Any business that hopes to go global needs ISO approval. The International Organization for Standardization has created demanding criteria to identify quality work.
They created ISO standards out of a need to get manufacturers throughout the world on the same page. Customers wanted the confidence that regardless of origin, a product meeting ISO standards was, in fact, universally accepted as advertised.
These standards vary from product line to product line and industry sector to industry sector. So, for example, a French manufacturer is assured the valves it imports from the U.S. meet international standards.
ISO standards require manufacturing processes that are efficient, safe, and clean. Although demanding, the standards contribute to continuous improvement processes, leaner management, and environmentally sustainable work. In these ways, ISO benefits employers, employees, and customers.
ISO awards a Certificate as “applicable to any organization that wishes to establish, implement, maintain and improve an environmental management system, to assure itself of conformity with its stated environmental policy, and to demonstrates conformity with ISO 14001:2004.”
The standards expect the business to demonstrate that it controls waste and pollution. Specifically, the business must plan, implement, document, and continuously improve their Environmental Management System (EMS). ISO defines the extensive data and documentation required to support the company’s claim.
How It Works
An ISO 14001 Certificate recognizes that a steel stamping business like Weiss-Aug “operates at the highest standard controlling risks associated with metal stamping, insert molding and assembly.”
Qualifying for the Certificate requires the business to reduce energy usage, expenditures on other resources, and environmental liability and risk. This also demands compliance with regulatory agencies.
[pullquote]Making this work starts at the top with the proven support of the business’s most senior leadership.[/pullquote] Designated planners set about identifying environmental impacts specific to the business. In conjunction with identified compliance expectations, the ISO leader must develop targets and objectives.
The leadership pushes accountabilities to teams that identify authorities, resources, roles, and responsibilities to ensure accountability for training, communication, and engagement of all stakeholders.
They implement documentation and documentation control procedures that reflect the development and implementation of operational controls along with a system to check, assess, and revise processes and corrective action. Even processes outsourced to third parties such as Dharma B2B credit card services will be noted.
Benefits Of ISO 14001
David Wharton, reporting for the Los Angeles Times, writes, “The ISO certification involves more than environmental issues. It also takes into consideration social responsibility, cooperation with the public sector and ethical governance.”
IBM cites the benefits of ISO 14001 as “Providing a framework for a systematic and integrated approach for environmental management which allows the EMS to become part of the fabric of the organization’s business [and] promoting sound environmental management which becomes a means of doing business and not an end in and of itself.”
Earning the Certificate is good for the business’s image and credibility. It assures customers of quality products and a reduced environmental footprint. And, in addition to that image building, it improves market share and community relations.
Certification, directly and indirectly, forces compliance with regulatory requirements. In getting there and staying there, ISO involves all employees in ownership, calling on them to identify, monitor, and document issues, good and bad.
The changed business system improves cost controls as well as the environment nearby. Given the expense, time, and effort put into the program, it’s hard to see the cost benefit at the start, but, in the long run, the ISO method comes to lower costs of production, material resources, energy, non-compliance, cleanup, remediation, and employee turnover.
The thoroughness of the process improves data collection that reveals information previously ignored or unknown. That news justifies and continues the process. By designing and regenerating processes, the system sustains the environment and business growth. – For more business-related advice, click here!
Author Bio: Mike Carroll is a freelance contributor to Towering SEO and OutreachMama who helps businesses find their audience online through research, content copy, and white papers. He frequently writes about management, marketing, and sales with customized outreach for digital marketing channels and outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.