Striving towards compliance with all environmental and climate change legislation, guidance, and best practice, at STH Westco, we are on a journey to reduce the consequences of our activities on the world around us. And as part of this commitment, we are working towards the coveted ISO 14001 accreditation. 


What is ISO 14001? 


ISO 14001 is an international standard that establishes the requirements for an environmental management system (EMS). To obtain ISO 14001 certification, a business must undergo an audit by an accredited body. The audit will assess the business’s EMS to ensure it meets the required standard.  


But ISO 14001 is more than just a certificate. It also provides a framework for businesses to manage their impact on the environment by setting objectives, implementing procedures, and monitoring progress. In short, it’s a system of working that changes the culture and behaviour of a business. 


Why is ISO 14001 important to STH Westco? 


ISO 14001 is not a legal requirement, but as a market leader, we believe that it is vital that Westco sets the standard when it comes to reducing our impact on our environment. 


By implementing ISO14001, we are striving towards excellence and committing to looking for opportunities to improve. In fact, one of the critical points of the standard is excellent data collation and processes. By understanding our legal obligations and the regulatory standards within our industry, and using the data available to us, we can continually track our impact on the environment, identify areas for improvement, and monitor our progress over time. 


The business benefits of environmental excellence  


Of course, there are business benefits to achieving ISO 14001, such as improved image and credibility, regulatory compliance, increased stakeholder confidence, and improved sales opportunities. And by reducing our impact on the planet, Westco can also help control and reduce energy and production costs, creating a win-win situation for the business and the environment. 


Moreover, more and more companies are on a path to better corporate and social responsibility (CSR), and they expect those they do business with to meet the same robust standards. For example, many companies require evidence of an EMS before considering a partnership. Our commitment to ISO14001 accreditation lets other businesses know how we operate and our ethos and culture. This makes them want to do business with us. And it’s easier to work with companies with aligned views and processes. 


Sustainable success 


As well as working towards ISO14001 accreditation, we have demonstrated our commitment to going green in other areas.  


We have installed PIR-controlled lighting in our warehouse and non-concussive taps (Francis, of course!) in our washrooms to help reduce water and energy usage. We also have free-to-use Electric Vehicle charging units at our offices. In addition, as well as looking at our own environmental impact, we have been developing products that contribute to better environmental performance for many years. More recently, to help transition to net zero, we recruited a Head of Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) and created a group-level environment team that involves all our business units. 


There is still lots to do, but we are more than up for the challenge. Obtaining ISO14001 accreditation will be a significant step forward for Westco as it will demonstrate our commitment to corporate and social responsibility and show that we are constantly striving for excellence. And as the standard is available to any organisation, regardless of size or industry, we encourage like-minded businesses – especially those we work with – to join us on this journey.