As we are well aware, there is growing recognition that the natural environmental and social factors will limit or constrain the ability of businesses to create value now and in the future. This is evident in the numerous natural disaster, resource depletion (which have been escalated by human activities) and hostilities of host communities – These therefore make Sustainability a strategic business issue in a bid to averting Environmental and Social Risk Issues.
It is no longer news that businesses today are facing extraordinary demands from stakeholders to identify/report/reduce their negative environmental and social impact. Such stakeholders include (but not limited to) customers, financiers, government agencies, host communities and even competitors.
There now lies an opportunity for businesses and professionals alike to implement best practice sustainability processes to address the growing concerns around Environmental and Social issue.
One of the easiest ways to demonstrate organizational commitment to Business Sustainability is by adopting a management systems approach to Environmental and social Risk. A management system (which is a risk-based process) is an approach to doing business in line with globally accepted standards. Management systems are a set of interrelated elements of an organisation to establish policies and objectives, and processes to achieve those objectives.
One of such management systems is ISO 14001 standard. This sets a road-map for an Environmental Management Systems as a pathway to Sustainability in Business.
ISO 14001 is used by over 300,000 organization worldwide to support environmental management and can be used to support companies (of any size) in addressing strategic business issues relating to the environment.
We have carefully highlighted eight (8) reasons (just a few from numerous reasons) why it is essential that organizations (across sectors, and of different sizes) implement Environmental Management System (EMS) framework and thereafter pursue certification of the framework in line with ISO 14001.
- One of the key reasons to implement Environmental management system & pursue ISO 14001 certification is that it provides assurance for clients (potential and existing), investors and employees thereby improving corporate image, credibility and fosters business continuity.
- A well-implemented Environmental Management system entails that a process would be in place to ensure that your organization understands and complies with environmental regulations.
- EMS as a risk-management-based system aids the identification of cost savings, particularly in your resource usage (natural resources, waste and energy management etc) and reduce environmental impact across your value chain.
- A well-implemented Environmental management system ensures ISO 14001 provides a framework to monitor and control the interactions between your operations and the environment (Environmental Aspects).
- It clearly gives more leadership responsibilities and empowerment to sustainability professionals across the organization.
- Improves the environmental performance of your supply chain
- Potentially reduce the costs of public liability insurance for your organization.
- An EMS helps to improve employee engagement through improved communications as expected by the Management System.
These are just some of the benefits of using a robust environmental management system to streamline processes. A robust Environmental Sustainability Framework would help your company stand out from the competition, which can lead to increased sales.
Sustainability is not just about managing risk, it is about identifying opportunities where a commitment to sustainability can help you and your business thrive.