The ISO 14001 Standard: Analysis into Its Strengths and Weaknesses, and Potential Opportunities for Deployment by Tomorrow’s Global Business

By James Marsh and Terrence Perera.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

ISO 14001 is the most widely recognised and implemented international standard which organisations use to help reduce the negative impact which they may have on the environment. This approach is used by organisations from just about any industry sector and is used by SME’s (small to medium sized enterprises) to large Global organisations. It is a voluntary environmental management system that enables companies to be certified by an external certification authority.
With environmental legislation and targets increasing globally year on year it is not clear whether ISO 14001 will ensure that companies can reach these goals or whether a modified or different approach is required? It is also unclear whether it is aligned to some of the new governmental legislation that is now becoming law including the (CCB) climate change bill in the United Kingdom.
ISO 14001 has undoubtedly had a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gasses and reducing pollution levels that organisations emit, however research has shown that it does have some shortcomings that need to be changed in order to ensure sustainability of the approach.
This paper explores and analyses the strengths and weaknesses of ISO 14001 and how these transcend into the key opportunities. It also introduces potential concepts and methods including the development of Green Lean Six Sigma Solutions that could enhance this well established environmental management approach for the businesses of the future

Keywords: ISO 14001, Environmental Management, Global Business, Sustainability, Green Solutions, Lean, Six Sigma, Strengths, Weaknesses

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.23-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 994.826KB).

James Marsh

Researcher, Training and Consultancy, Research and Product Development, Sheffield Hallam University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

I have worked as a trainer and consultant in many industry sectors including Aeropsace, food and Textiles implementing Lean 6 Sigma as an approach and have case study savings in excess of $72 Million. Using the approach I found it could not only save time, improve quality and reduce defects but it also usually gave enviromental benefits. The climate change bill is now coming into effect in the UK however there is no approach to help companies meet these government targets. Noticing a need to drive this forward i’m now conducting PhD in this subject area with the view to developing an enviromental Lean 6 Sigma framework to help companies reduce their impact on the environment. Other previous experience includes working as a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University for 4 Years and I have published academic papers for conferences and journals. My interests include statistics, architecture and environmental developments in the automotive industry.

Prof. Terrence Perera

Assistant Dean, Faculty Arts, Computing, Engineering, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, Yorkshire, UK

Terrence Perera is the assistant Dean at Sheffield Hallam University. He is also a well known consultant and practitioner in the field of systems modelling and simulation. He assists companies to deploy simulation based solutions and develops user-friendly customised models to address specific issues. He is also actively engaged in promoting the use of simulation in the healthcare sector.


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