ISO 14001 is recognized as the international standard for environmental management systems and provides organizations/businesses with criteria to follow, which will identify, control, and reduce their environmental impact. Becoming ISO 14001 certified has numerous benefits to businesses, sectors, and activities large or small. ISO 14001 is a voluntary standard that hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide have chosen to become certified in, uniting them in a global goal to reduce the environmental impacts created by companies and businesses, to preserve the natural Earth for future generations.
ISO 14001: was recently updated to ISO 14001: 2015, which introduces a few requirements to a universally beneficial certification. Key benefits of ISO 14001: 2015 include:
- Improved environmental management - Reduce the resources your business consumes and improve efficiency.
- Legal compliance - Understand regulatory requirements impact on your business and customers.
- Reduce operating cost - Save money through efficiencies in energy and water usage.
- Improved stakeholder relationships - certifications demonstrated to potential customers that you are proactive and responsible.
- Proven business credentials - verification proves and gives recognition to achievements.
- Increase business - business often requires certification as a condition to supply.
Parker reducing environmental impact
When becoming ISO 14001:2015 certified, Parker set ambitious goals. Parker's Precision Fluidics Division was getting two trash and one recycling pickup each week. The goal was to reverse those numbers. It was achieved in 18 months by training, raising awareness to all employees, increasing recycling bins throughout the facility with signs/labeling, and constant monitoring. Goals of this magnitude take time and planning, but the environmental rewards are immense.
Helping our customers and our team
Parker Precision Fluidics is a great example of a company set on reducing its environmental impact. A goal was set to improve the durability of product packaging and eliminate landfill waste at a customer location by introducing recyclable materials. A few simple adjustments were made such as using recyclable trays instead of bubble wrap, bubble bags, and foam inside each shipping container. The change resulted in energy savings, trash reduction, and reduction in the weight production needed of each box. The total result was almost 64,000 pieces of foam a year eliminated from landfill, 100% percent recyclable packaging, and a simpler tray packaging system.
Transitioning to a tray system reduced the weight the production team needs to handle when transporting from the production cell to shipping, providing a much-appreciated safety and ergonomic improvement. Another exciting feature of the new packaging is that our product is even more secure during shipment. Following the ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) test procedure, Parker validated the new packaging to be an improvement over the non-recycled foam — reducing the risk of shipping damage and increasing the product quality when it's received at our customers' locations.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
Another simple adjustment Parker Precision Fluidics has made is utilizing reusable packaging for component parts from repeat vendors.
The picture to the left is a rack of recycled plastic trays on Parker Precision Fluidics production floor. These trays come from various vendors that make parts for Parker. After the trays are empty, they are shipped back to the vendor and reused. This is a great example of a very simple way to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Parker Precision Fluidics is an ISO 14001: 2015 certified division of Parker Hannifin that has set both large and small goals that have been beneficial to the company as a whole, our customers, and best of all, the environment. The above examples show how ambitious yet simple goals can have great impacts. The main objective in ISO-14001: 2015 is having continuous improvement and never being content with what you have achieved.
The first step in becoming ISO 14001:2015 certified is to define your objective. What does your company want to achieve by getting this certification? Make sure you have the support of senior management. Take the time to review any existing processes and systems pertinent to environmental impact. If desired, third-party certifications are available that will conduct audits of your practices against the requirements standards. ISO does not perform certification. For more information about the certification process, visit www.iso.org.
To learn more about Parker Precision Fluidics Division, visit our website or call 603-595-1500 to speak with an engineer.
Article contributed by Jamie Campbell, pump product manager, Parker Precision Fluidics Division, Mooresville, NC. Jamie is constantly looking for new ways to reduce and recycle at the Mooresville location.