Developing business and saving the planet

“The environment has no borders, so we all need to show that we are acting responsibly for the future of the planet,” says Michael Bright of international standards expert IMSM (Stand D22).

Effective environmental management is becoming ever more critical to business success. Taking environmental responsibilities seriously can contribute to a positive reputation, improved business efficiencies and better financial performance, especially through more effective use of materials and energy. It is apparent that the combination of business benefits coupled to ever-more stringent legislation, both at home and overseas, is driving subcontracting businesses to take their environmental responsibilities very seriously – and this is contributing to a more sustainable approach in the commercial world.

Michael Bright continued, “In the global economy, many manufacturers are sourcing products and parts from around the world, which is also their new marketplace. It is no longer possible to ignore the emerging economies of China and India, the impact of technologies that allow faster communication and world wide networks, or the increasing strength and demands of the customer, wherever they are located. With more than 10 years’ experience of helping businesses achieve ISO standards, we are finding, both at home and in export markets, that these standards provide an effective mechanism for developing business”.

“As supply chains become more complex and fragmented, businesses need to have a documented system of operating procedures, such as ISO9001 (Quality Management) and ISO14001 (Environmental Management). This tells customers that a business has documented what they do, follows that set of procedures, reviews them regularly, and can prove it by external auditing. It is one way to demonstrate efficiency, and build up trust with customers, wherever in the world they are.”

A well conceived, Environmental Management System (EMS) can provide an integrated approach to managing environmental performance and meet environmental regulations. ISO Certification recognises a commitment to environmental standards. Add to this the benefits of a host of energy and other incidental savings that come as a direct result of a sensible EMS, and ISO certification provides a very persuasive package.

“For large organisations it is, perhaps, easier to adopt environmental standards, like those set out in ISO 14001. However, most of the businesses we deal with need expertise which provides the benefits at an affordable price, with the minimum of disruption, and within an agreed time period” he continued. “We are seeing increasing pressure as national legislation is tightened. For example, minimum recycling targets for packaging waste are being raised, and the recovery target for packaging waste is also under review.”

It is just this combination of environmental expertise, ISO knowledge and both UK and overseas experience that can really deliver total environmental control and compliance for smaller companies. The introduction of a structured approach also contributes to a more efficient business, and IMSM clients have been able to meet stringent environmental standards, as well as improve their bottom line.

As a recent customer noted, “ISO 14001 brings us a distinct competitive advantage. We are a small business with a vision of continued and sustainable growth. We want to be viewed by our customers and our own suppliers as different, and as a company that can help deliver service excellence and deliver value.”

Subcon 2008