News & Commentary on ISO Management System Standards

    ISO 14001 and achieving Net Zero

    Graphic asking if Net Zero is fact or fiction and asking how one can contribute to it.

    The continual improvement of an Environmental Management System offers a progressive, effective, and affordable way to eliminate your organization’s impact on Planet Earth.

    As the world grapples with climate change, businesses and organizations 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 organizations achieve this goal?

    How ISO 14001 help organizations achieve net-zero emissions

    ISO 14001 is an international standard that provides a framework for organizations to manage their environmental impact. It sets out requirements for an EMS, a systematic approach to identifying, controlling, and monitoring an organization’s environmental impact. The standard is designed to be flexible and adaptable, making it suitable for organizations of all sizes and sectors.

    One of the key benefits of ISO 14001 is that it helps organizations identify and manage their environmental risks and opportunities. Organizations can identify areas where they can reduce their environmental impact and improve their sustainability by conducting an environmental review. In addition, ISO 14001 requires organizations to set environmental objectives and targets, which can be used to track progress and measure success.

    Net-zero emissions mean an organization 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 organization’s operations and supply chain.

    ISO 14001 provides a framework for organizations to identify and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Organizations 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 organizations to set targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, which can be used to track progress and measure success.


    View ISO 14001 Lead Implementer Course


    But achieving net-zero emissions is not just about reducing emissions.

    It also requires organizations 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 organizations to incorporate these methods into their environmental management system. For example, organizations can set targets for increasing their use of renewable energy or investing in reforestation projects. By including these targets in their EMS, organizations 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 organizations 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 organization 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 organizations to consider their supply chain when identifying their environmental impact. Organizations 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.

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    Addressing the Impact of Climate Change

    In addition to reducing emissions and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, achieving net-zero emissions also requires organizations 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 organizations identify and manage the risks associated with climate change. By conducting a climate risk assessment, organizations 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 organizations 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 organization 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, organizations can proceed in a planned manner and with objective measurement not only to aspire to Net Zero but to actually achieve it!


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    deGRANDSON Global is an ISO Certified Educational Organization

    New call-to-actionIn 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  …

    • ISO 21001, Educational Organizational Management System,
    • ISO 29993, Learning Services outside formal Education,  and
    • ISO 29994, Learning Services – additional requirements for Distance Learning.

    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.


    Written by Dr John FitzGerald

    Director & Founder of deGRANDSON Global. Spent 15 years in the manufacturing industry and 25 years training, consulting & auditing management systems
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