legal or contractual requirement.

Key benefits of ISO 14001:2015 certification

  • Find cost savings - particularly in resource, waste and energy management
  • Improve efficiency - across your product life cycle to reduce environmental impact
  • Improve your corporate credibility - helping to win new customers
  • Quantify, monitor and control - the ongoing environmental impact of your operations
  • Ensure compliance - with environmental legislation to avoid fines and prosecution

How can you choose a certification body?

ISO 14001 recognition is most valuable for organisations in the UK when certified by a UKAS accredited certification body that will independently audit your organisation and provide you with ISO 14001 certification. You can find comparable international bodies through the International Accreditation Forum.

  • Evaluate several certification bodies.
  • Check if the certification body is accredited and uses the relevant CASCO standard.
  • Accreditation is not compulsory but provides independent confirmation of competence.

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Why is ISO 14001 so important to Skillcast?

We specialise in compliance management across Ethics, Sustainability & Governance (ESG).

That means that as well as helping our clients to reduce their impact on the environment through digital learning, we also commit to reducing our own footprint.

As part of our environmental initiatives, we have introduced a new cycle to work scheme, meaning all employees can make the best use of the quieter streets and increased city-wide cycle lanes in London.

Skillcast is a strong proponent of recycling and reducing our consumption as a business, across everything from paper usage to business flights. We have ongoing communications with our landlords to ensure our energy providers have strong green credentials.

All of this ties in well with our focus on employee well-being, which is so closely linked with the working environment. We are proud of our green office space, filled with plants, and are always open to suggestions from our staff about what they’d like to see in a more environmentally conscious approach to office life.

What are our EMS plans?

We appreciate that our own operations, including staff, travel and servers have an environmental impact. Throughout 2020 we were working on making our London operation Climate Neutral, with an ambition to extend this to the whole of Skillcast by the end of 2021.

In recent years pollinator communities have been declining due to land-use changes, including increased urban areas and pesticide use in farming. As a result, planting more flowers to encourage these important pollinators is becoming more important for their continued survival. That's why we sent all of our UK staff a spring flower seed pack in support of #NationalPlantaFlowerDay.

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