There are many ways to become sustainable. The most popular right now - becoming certified by one of the organizations giving out environmental certifications. Greenifs is here to tell you what they are, how they differ and which one is right for you!
Sustainability - THE business trend of today
The Environment Journal reports that 64 percent of business owners aim to be more sustainable in their operations, making it one of the most prominent trends in contemporary business development.
We have explored the need and benefit that companies get, when starting eco-friendly and sustainable policies in our other articles. In essence, environmental advocacy is something many people can relate to on a personal level, which can have a number of positive effects, including increased consumer interest and brand loyalty as well as increased applications from top talent. It also positively impacts your image in society and increases the loyalty of your shareholders.
As a result of these factors, businesses are beginning to recognize the value of environmental certification.
How does it work?
If you are currently making significant strides to improve the environment, why do you need environmental certification? Experts in sustainability and accreditation share their thoughts on environmental certification in this post.
An environmental certification program is an objective evaluation of how your company handles issues of sustainability and the environment. Assessors create standards by which your company will be evaluated. If you're able to demonstrate that your product or service meets all of the assessor's requirements, you'll earn their seal of approval and certification.
Audits of environmental actions, policies, and programs are conducted as part of your independent evaluation plan to ensure:
- Your sustainable practices are legitimate, as you claim.
- That you meet the standards established by the evaluation procedure.
- That your business's practices in this area of environmental protection are up to the standards of your sector.
- The standard procedure is looking at your environmental policy papers and any other paperwork that provides evidence for your eco-friendly methods. This paperwork may include evidence of working with sustainable suppliers or partners or other, more specialized accreditations.
Accreditation in the environmental field serves to track and enhance current environmental practices. This formalizes your current environmental effort in a way that is visible and verifiable to third parties, and it must be renewed annually to show that you are keeping up your eco-friendly practices.
Certification for the Environment Serves Who?
In short - everyone.
Companies of all sizes can benefit from environmental certification for their contracting services. As eco-friendly actions become integral to all supply chains, companies that want to forge strategic relationships and advance their position in the market must think about how to verify the efficacy of their green initiatives and programs. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies frequently include environmental process management. Customers' focus will naturally shift to the supply chain as they seek ways to reduce the environmental effect of their initiatives.
Customers that care about the environment will seek out businesses who are actively working to enhance their sustainability process and lessen their influence on the environment. As consumers become increasingly concerned about the impact of their purchases on the environment, a growing number of companies are advertising for contractors with green credentials.
Environmental certification for contractors is a great way to show clients they can be trusted to back CSR efforts. In order to boost brand awareness and public opinion, customers may also need to deal with environmental legislation and achieve certain regulatory targets. Because of the importance of reducing product waste and by-products and supporting community-based, environmentally responsible initiatives, your clients may be required by law to hire environmentally certified contractors.
With environmental certification, you can demonstrate to your customers that you are a reliable partner that can help them meet their corporate social responsibility goals and legal obligations. In addition to facilitating compliance and opening up procurement opportunities, environmental certification offers a plethora of other advantages.
Spend Less Money And Time
You may be asked to prequalify for a tender through a questionnaire process or have your sustainability activities audited before being accepted if your client requires you to comply with particular environmental requirements before you can bid on a contract. This often takes a great deal of time and money in the form of administrative labor. By obtaining environmental certification, your business can show that it has previously met all of the necessary requirements, saving time and money in the process.
Identify the Flaws in Your Environmental Policy
Environmental certifications are a great way to showcase your successes and improve upon areas of sustainability management where your company may be falling short. Obtaining a certification will shine a bright light on your policies and open the door to a thorough evaluation of how they are implemented. This kind of analysis can help you spot holes in your sustainability plans so you can fix them and make your firm more environmentally friendly before those plans start to cost you money.
Raise Participation of Stakeholders in Environmental Initiatives
An organization's entire workforce, from entry-level workers to upper management, can benefit from making certification a strategic priority by increasing their personal and professional investment in the process of becoming certified and passing associated exams. As a result of this heightened involvement, your environmental activities will receive greater attention and enthusiasm, which will in turn foster the development of novel ideas and fortify your organization's standing in the environmental arena.
Plan for the Environment in Your Business Plans
In addition to complementing corporate strategy, environmental policy may also improve it. Long-term forecasting of your environmental performance targets is made possible by integrating environmental operations with business strategy, allowing you to implement more sustainable solutions that are in line with your firm's aims and objectives. Greater visibility of environmental practice, which enables better integration with corporate strategy, can be achieved by certification of environmental activity.
Inspire additional environmental change in your sector.
We have shown that environmental certification is a source of pride and offers numerous advantages. The industry and climate-crisis prevention goals as a whole stand to benefit from your company's success after obtaining environmental certification.
What are the main organizations issuing these certificates?
There are many different sectors and they all have their own certifications. However, even in this diversity there are two main environmental accreditations that you should know. They have created, or innovated the complete concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). B Corp certifications are granted by B Lab, a US-based independent non-profit, to for-profit businesses that make social and environmental goodwill a central part of their business strategy and operations (B Lab Certification, 2021).
In order to meet the requirements for B Corp Certification, businesses must perform a B Impact Assessment (BIA) that takes into account the company's operational as well as its business model level impacts on its employees, community, consumers, and environment. There are already approximately 3,000 B Corp-certified businesses, with around half of them located in the United States and Canada. With over 880,000 (ISO 9001) and 310,000 (ISO 14001) certificates across a wide variety of nations and sectors (ISO, 2020), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is widely recognized as the leading Quality Management and Environmental Management International Standard.
Both the ISO-14001 and ISO-9001 come from the International Standards Organization and have been voluntary certificates for almost 50 years! Because of shareholder concerns over the ever growing global supply chain length they have become regulatory mechanisms in early 2010s. If you'd like to find out more about these certificates and how they evaluate your company, read our complete breakdown of the three most important environmental standards in the world!
Where to go from here?
If you're interested in learning more about environmental impact management and mitigation, check out other Greenifs articles. Would you like to get a customized, easy to set up report that documents and assesses all of your sustainable actions? Check out Greenifs - the sustainability reporting hubspot!