Economic Benefits of ISO14001

ISO 14001 environmental management system is the international standard for environmental management. The standard ensures effective environmental management systems minimise your environmental impacts, help you meet your obligations, licensing conditions and overall lead to improved environmental performance. Implementing a system compliant to ISO 14001 can bring a wide range of benefits to your business but we’ve picked decided to take a look at the economic benefits of ISO14001 certification can have for your business.


A study of four case histories has shown significant economic benefits have accrued by having an effective environmental management system to ISO14001:

  • One company avoided a $70,000 fine because it could demonstrate to the regulator (through it certified EMS) that their systems and processes ensured they had taken all necessary precautions, and their corrective action processes would minimise future occurrences;
  • Another company reduced its recycling rate by more than 95%, reduced or replaced packaging, introduce lead-free soldering and eliminated halogen from one of its manufacturing process;
  • A walk-through programme initiated under another company’s environmental management system identified ultimate savings of 40% on water treatment costs and has led to an energy monitoring system that has the potential to deliver a savings of over 10% on their substantial energy bill.
  • The implementation of an environmental management system for another company identified a 61% saving of electricity during non-operational times and they now sell a waste that was previously sent to landfill.


In addition to the readily measurable benefits, intangible benefits from improved business efficiency accrue simply because there are clearly defined process and procedures and roles and responsibilities: employees know what to do when, by whom and how to do it properly.If your company has an existing quality management system to ISO9001:2008 or a safety management system to AS/NZS 4801:2001, the logical extension to environmental management is easy.


The similarity of ISO 14001:2004 with the other Standards means that typical ‘system’ elements (such as document and records management, management review and internal audit) already implemented will meet the requirements of the environmental management system, thus providing further efficiency and operational dividends.However, one of the biggest benefits of developing and effectively implementing an environmental management system is the benefit to the environment – through reduced pollution, improved efficiencies reduced waste and improved overall awareness.