A recent article in the Guardian (30th October 2018) stopped me in my tracks and made me aware of the damage we have already done, not just from plastic waste, but also from our consumption of food and resources and ever-increasing global population.
“Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.”
Report by World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
As Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF, said “we are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff”.
It is difficult to know where to start; the problem is immense and global. However, if every company initiated an environmental management system (EMS), making changes such as reducing waste and packaging, it would be a start.
One of the most recognised environmental management systems is ISO 14001.
Is ISO 14001 certification the answer for your business?
Whether you decide ISO 14001 is suitable for your company or not, every business can help by communicating to employees the importance of limiting the use of plastics.
I came across a website full of great suggestions for reducing plastic in the workplace, from active participation in events to asking suppliers to reduce plastic packaging. See the bottom of this article for the website link.
If you are looking for something a bit more structured combined with the support that will bring additional benefits to your company in the form of cost savings, ISO 14001 certification may be the answer. It will provide your business with a framework to improve environmental management systems and demonstrate your commitment to the environment.
The standard is suitable for companies of all sizes and industry sectors and the certification to the standard will include:
- A plan for procedures and controls.
- Employee engagement and training.
- Targets for waste reduction.
- A risk management and control framework to minimise the impact of your operations on the environment.
- Continuous improvement, recording and monitoring.