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ISO 14001 has ended up being perhaps the best Environmental Management System. Globally certified, organizations worldwide have executed this standard to proficiently minimise their impact on the environment while increasing their profits. In any case, what is the historical backdrop of ISO 14001?

Environmental issues have been a subject of discussion going back many years. To tell the historical backdrop of ISO 14001, we should go back to the 1300s. Passing laws by the British parliament against the control of air pollution emanating from the foul smell of the Thames River is one of the first instance we could capture from history. Notwithstanding, the start of environmental management can be followed back to the Industrial Revolution.

The start of Environmentalism

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, public outroar over smoke pouring from the heaps of coal-consuming production lines, alongside the inevitable development of the petroleum industry, prompted robust footing for the “Environmental Movement”. Curiously, most environmental law these days has its starting points at a European or worldwide level. This is because numerous current environmental issues, for example, environmental change, acid deposition, biodiversity misfortune, resources use, and deforestation are results of irresponsible by the consolidated activities of organizations around the world.

The ball truly got going in the 1970s with expanding regulatory pressing factors, negative coverage of non- ethical business practises, costly legal cases, and rising public outcry over the environmental impacts of rapid industrialization. In light of this, few ventures adopted voluntary codes of environmental conduct and environmental auditing which shaped a stage for the Environmental Management System. 

In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (known as the “Brundtland Commission”) published a report called “Our Common Future”, which initially utilized the expression “sustainable development” and approached industries to develop environmental management systems. In 1992 the historic UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, popularly known as the Earth Summit) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil witnessed unprecedented political will and commitment among governments to make a paradigm shift to sustainable development. Acknowledging the twin crises of poverty and the environment.

These included, for instance, the British Standard BS7750 and the French Standard AFNOR X30-200.

Environmental Management Regulation

In 1993 the European Commission created a guideline on environmental management and auditing with the Eco-Management and Audit Regulation (1836/93/EC). This incorporated the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). EMAS set up particulars for voluntary environmental management systems for organizations working together in the European Union. Around a similar time as this, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created a technical committee known as TC 207 to develop a worldwide EMS standard, alongside different national standards related to environmental management. In 1996, ISO published the first standard on Environmental Management System, ISO 14001:2016 (Environmental management systems – specifications and guidance for use). This document specifies requirements for an environmental management system, to enable an organization to formulate a policy and objectives taking into account legislative requirements and information about significant environmental impacts. ISO 14001 Standard has been hailed as the world’s best environmental standard and starting in 2012, there are 300,000 organizations certified across 171 nations, including a large group of high-profile firms. The standard was changed in 2004 and again in 2015.

How could ISO 14001 assist your business?

The benefits of ISO 14001 Certification will not only cater to the environment but will be reflected on your organization. As the mindset of the consumer constantly keeps on changing organizations must understand that following their customer mentality is the way forward to develop their organizations. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a critical part of each business that should be tended to suitably. An Environmental Management System can assist with the CSR of your organization, among different advantages:

  • Increase income through decreasing expenses
  • Reduction of the impact on the environment
  • Consolidate a market position and further open new business sectors
  • Benchmark from your rivals and fortify your relationship with partners and customers.
  • Boost your picture and brand value
  • Improve staff commitment

Executing an Environmental Management System in your organization can be accomplished either by the direction of an Environmental Consultancy or by acquiring the information and certificate through an Environmental Management System course.

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