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ISO14001 – the Environmental Standard. What is it?


ISO9001 is well established as the standard for Quality Management. Used by companies globally to give a guarantee that they are operating to truly international standards that will be recognised anywhere in the world. Proven to help companies be more profitable, to be more structured and systematized, to give confidence to shareholders, customers and anyone who deals with them, accreditation to ISO9001 can open doors that have previously been closed.





But what about ISO14001 for Environmental Standards? Is it really necessary? Well, more and more companies are asking to see Environmental Policies; companies are beginning to take the environment seriously; as we know, the government are legislating for it. Like it or not, environmental issues are here to stay. Whoever thought that internal combustion engines would be phased out for cars in a mere 10 years?


And this is where ISO14001 comes in. it proves to your customers, your stakeholders, your employees, that you are doing something about preserving the environment. It can save you endless hours filling in the environment section for pre-quote qualifying companies such as Achilles, it can make tendering for jobs easier, it can open new avenues of business. And guess what, it can even save you money! As non-environmentally friendly products become more expensive or attract a higher tax and as you cut down on waste, so profit margins will go up giving a better ‘bottom-line’.


So, is it complicated? Some people would like to make it that way, but it doesn’t need to be. Yes, you may have to keep some records, but it’s the very keeping of those records and analysing them that will show where you can help save the environment – and money. And with buy-in from your staff, everyone feels they are doing their bit to help.


As it’s not complicated it’s easy to integrate into your way of doing things – the way you do them already. Qualiform, whether it’s for ISO9001, 14001 or 45001 (Health & Safety), always try and work the standard into your way of operating, not the other way. If you already have ISO9001, ISO14001 becomes an add on. All the clauses of the standard are in the same order which makes integration ultra-smooth.


Once you have decided to go ahead, Qualiform can get everything set up for you, apart from your data. Once everything is established, we call in an external accreditor (it has to be independent and UKAS are the only institution in the UK that is permitted by ISO to appoint accreditation bodies), who do 2 audits. The first is to establish that the system complies, and the second to ensure that the practice complies. After that, there’s just one external audit a year.


If you haven’t already got ISO9001, you may like to consider doing both at the same time and saving money.

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