COP26 and Business : Climate Change considerations for companies

The eyes of the world are currently trained on Glasgow as they host the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). This has brought to our attention the need to reduce our carbon emissions and become more sustainable in the workplace. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges in our lives as well as our children’s. We all need to assess and look closer at not only the way we live personally, but how we operate commercially and re-evaluate our working processes to see how we can change and improve our environmental impact. Businesses will play a pivotal role in reducing carbon footprints and doing their part in tackling climate change.

The ISO 14001:2015 Standard has been, for some time now, the Standard of choice for organisations to implement within their organisation in order to manage their environmental impacts. It clearly defines and establishes controls to reduce your company’s environmental impact as a result of your everyday operations. You must set your company targets and objectives and continually improve your processes to reduce both your carbon footprint and meet legislative compliance. By having third party certification you are showing your staff, suppliers and customers that you are actively improving your operational processes in line with the requirements of ISO 14001:2015. In some instances, industries will find that there is a requirement within tendering and pre-qualifying questionnaires and in others it may be the difference between winning or losing a contract by showing commitment to environmental issues above your competitors.

When an organisation implements the requirements of ISO 14001:2015, it not only demonstrates corporate responsibility but also reduces expenditure by looking at more cost effective and environmentally friendly processes. Continual improvement is at the heart of all ISO Standards and focuses on the most efficient, effective and productive way of supplying your product of service to the market. During the pandemic and lockdowns of 2020 some reports show that carbon emission only reduced by 5.4%, however the target set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement was 7.6%. As industries are bouncing back, we must not overlook our environmental impact and look to set targets and objectives in order to play our part in tackling this Global issue.

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