One of the top questions business execs have about any environmental initiative is: “How much is it going to cost me?” Of course, leaders should also ask: “What are the long terms benefits and payback?” But understanding any initial costs is vital for budgeting purposes.
For businesses transitioning to the new ISO14001 standard, there are a variety of factors that affect the costs of achieving certification through this environmental management system. With careful planning and expert guidance, businesses can keep costs (including staff time) to a minimum.
Calculate your payback
Why do you want ISO14001:2015? Is it to win a particular tender with a client who requires certification? Then make sure the tender is significant enough to justify the costs. Conversely, if you are looking to manage long-term compliance risks and avoid fines, there is a longer (but potentially larger) payback.
It’s all about priorities. Before setting off on your 14001 journey, make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish, ensure it’s realistic and don’t invest in capital upgrades or process changes that won’t achieve your goals.
You probably already have a head start on achieving ISO14001 without realising it. Most companies have some programmes in place that could bolster their 14001 certification. It’s just a matter of auditing existing measures and upcoming plans to ensure these are properly documented.
By starting the planning process early, environmental managers can involve individuals from various parts of the business to support new programmes and initiatives. ‘Spreading the load’ of work is one way to ensure programme success and effectively manage staff time spent on 14001.
Bring in an expert early
An environmental consultant with expertise in achieving or transitioning to ISO14001:2015 can help companies avoid costly mistakes and identify ways to achieve significant savings. Here are a just a few ways they can help:
- Establish a realistic budget, payback and work plan for the purposes of a business case for management approval
- Bring together various parties within the company to break down communication silos and make sure existing and new programmes are accounted for and managed effectively
- Help identify quick, efficient and affordable fixes to problems uncovered by the auditor
- Put a training programme in place for those who will be involved in 14001 certification
ISO14001 brings many immediate and long-term benefits, but minimising costs requires advanced planning and an experienced hand. Don’t wait to start your transition plan; get in touch with our environmental consultants to discuss your specific situation and challenges.