Why ISO14001:2015 is a perfect fit for manufacturing

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Companies across all industries are transitioning to the new ISO14001:2015 standard. With a focus on decreasing risk and maximising opportunities across the entire supply chain and product lifecycle, minimising energy and getting input from across the business, this popular environmental management system (EMS) standard is particularly beneficial for manufacturers.

One of the best ways to learn is from peers, which is why EEF is hosting regional ‘hubs’ across the UK for managers from different organisations to learn from each other’s 14001 endeavours.

To get started on the business case for transitioning to the 2015 standard sooner rather than later, here are a few ways ISO14001 empowers manufacturing leaders to drive positive change at their companies.

Increased risk, increased reward

A huge motivator amongst forward-thinking manufacturers for transitioning to ISO14001:2015 is to reduce risk. Since manufacturing is one of the industries most often affected by environmental legislation and fines (due to having a direct impact on pollution and resource use), this sector bears a higher burden of direct regulatory risk.

The new standard goes a step further by looking at the entire supply chain and life cycle of a product.

ISO14001 helps minimise this risk by encouraging companies to identify all potential threats, as well as opportunities for improvement, and create appropriate policies to match. The new standard goes a step further by looking at the entire supply chain and life cycle of a product. This expanded scope helps manufacturers effectively address risks throughout the value chain and make vital proactive improvements.

 

Get people talking

Another benefit of ISO14001:2015 for manufacturers is that is gets a variety of job roles around the table. Often the best ideas come from bringing together individuals with different perspectives on the same issue and breaking down silos. In the new standard, everyone from the purchasing manager to HR managers are involved in discussions.

 

Real life example

In early discussions with companies readying their transition to the 2015 standard, we’ve already seen how the new standard has particular benefits to manufacturers. Recently, we visited a metal fabricator in East Anglia to kick-off their transition. In the process, we met with the financial director and purchasing manager and realised that, due to internal silos and an incomplete understanding of the complex tax systems, the company was actually double paying for its energy tax, once to a corporate head office and once to an energy tax scheme that an exemption was available for.

Author

Health, Safety and Sustainability Consultant

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