The continual improvement of an Environmental Management System offers a progressive, effective, and affordable way to eliminate your organisation’s impact on Planet Earth.
As the world grapples with climate change, businesses and organisations are under increasing pressure to address their environmental impact. One way to do this is by implementing an environmental management system (EMS) that meets the requirements of ISO 14001. But with the push towards net-zero emissions, how can ISO 14001 help organisations achieve this goal?
ISO 14001 is an international standard that provides a framework for organisations to manage their environmental impact. It sets out requirements for an EMS, a systematic approach to identifying, controlling, and monitoring an organisation’s environmental impact. The standard is designed to be flexible and adaptable, making it suitable for organisations of all sizes and sectors.
How ISO 14001 works
One of the key benefits of ISO 14001 is that it helps organisations identify and manage their environmental risks and opportunities. Organisations can identify areas where they can reduce their environmental impact and improve their sustainability by conducting an environmental review. In addition, ISO 14001 requires organisations to set environmental objectives and targets, which can be used to track progress and measure success.
But how does ISO 14001 help organisations achieve net-zero emissions?
Net-zero emissions mean an organisation is not producing more greenhouse gas emissions than it removes from the atmosphere. Achieving this goal requires a comprehensive and coordinated approach to managing emissions across an organisation’s operations and supply chain.
ISO 14001 provides a framework for organisations to identify and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Organisations can identify the sources of their emissions by conducting a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and developing a plan to reduce or offset them. ISO 14001 also requires organisations to set targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, which can be used to track progress and measure success.
But achieving net-zero emissions is not just about reducing emissions.
It also requires organisations to actively remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. This can be achieved through various methods, including reforestation, carbon capture and storage, and renewable energy.
ISO 14001 can help organisations to incorporate these methods into their environmental management system. For example, organisations can set targets for increasing their use of renewable energy or investing in reforestation projects. By including these targets in their EMS, organisations can ensure they are actively working towards achieving net-zero emissions.
Reducing environmental impact in the Supply Chain
Another way that ISO 14001 can help organisations to achieve net-zero emissions is by providing a framework for managing their supply chain. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with a product or service are not limited to the organisation that produces them. They also include the emissions associated with the production and delivery of raw materials, the transportation of the product or service, and the disposal of any waste.
ISO 14001 requires organisations to consider their supply chain when identifying their environmental impact. Organisations can reduce their environmental impact by working with suppliers to reduce the overall greenhouse gas emissions associated with their products and services. This can include setting ecological requirements for suppliers, such as requiring them to report on their greenhouse gas emissions or to use renewable energy.
Addressing the Impact of Climate Change
In addition to reducing emissions and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, achieving net-zero emissions also requires organisations to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This includes preparing for extreme weather events, changing weather patterns, and rising sea levels.
ISO 14001 can help organisations identify and manage the risks associated with climate change. By conducting a climate risk assessment, organisations can identify areas where they are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and develop a plan to mitigate these risks. ISO 14001 also requires organisations to consider the long-term sustainability of their operations, which can include preparing for the impacts of climate change. Some ISO 14001 training is a good place to start. And so...
Over to you
If you already have an ISO 14001-compliant EMS, it’s time to review it to ensure it includes a focus on Net Zero. If not, it’s time to adopt this Standard as a matter of urgency.
The standard provides a proven framework for an organisation to manage its environmental impact and achieve net-zero emissions. By identifying and managing their greenhouse gas emissions, incorporating methods for removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, managing their supply chain and so on, organisations can proceed in a planned manner and with objective measurement not only to aspire to Net Zero but to actually achieve it!
- How to Implement ISO 14001: A 29-Step Guide
- ISO 14001 Free Implementation Handbook (100+ pages)
- How to do an ISO 14001 Gap Analysis
- Environmental Aspects - meeting the ISO 14001 Requirements
deGRANDSON Global is an ISO Certified Educational Organization
In October 2021, we secured certification to three education-related ISO Standards. We now have a university-grade management system in place conforming to the requirements of …
We have chosen ISO 21001 certification because, unlike IRCA and Exemplar badges (which, in our opinion, are commercially compromised), it is based on independent third-party assessment. It is a ‘university grade’ standard in use globally by schools, colleges, and universities to demonstrate their competence.