Page 12: Costs and benefits of introducing the Environmental Management System
Complying with ISO 14001 does have some costs as the standard is rigorous and requires clear, effective actions. For example, to be accredited with the award, an organisation has to demonstrate that all employees understand the principles to which they should be working. These principles, set out in a manual, have to be communicated effectively to all staff.
However, Travis Perkins knew that the benefits of the new Environmental Management System would outweigh the costs. The benefits are achieved through a number of cost reductions. These resulted from better design of operational processes and a more environmentally conscious approach in every aspect of the company's operations e.g installing energy-efficient lighting systems.
Other measures to reduce costs have included:
- using less electricity
- planning superior distribution systems that use less fuel
- using gas for heating more efficiently
- reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill sites
- eliminating unnecessary packaging.
Travis Perkins has a very substantial cost in waste disposal, in order to reduce these costs, its business processes have been redesigned using the formula shown.
The first step is to prevent waste from occurring in the first place. If this is not possible, other steps need to be taken e.g. by recovering waste through a recycling process.
Travis Perkins has undertaken thousands of separate activities based on its Environmental Management System. These range from increasing the percentage of their timber that is sourced from certified sustainable sources and installing skips that can help waste segregation.