Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Get Green Training to Do ISO 14001 For Your Small Business

Around the world people and their governments are concerned about climate change and global warming.  During 2009 there is a series of international meetings preparing for the next climate change agreement to be hammered out in Copenhagen in 2010.   This will be a very critical meeting because the planet is fast approaching a “tipping point” when it will be too late to pull back from very serious climate change.

So what does this mean to business and particularly small business?  Small business is the backbone of economies around the world and cumulatively is responsible for an enormous amount of carbon emissions even when they are small and “just office or home based”.  In fact office based business is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.  This is far more than transport which is the most obvious target for concern.

When a small business systematically addresses all its activities and looks at the carbon and other environmental impacts of each, the business can remove a large amount of waste and preventing waste is what also saves money.  If you can reduce your electrical waste by 20% you will reduce both your greenhouse emissions and your power bill by that same 20%.  And electrical consumption is just area that can be looked at.

If this is to work effectively the business will need to work with all employees to change the culture and raise awareness of green issues.  Commencing some green training for all personnel helps them to understand and accept the reasons for the changes and know what is expected of them.

Many people feel that they want to go beyond carbon emissions because they realise that there is more to the environment than just emissions.  In this case the business may want to take their planning a step further and implement and environmental management system.  This works even better when an effective feedback loop is included so that when mistakes of any kind are made, the business looks at the root cause or real reason that they were able to happen then remove that cause.

Many businesses take their environmental management system a step further and have it independently audited to ISO 14001 which is the international standard for environmental management. It is important to keep the system simple and low in paper because otherwise it is unlikely to work effectively in the long term.

A simple and effective environmental management system can save a small business for more than the cost of implementing and maintaining it and it also saves time and money.  Reducing your carbon footprint saves money but a full management system saves even more and achieves an internationally recognised green certification, ISO 14001.

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