What has become very clear in the latest International Standards revisions is that the ISO considers it the responsibility of all staff to play a part in making management systems efficient and effective. And rightly so. Only then can businesses achieve their full potential and increase their market share.
This belief is evident in the many different ISO management systems. For example, it’s impossible to achieve quality assurance unless management is leading from the top, and staff on the floor are doing their bit in the manufacturing and sales process.
But perhaps the Standard with the most to gain from full staff cooperation is Environmental Management System ISO 14001. ISO 14001 is used worldwide and is the most recognised environmental management system.
Involving Staff In Green Decisions
Undergoing environmental awareness training is important for everyone within the organisation. It’s no good management trying to make the business more eco-friendly, if the staff are not invested. And it’s pointless staff coming up with good ideas if they don’t receive support from management.
What’s more, staff may not fully understand what ISO 14001 is all about. They may not be aware of important environmental issues, or oblivious to comments from customers regarding eco-friendly products and services.
The first thing environmental awareness training does is outline topical environmental issues to ensure trainees have a basic understanding, and can see how those issues might affect the organisation for which they work. For example, there might be particular legislation the business must abide by, or perhaps management wants to reduce the amount of waste being created.
Understanding An Environmental Audit
Presented in an entertaining and informative way, environmental awareness training might cover energy usage and reduction, waste reduction, use of resources, sustainability, transport and so on. It’s also a good idea to give employees an understanding of how an environmental audit would work, too.
ISO 14001:2015 brings many benefits to an organisation, such as reduced costs (through reduced power use and waste), better resource management and an improved reputation. And if the organisation is benefitting, so will the staff.
It’s easy to mistakenly think that being eco-friendly is just about the obvious actions, like recycling. But there is a lot that we can do to reduce our impact on the environment, both as individuals and as organisations.
Environmental awareness training fosters a sense of connection to the natural world, and highlights how our actions, however small, can have major effects on the planet. It’s an amazing educational tool that only brings good.
When you think about it, it is your staff that set the tone of your organisation; they are the ‘family’, if you like, the people who are there day in and day out, creating routines and behaviours. Involving these people in the process, rather than simply issuing directives, is far more likely to have the desired effect.
Armed with this information, employees can better understand how their actions and decisions affect not only the organisation, but also the environment. It also gives them some ownership of the organisation’s environmental goals and successes.
Keep The Ball Rolling
With the training in place, it is crucial to continue the momentum through excellent internal communication. Does your business have a central notice board that could be used to post information? Is there an internal newsletter? Perhaps part of the organisation’s regular staff meetings could incorporate a segment on environmental management.
Many businesses that implement environmental awareness training also include an internal awards program, to recognise and reward staff achievements. This has been proven to boost motivation and productivity.
Organisations which specialise in ISO management systems, training and certification, such as SC Training Centre in Brisbane, are your best source of environmental awareness training. Not only do they employ consultants who are experienced in these fields, but they are privy to the latest updates and information on International Standards.
Tailored To Your Needs
An organisation like this can provide a package which includes Environmental Management System ISO 14001, certification, and even EMS lead auditor courses, to cover all your organisation’s needs.
It’s important to remember that, these days, it’s not just major corporations who need to concern themselves with sound environmental management. It should be at the very heart of all organisations, in order to ensure compliance with the law. It’s also an important tool in attracting and keeping customers.
The 2015 Cone Communications/Ebiquity Global CSR Study confirmed that 91% of global consumers expect companies to operate responsibly to address social and environmental issues, and 84% say they seek out responsible products whenever possible.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Social Trends report showed that at least 82% of Australian adults were concerned about at least one environmental problem.
Really, when you look at those statistics, environmental awareness training is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity, for any business that wants to successfully trade and grow its market share. It’s a huge point of difference against those who have not instigated training, and a major marketing tool.
It could also be your ticket to winning government tenders and contracts, or becoming a supplier to a major company. It really is a win-win all round!