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Environmental Management System

EMS Implementation – What are the benefits for Protective Packaging Ltd?

As move towards the implementation of our ISO14001 2015 Environmental Management system, we need to take a step back to remind ourselves why we are putting the effort into setting up a system to comply with the requirements. Logically, with all the pressure being applied to industry, especially in the plastics sector, it is, surely the correct thing to do. Any improvements we can drive forward that benefits the current state of the environment will aid the planets recovery. However, what is in for Protective Packaging Ltd.

 

Here we dissect the benefits for the business:

 

Image and Credibility

If contracts, tenders or any future business requires an ISO 14001 certification, then this is an obvious benefit. But, even if it is not a formal requirement, very often our customers, neighbours, and local community will be interested in how we care for the environment around us. Increasingly, end users are concerned about the environmental practices of their external providers that produce the products they use. One way we can assure all of these groups that we are committed to managing our environmental impacts is to demonstrate an effective environmental management system which not only identifies those impacts, but also mitigates the most serious effects. This can enhance our image, help us maintain a good public image and improve community relations – which can help improve our market share with these interested parties.

 

Legal Obligation

One of the most important benefits that can be derived from implementing ISO 14001 is for us to provide a system for identifying, monitoring and complying with the various environmental legislation and regulation that applies to our processes. Naturally, we try to follow all applicable laws before implementing an environmental management system, but the system itself can aid in maintaining our compliance. Additionally, implementation will demonstrate to all interested parties that we care about the environment, and have a proven framework for identifying and complying with the various legal, regulatory and contractual requirements, thus boosting our image and credibility.

 

Improvement in cost control

Everyone wants to reduce costs – this is a fact of life in today’s world economy – but how does an environmental management system assist with cost control? This will occur  by using PPL`s system to identify, control, and reduce the number of environmental incidents that occur, which can cost our company through liability costs of fines, clean-up, and reparations. Also, we can use the improvement aspect of the environmental management system to help reduce costs by working to conserve the energy and input materials required by PPL`s processes.

Improved success in implementing change

When trying to make the improvements outlined above, it is important to ensure we are working with good, accurate data, which is a fundamental element of the ISO 14001 2015 standard. When putting these improvement activities in place, we can greatly increase the chances of a success the first time by tracking the improvement through good data collection – and even if the initiative goes off target, we can pick it up again at an earlier stage and correct problems and get back on track sooner. Thus, saving further time and money.

Rapid process improvements

The element of continual improvement that is integral to the ISO 14001 requirements can be used to help the organization to move from small, specific improvements towards greater enhancements in our organizational processes. Through these systematic processes, we can build our public image and reduce our costs, however, by continuing to improve this process, it will assist our employees to find new and improved ways to reduce our environmental impact and save time and resources as we improve the processes. When people are involved in a culture that utilises them to work toward common goals of improvement, they are more engaged overall.

Improve employee retention

Employees who are “involved” in company improvements tend to be more engaged in other aspects of the company. Given a choice between working for a company that shows a concern for the environment around it and one that doesn`t, most people would prefer the company showing the concern. Employees engaged in a group effort to reduce the company’s environmental footprint will often have an increased employee focus and retention, and it is easier and less expensive to retain employees than it is to recruit and train new employees. So, every pound spent on helping employees become more engaged is worth more in savings for the training and recruitment functions.

Summary

The main reason to implement an environmental management system using the ISO 14001 requirements is to help the environment by causing less of a negative impact and reducing a company`s environmental footprint. While this remains true, some companies can still find it difficult to defend the monetary expenditures required to implement change. However, it can be easier to justify the cost of making these improvements by focusing on these other benefits that can go beyond the simple ideals of environmental stewardship and focus more on the long-term advantages for the business of implementing an environmental management system.

 

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