Laurel Brunner: ISO 14001-2015 is Go!

iso 14001

Printers and publishers and everyone in their supply chains have a new version of ISO14001 to grapple with. This is one of the world’s leading standard for Environmental Management Systems and it’s being adopted by all types of organisations.

The rationale for going ISO 14001-2015 is simple: control over the environmental impact of your business. But with that control come various other benefits, such as improved cost management, waste reduction, staff engagement and something positive for your marketing people to shout about.

This can be a real benefit in that it attracts tangible new business estimated at over €20,000 per million Euros of turnover. This is in addition to the indirect financial benefits that come with certification to ISO 14001-2015. Certification can cost anywhere from a few hundred Euros up, depending on the readiness of your organisation, its size and the scope of the certification. How much benefit a printer gets from certification is hard to say, but as more and more large entities start specifying it as a requirement, serious consideration of the opportunity cost should be given.

Implementing the new version of ISO 14001 can take a while depending on its complexity, but the average is about a year. Implementation will also be harder and longer for companies coming from a standing start. But the environmental benefits are considerable. For example, Warren Board a paper, board and converting company brought waste down by 41% and reduced landfill waste by 59% following its implementation and sees compliance with ISO 14001 2015 as an extension of its ISO 9001 quality management system.

It’s all in the preparation. Judith Turner of Lloyd’s Register, an auditing outfits, says it takes around three years to fully implement ISO 14001 from scratch. She recommends a six step process: plan, prepare, transition, engage, assess and finally certification. In all of these steps it is important to constantly review what you are doing. Judith’s most important piece of advice is to: “read the standard”, which is astonishing. But apparently many people doing the implementing have never read the standard and are just following guidelines. This is a surefire route to failure!

Management’s role in ISO 14001-2015 is the biggest change. Management needs to demonstrate engagement and include environmental management in the company’s wider strategy. Leadership is at the heart of the Plan-Do-Check-Act model that is fundamental to your management system. Leadership should be driving the planning, support and operations, performance evaluations and improvements, so it’s one of the major differences between ISO 14001-2015 and the old version. It’s about management responsibility and controlling risk. These requirements take ISO 14001 into new territory, hopefully a place where its principles and objectives have a higher profile and broader appeal.

Laurel Brunner


Dit blog wordt mogelijk gemaakt dankzij de bijdrage van: Agfa Graphics (, Digital Dots (, drupa (, EFI (, Fespa (, Heidelberg (, Kodak (, Mondi (, Pragati Offset (, Ricoh (, Shimizu Printing (, Splash PR (, Unity Publishing ( and Xeikon ( is de Nederlandse media-partner van Verdigris, een non-profit initiatief dat de werkelijke voetprint van druk- en printwerk die drukwerk achterlaat eerlijk in kaart wil brengen en dat bedrijven en organisatie steunt om die voetprint te verlagen.
Meer informatie over Verdigris vindt je via deze link.

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Rob van den Braak

Printer’s devil (1964), phototypesetter, offsetprinter, teacher of graphic techniques, salesmanager, productmanager, trade journalist, founder of BlokBoek e-zine (2011). But above all husband, father, friend and lover of life in southern Spain (since 2010).

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