What is ISO 14001 and Why is it Important?

Posted by

Ruth Singleton

on 01 Nov 2021


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

What is ISO 14001 & why is it important?

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).

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 you should get ISO 14001 certified

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.

Investors are starting to demand action

In September 2020, the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, announced that it had voted 55 times against directors at 49 different firms for not taking enough steps to tackle climate change in the previous 12 months.

In January 2020, Blackrock pledged to come down hard on firms that failed to appropriately deal with the climate crisis and said that it would vote against them at annual shareholder meetings.

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 to choose an ISO 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.

ESG E-learning Course

Why Skillcast values ISO 14001 certification

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.

Our EMS plans for the future

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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Want to learn more about compliance?

Our comprehensive compliance roadmaps help you navigate compliance. We also have searchable compliance glossaries for those new to the topic, and we regularly report on key compliance fines.

If you’d like to stay up to date with compliance best practices, industry insights and key trends across regulatory compliance, digital learning, EdTech and RegTech news, subscribe to the Skillcast Compliance Bulletin.

You can follow our ongoing YouGov research into compliance issues, attitudes and risk perceptions in the UK workplace through our Compliance Insights blogs.

For a one-stop compliance training solution, try our best-selling Compliance Essentials Course Library and award-winning LMS.

Last but not least, we have 80+ free compliance training aids, including best practice guides, checklists, desk-aids, eBooks, games, handouts, posters, training presentations, webinars and even e-learning modules!

If you’ve any questions or concerns about compliance or e-learning, please get in touch.

We are happy to help!

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