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What is environmental certification and why get it?

What is environmental certification and why get it?

With the environment being in the forefront of many people’s minds during the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Scotland this month, it’s clear that sustainability is one of the biggest trends in business development currently.

And it’s likely to stay that way.

In a recent blog by CHAS, they explored what environmental certification looks like, why you’re likely to need it, and its commercial benefits.

We’ve collated the key points from the blog here and added some of our own. The benefits to our planet are not discussed here, hopefully we are all aware of them.

“Achieving certification for your environmental management system is almost essential
if you want to win contracts with government and larger companies.
But the certification process is also a business opportunity.
When going through the process of setting up and implementing an environmental management system,
most businesses see major benefits and rapidly come to realise that green business is good business.”

Jane Varley, Environmental Lead Bid Writer, Bid & Tender Support

 

What is Environmental Certification?

An environmental certification scheme allows a third party to assess all your business practices that relate to the environment and sustainability. Your environmental activities, policies and initiatives will be assessed, audited and measured against a series of criteria which have been set as standard by the certification scheme that you’ve chosen.

The process of becoming certified typically involves:

  • Reviewing your environmental policy documents & any documentation that provides proof of your practices
  • Verification of any additional certification relating to your environmental practices & those of your partners/contractors/suppliers
  • Annual review of your policies and practices

 

Commercial benefits of Environmental Certification

Win more work

Clients increasingly look to mitigate their project’s impact on the environment and bolster their business’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. One way of achieving this is by focusing attention on their supply chain.

By choosing environmentally conscious contractors, a client will reduce the environmental impact of their project, which in turn aids their own eco objectives.

‘The core commercial need for environmental certification then comes out of a need for finding work.’

As well as meeting the demands of their environmental initiatives, companies are under increasing pressure to manage compliance with environmental legislation, improve their eco-credentials and meet the expectations of consumers. This could be in the form of meeting certain regulatory targets, reducing waste and carbon emissions or supporting local, sustainable projects, for example.

So, by being environmentally certified, your business is more likely to win tenders as it verifies you as a supplier capable of supporting a client’s net zero carbon ambitions, legislative requirements, and reduced impact on the environment in terms of waste and raw material consumption.

Save time and money

Contractors are increasingly required to meet certain environmental standards to prequalify for a tender application. This process can involve a detailed questionnaire or even an audit of your sustainability practices.

But if you can demonstrate that you’ve already met the required criteria through your environmental certification, you’ll be saving your business crucial time and money, and putting yourself ahead of other bidders. Having environmental certification often means you only have to tick a box.

Identify weaknesses and strengths in your environmental systems

By going through the process of certification, you’ll be putting your environmental practices and policies under the spotlight. Through doing this you’ll improve your understanding of what your business is doing right, and where you could improve.

You will also need to set a baseline for your energy, waste, water, fuel and materials use, which will help you to identify where you can make environmental and cost savings.

Improve employee and management engagement with your environmental activities

Being environmentally certified requires you to engage your staff throughout your organisation, and to make continuous improvements. Encouraging staff and stakeholder participation and feedback often brings unexpected business benefits.

By engaging your workforce, both professionally and personally, in your environmental activities and targets, you’ll help foster a long-term commitment to supporting your business’s environmental policies and practices. It may also encourage the sharing of new ideas and a drive to bring environmental issues to the forefront of your day-to-day business strategy.

‘Eco-friendly and sustainable business practice is a high priority for many reasons.
From increasing consumer interest and brand loyalty to inspiring more talent to apply for jobs,
environmental advocacy is something many people connect with personally.’

Gain kudos in your industry and encourage others to follow suit

Environmental certification is a badge to be worn with pride. It can serve as a factor encouraging the best new talent to join your team, may win you custom that could have otherwise gone to a competitor, and help you bid for and win contracts for new work.

Moreover, your success could have a knock-on effect on your industry as a whole, encouraging other businesses to become environmentally certified too. By working as a collective, the impact of your industry’s environmental practices will have a greater positive impact on our planet.

 

Read the full CHAS blog

Here at KCS compliance Services we can support your business in becoming environmentally certified.
Please contact us for further advice or a quote on becoming certified.

Email: [email protected]
Call: 01908 380 401

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