The working world is moving into its post-pandemic era, but the attention paid to the workplace environment needs to continue as a priority after the pandemic. As an automotive supplier, your organization may want to consider that environmental health and safety certification, referred to as ISO 14001 and offered by NSF-ISR, make it to the top of your priority list.
The ISO 14001:2015 standard leverages top management and leadership as one of the cornerstones of commitment to an effective management system. Leadership buy-in is an important part of success, with a focus on top-to-bottom dedication to continuous improvement and ensuring that the whole organization is embracing the importance of the environmental management system as an opportunity.
What does your environmental management system look like? This is the primary focus of ISO 14001 certification. How are your production facilities handling their waste, including chemicals? Are there newer local regulations or mandates you may not be aware of? There are building systems that can get overlooked as well, such as heat and AC.
Rather than viewing ISO 14001 certification as just another task or burden to take care of, consider the impact it can have on the entire organization. And consider what the costs are if you keep putting it off.
From reducing energy consumption, moving to energy-efficient lighting and adapting solar methods to upgrading outdated equipment for more efficient energy utilization, the standard challenges your organization to seek continuous improvement and consider sustainable methods and opportunities.
One example is a review of chemicals and alternative materials, to create not only a healthier environment, but also a safer workplace. This can also make production more efficient, lowering costs.
Other considerations, such as the lifecycle perspective of materials and products, are also a demonstration of continuous improvement in the context of understanding long-term environmental impacts and how the organization will address these through product design, end of life and all stages of the lifecycle. The organization can control and influence this through its commitment to environmental sustainability and continuous improvement.
Through all of these measures, the organization develops a commitment to environmental stewardship and, as a result, earns trust from its community, as well as its suppliers, its vendors and other stakeholders demonstrating environmental responsibility in their activities.
Being past the worst of the pandemic does not mean it’s okay to pay less attention to our workplace environment. The importance of that environment being healthy and less prone to causing employee or visitor illnesses will never diminish.
We recommend that as an automotive supplier, you take the time to contact NSF today about getting an ISO 14001 certification, to better ensure a healthy work environment for your employees. The opportunities it brings in terms of health and safety — and to your bottom line — will make it well worth it.
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