When it comes to going green, it is highly important that companies consider the effect they have on the environment. Every one of us has a responsibility to the Earth that provides us with food, shelter, warmth and generally allows us to survive. However while we each shoulder that responsibility individually, this is magnified several times over when it comes to large corporations. Companies use more energy, more raw materials, and they influence the lives of many more people. For such businesses, going green needs to be one of their primary concerns.
Thus there are many measures that a company can take and many standards put in place to help regulate how these companies are going green. Case in point – ISO 14000. ISO 14000 is a set of standards that a company can aim to meet in order to be more ecologically aware and to help them go green. By seeking out ISO 14000 accreditation, a company will learn to make better use of its raw materials and energy and this will help it to cut overheads and increase profits. Likewise it will help them to fulfill their moral obligation to going green, and it will create a good impression on potential customers and the media – it’s important PR.
So what do the ISO 14000 standards entail? This is not an environmental management technique, but rather it is a guide that can be applied to any existing environmental management techniques in order to improve them. This is achieved via a system of constant improvement that is known as ‘plan, check, act, do’. By using this continuous improvement, the company will be able to seek out potential problems in its system and then eliminate them so that it can create more efficiency – constantly going green to a greater degree. This is a good system as it means that any company can achieve ISO 14000 status, and the system is applicable to companies of any size. In total over 18,000 companies worldwide have adopted the standard.
It is possible for a company to get ISO 14000 training in order to learn the basic principles, and from here it can then apply for accreditation via a third party organization (not ISO). These organizations will inspect the business for efficiency and will look for flaws in the business strategy. If the company either has no holes, or if it can demonstrate how it is going to deal with non conformance and problems, then it will achieve ISO 14000. This will demonstrate that the business has taken an interest in going green and that it meets a certain level of efficiency.