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The United Nations Climate Change Conference which started on 30th November and runs to 11th December 2015 will be discussing, amongst other things, the impact industrial development is having on our climate. With the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C, business and governments will be discussing climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the development of renewable energies.

On the 7th and 8th December, as part of the Conference, there will be a business focussed
event. The “Sustainable Innovation Forum” (SIF15), brings together participants from business, Government, finance, UN, NGO and civil society to “bolster business innovation and bring scale to the emerging green economy”.

To add more pressure to the talks, we hear recently that the Chinese government issued a health warning to Beijing residents to stay indoors due to heavy smog.

There would seem to be overwhelming evidence that our climate is warming, with effects such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events. A natural cycle or human impact? Whatever you believe, can we afford to do nothing?

Green_footprintEvery business can help
The recently revised ISO 14001:2015 standard can help to reduce the impact that your operations may have on the environment. This is a global standard with certifications in 171 countries. The standard provides a framework for organisations to meet the challenges of climate change.
The benefits go further than improving the environment for all of us; they can deliver tangible benefits for your organisation:
  • Meet legal obligations
  • Engage employees
  • Improve performance through efficiencies
  • Reduce waste and increasing recycling
  • Provide cost savings
  • Increase profits
  • Enhance brand image

ISO 14001 certification and implementation can have a significant effect on an organisations profitability and performance. By adopting an effective energy management system you will gain a competitive advantage and contribute towards the climate change challenges the world will face in the future.

 
Companies continue to be vulnerable to hackers with the latest cyber attack affecting TalkTalk. This follows a number of other high profile incidents in 2015.

Breaches like these are not limited to large companies; small businesses are just as vulnerable. The latest report from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills - “2014 Information Security Breaches Survey” found that although security breaches were slightly down from 2013, the overall costs to deal with incidents was up:

81% of large organisations had a security breach (down from 86%* a year ago)

60% of small businesses had a security breach (down from 64%* a year ago)


£65k - £115k is the average cost to a small business of its worst security breach of the year (up from £35 - £65k a year ago)

Full survey available from https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads

Cyber_security_policyISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS)
Every business should be taking precautions and assessing the risks of cyber crime by putting in place a written security policy.

The ISO 27001 information security standard is one way of protecting your business from future attacks. Certification will introduce a management structure to identify risks to your business. It will also establish a plan to recover from a breach should the worst happen.

Taking precautions to prevent a breach before it happens is more cost effective than recovering from an incident given the fact that costs for dealing with events are continuing to increase.

Direct costs to get your business back on track after a breach are not the only implications. Reputation with clients, compensation pay outs and, as in the case of TalkTalk, a drop in their share value, could have a devastating effect on the future of a business.

Certification provides peace of mind and demonstrates your company’s commitment to security of information.

 
ISO_CertificationCertification to any of the ISO standards provides tangible benefits for your organisation. If you want to grow your business, increase profits and operate more efficient working practices, achieving certification will help, as well as giving you an edge over your competitors.

Whether you operate locally or globally, the standards are recognised worldwide and are relevant to all sizes of business.

Other benefits include:
  • Improved internal processes and efficiency
  • Reduced waste resulting in environmental benefits and cost savings
  • Increased sales
  • Better access to new markets
  • Industry expert consultants providing guidance

Next steps

When choosing a certification body, it is worth pointing out that you should check they are UKAS accredited. UKAS has government recognition and is licensed by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). You can be sure to receive the most appropriate advice by choosing a UKAS accredited certification body. Your long-term success could be undermined if you use an independent evaluation service.

Continual improvement

After successfully completing your first audit, your assessor will set up a process to monitor and improve systems and arrange regular (six monthly or annual) surveillance visits.

These visits will ensure your management systems remain effective and continue to meet the standard.
Ongoing checks will help to maintain your conformity and make your next certification renewal assessment run as smoothly as possible.

To find out more call ACS Registrars (a UKAS Accredited Certification Body - No. 0229).

 
Many businesses operate quite successfully without being ISO certified; however in today’s crowded market place, being certified by a UKAS accredited certification body can give you a competitive edge. It may even be a requirement before you can start the relationship.

Goldfish_jumping_continual_improvementFor example, if you are looking to access new markets, getting certified will give potential customers confidence in your management systems and your ability to meet their requirements. The standards are international and are therefore recognised across global markets.

When you have a robust management system in place, your business will be able to streamline operations and improve productivity that will help to increase profits.

By assessing risks from natural disasters, accidents, cyber-crime or mismanagement, you will be able to mitigate their impact on your business.

Environmental disasters get much more publicity these days and keeping ahead of regulations and legislation is more important than ever. Demonstrating your commitment to reducing the impact that your operations have on the environment will enhance your reputation with your employees and customers.

There are a wide range of international standards available for organisations of all types and sizes and you can select the most relevant for your business.

The ISO standard or standards that you choose to meet your particular needs will help to meet the everyday challenges and risks faced by all organisations.

These are some of the more popular standards available:
  • ISO 9001     Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001     Environmental Management Systems
  • OHSAS 18001     Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
  • ISO 27001     Information Security Management Systems
  • PAS 43         Safe Working of Vehicle Breakdown and Recovery Operators
  • NHSS 17     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery at Highway Construction Sites
  • NHSS 17b     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery and Removal on Controlled Roads
  • PAS 80         Automotive Garage Services - Service and Repair of Vehicles
  • HACCP         Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems

The benefits to businesses are wide ranging and will provide a management system and structure that will help your business to become more efficient and sustainable.

Do you need ISO certification? Call us for a free, no obligation discussion to find out which ISO standard you need for your business. We are a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

 

megabus_italyLeading international transport operator Stagecoach Group launched a new network of inter-city coach services in Italy in June 2015 under its megabus.com brand as part of continuing expansion across mainland Europe.

The new network, launched by Italy's Deputy Transport Minister Riccardo Nencini, links 13 destinations across the country with bargain fares from just €1. The major new network of inter-city coach services covers Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Turin, Bologna, Verona, Padua, Siena, Genoa, Sarzana (La Spezia) and Pisa. As part of its commitment to high standards of customer service, megabus.com has invested in an €11million fleet of 23 state-of-the-art coaches offering free Wifi, power sockets, air conditioning and toilets.

In addition to boosting public transport, tourism and the economy, megabus.com is investing in Italy by creating around 100 new jobs through the opening of new bases near Milan and in Florence.

megabus.com worked with ACS Registrars Ltd on certification to the ISO 9001:2008 quality management system standard to support its entry into the Italian market.

Companies meeting the ISO standard consistently provide products that meet customer needs as well as relevant statutory and regulatory requirements. megabus.com carries more than 15 million passengers a year across Europe and North America. The number of passengers using the company’s growing coach network in Europe is up more than 60% in the past year.