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Practical ways to implement ISO 14001 for office-based businesses

Implementing ISO 14001 as an Environmental Management System in an office-based business is a common question for many businesses. What can be done to showcase commitment to the environment which has great impacts and increase long-term sustainability goals?

Implementing ISO 14001 is an important way for businesses to demonstrate their responsibility and engagement with the environment. There are a few steps that businesses can take to show their commitment to the environment.

First, they should ensure that their employees are properly trained on the system and understand their role in implementing it.

Second, they should develop an environmental policy that outlines the company's commitment to environmental protection and provide guidance on how to meet their environmental objectives.

Third, they should establish a system for monitoring and evaluating progress towards their environmental goals.

Finally, they should communicate their environmental commitment to the public and report on their progress. By doing these things, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to the environment and show that they are taking concrete steps to create a more sustainable future.

You should make environmental guidelines for your office and communicate them with your employees.

Here there is a list of actionable items your business can do to meet its environmental commitment, even if you’re an office-based business:

  • set the temperature to 22 in winter & summer;

  • avoid opening windows on hot or cold days to save energy;

  • use biodegradable detergent(s)-dishwashing, soap etc.

  • use compostable kitchen baking paper or other items if used;

  • buy local to reduce carbon footprint;

  • avoid using takeaway containers and replace them with reusable dishes;

  • buy recycled paper; purchase pens with the least hazardous ink;

  • conduct the interviews/meetings online where possible to reduce travel;

  • educate your staff about recycling and what can be recycled. This can be done by demonstrating signs in the office and kitchen areas;

  • use dimmers/sensors for lights, and change them to energy-efficient ones;

  • use energy-saving features on all devices.

  • use laptops instead of desktops where possible

Additionally, you can:

- Select the companies to work with based on their environmental performance; you could ask for their environmental policy, and check their general reputation

- Use only Superannuation funds that invest in sustainable markets and not fossil fuel, or other damaging activities for instance.

- Encourage your clients and candidates to use the same funds


You should create procedures for your workplace to cover these mentioned items. Effective communication is the key to ensuring employees do the right thing at all times.

Effective communication is absolutely essential for sustainability in any workplace. Environmental Sustainability, in this context, means creating and maintaining processes, policies, and procedures that promote efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness.

It is important to ensure employees understand the necessity of following all procedures and processes, and that they are aware of any changes or adjustments that need to be made.

An effective way to ensure this is to be implemented in regular communications with your staff via the intranet, company notice boards and newsletters.

The implication of environmental management and commitment is set by the top management, but employees’ engagement is key in enhancing the company’s overall sustainability progress.

If you consider ISO 14001:2015 for your business, contact us and we will assist you to get certified.

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