The Queensland government has a framework of legislation in place that businesses must comply with to ensure the protection of the State’s environment, land and water resources.
The main piece of legislation is the Environmental Protection Act 1994, which puts responsibility on the general public, businesses and government bodies to take all reasonable steps to protect our environment.
And under the Act it is an offence to cause damage to the environment, with perpetrators facing very large fines, or even a prison sentence.
As Queensland organisations should have in place management plans to control their impact on the environment, it just seems one more logical step to seek ISO 14001 environmental management system certification.
Environmental Management System
The latest version of this International Standard, ISO 14001:2015, establishes sound criteria for an environmental management system, and has been taken up by organisations in more than 170 countries around the world.
ISO 14001 environmental management system certification brings many benefits to businesses, not least ensuring that they comply with all aspects of the Environmental Protection Act, thus avoiding fines or a prison term.
That in itself should be enough to convince businesses of its importance!
However, if they still need persuading, there are many more benefits to be had, including improved company image and reputation, probably increase in customers, reduced environmental risk, and cost savings on resources, energy and waste.
Business Edge Over Competitors
An additional advantage in our competitive world is that ISO 14001 environmental management system certification can give a business an edge over its competitors – particularly when bidding for Government tenders.
And, of course, there is also the feel-good factor of knowing you are doing the right thing, something your employees, customers and community will thank you for.
Luckily, excellent environmental management systems training in Queensland is available in Brisbane, with organisations such as Standard Consulting offering all services, from conception to certification.
Improve Your Environmental Credentials
Increasingly, such consultancies are seeing their clients benefitting from the ‘green’ dollar. In other words, by improving their environmental credentials, these companies are able to compete in the highly competitive eco sector.
A study by Nielsen showed that 55% of global online consumers across 60 countries would pay more for products and services provided by organisations committed to positive environmental and social impact.
This consumer behaviour is on the rise, despite a tightening on spending, highlighting how important this issue is to shoppers.
Around 52% of those surveyed said their purchases were partly influenced by the packaging of a product, and they checked for sustainability and social impact.
Promoting Sustainable Actions
Nielsen also reviewed retail sales data from March 2014 onwards, and revealed an average annual sales increase of 2% for products claiming sustainability on the packaging, and an increase of 5% on products from companies promoting sustainability actions through their marketing.
When ISO 14001 environmental management system certification is achieved, organisations have the right to display certification logos on their websites and marketing materials. This not only helps attract more customers, but can also help to attract and retain high grade employees.
International Standards are regularly reviewed to reflect changes in the global market, and the 2015 revision places great emphasis on organisations using environmental management systems and certification to ensure compliance with the law.
Best Environmental Practice
The revision also places greater importance on the role of management in ensuring compliance and day-to-day best environmental practice.
This is put to the test during environmental auditing, a necessary action to achieve and retain certification.
As part of their environmental management systems training in Queensland, many companies choose to appoint and train ISO 14001 internal auditors. This is a very smart move.
By having its own environmental management system internal auditor, an organisation can ensure all procedures and policies are working well and achieving the desired outcome. With something as important as environmental protection, this is crucial, as any breakdown in the system could have disastrous effects on the environment.
Changes in ISO 14001 also reflect a new direction. The Standard has always been concerned with how organisations reduce their impact on the environment, through better use of energy and resources, and reduced waste and pollution. But the Standard has widened its brief to measure the impact of an organisation’s products on the environment.
Products that help reduce environment impact give an organisation a major point of difference over competitors.
To achieve certification, an organisation will also be audited by a third party to ensure compliance with the Standard. The auditor will not only look at the environmental management system in place, but also the ethos of the organisation.
Choosing The Right Trainer
All staff need to be on-board with the management system and fully understanding its requirements and aims, which brings us back to training.
Getting the right environmental management systems training in Queensland for your organisation is crucial. Always seek a provider that is experienced in International Standards, and preferably Exemplar Global-certified. It is also advisable to choose a training provider whose consultants are not only well qualified, but also experienced across all major industries.