ISO 14001 accreditation

ISO 14001 is the de facto global standard for Environmental Management Systems. Being accredited to this standard means that an organisation is committed to reducing its environmental impact and has been independently certified as so doing.

In the main, it has been large manufacturing companies that have implemented this standard. This is to be expected, as manufacturing can generate hazardous waste, plus air and water pollution and, thus, minimising these impacts is seen as an important goal. Large multinationals have this standard and, in general, require their suppliers to also have such management systems. Again, this is to be expected - there is no point having a clean manufacturing process, but then use sub contractors with dirty processes.

The pressure on sub contractors to have ISO 14001 is the usual driving force for Irish industry. For many UK public sector tenders, bidders can be disqualified for not having ISO 14001. Whilst economic activity across Europe is flat, there are significant UK public sector contracts that should be of interest to Irish manufacturers. These include the London Cross Rail project (valued at nearly 20 billion) and the now approved second high-speed rail line (HS2) linking London and Birmingham (valued at nearly 40 billion).

These projects dwarf anything currently available domestically or elsewhere in Europe and, therefore, participation in these projects is a must for Irish firms who want to survive the recession. Gaining ISO 14001 is an essential first step, as to not have this means disqualification from tendering.

Environmental Efficiency has been helping Irish manufactory industry gain ISO 14001 for over ten years in addition to being able to assist companies with grant assistance from Enterprise Ireland. Environmental Efficiency has now gone one step further and gained ISO 14001 accreditation for itself.

Bob Sutcliffe, Technical Director at Environmental Efficiency, describes this as "practicing what we preach".

At first sight, it would seems that an environmental consultancy would have little in the way of environmental impacts. However, on closer inspection, there are a range of environmental impacts - ranging from use of acids and other hazardous chemicals during air monitoring, use of batteries for portable instruments, disposal of contaminated water from bund testing, disposal of test samples, end-of-life electrical equipment and so on.

Having gained ISO 14001 itself means that Environmental Efficiency can advise and assist clients in achieving the same standard with confidence as they have done it themselves - that is, they are 'practicing what we preach'.

For further information on how Environmental Efficiency can help you implement ISO 14001 and grant availability, email: [email protected] or visit the company's website


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