What is the cost of an Environmental Management System?
When compared to the ensuing reduction in expenditures and boost in commercial opportunities, the cost of an environmental management system is almost insignificant. For most organizations, complying with environmental rules and regulations can prove to be quite a challenge because of the countless approvals and permits required on a regional, state, and national level and the strict requirements of each one of them.
Despite that, most organizations are redirecting their efforts towards cutting their energy costs, reducing their environmental impact, and portraying a more environmentally friendly image to their stakeholders, workers, and consumers. The benefits of ISO 14001 are far greater than you might think, so much so that the cost of obtaining this certification is quite valuable!
But how exactly are these organizations keeping up with the ever-evolving legal mandates, avoiding fines and penalties, and protecting themselves from permanent sanctions that could be detrimental to their entire operation? Many have found adopting an environmental management system (EMS) to be an effective solution to this problem.
Is environmental management system good for your business?
I know what you are thinking. You are probably wondering how much getting your very own EMS would run you. The answer to that question is not as clear-cut as one would hope, because the cost of an EMS depends on various factors. So, let us explore the subject and break down the different elements that come into play when determining the cost of an EMS.
Let me put it this way when considering how much to spend on an EMS, the ‘you get what you pay for’ saying holds. You may even not have to pay for it. The internet has ample information on what an EMS is, what documents it requires, and you may even find samples of those documents online, for free.
Using them, you can craft a simple, to-the-point plan, and tailor it to your organization. If you go this route, you will get your EMS, and it will only cost you the time you have invested into developing it. However, this rudimentary EMS will most certainly not meet any certification standards and will only go so far in serving its intended purpose. This is the free option.
On the other hand, you may go the other way by hiring a consultant who will expertly craft a set of procedures, forms, and policies tailored specifically to your business. This will revolutionize the way you conduct your business and make the environment an inextricable part of your operation.
It will help you demonstrate your organization’s commitment towards the environment to your stakeholders by weaving it into the fiber of your corporate culture. This is the top-of-the-line option and can be instrumental when attempting to certify your organization to the highly sought-after ISO 14001 standard.
How much does it cost to get ISO 14001 certification?
Thus, what your EMS ends up costing you depends entirely on you and what you are looking for. So, before making a decision, make sure you ask yourself the right questions:
- What are your expectations?
- What do you aim to accomplish?
If you are just looking to have one for the sake of having one, or because you are conscious about the environment and are noticing a few things here and there that you can improve upon to reduce your footprint, then the first option may be better suited for you.
If on the other hand, you want to get an EMS because you are planning on applying for ISO 14001 certification to lower your waste costs, gain a competitive advantage when tendering for business, reduce your insurance costs, or because you have already been commissioned for a project that requires you to be certified, then you most definitely will have to pay a premium price for it.
Again, since there is no standard EMS, only compliant ones, there is no one single price. Every consultancy will charge a different amount, but I can tell you that it will run you anywhere between $2,000 to $3,000. This is just for the environmental standard management system. If you decide to purchase an Integrated Management System (IMS) which can be used for certification to multiple standards (including ISO 9001 and ISO 45001) this may cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000.
This option proves to be the most cost-effective since most buyers now require all three certifications, and it ends up costing you a lot less than if you were to purchase 3 different management systems (one for each standard). And that is if you are an SME! If you are a mammoth organization with hundreds of employees and multiple locations, your EMS or IMS will require a lot more work to document your entire operation and can end up costing anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000.
ISO 14001 certification, a slow but efficient process!
There may be ways for you to cut these costs. You can attempt to do it yourself, shop around until you find the cheapest consultant, mobilize all your staff and make them work double shifts! But in the end, you will get what you pay for, and more likely than not, you will still end up with a subpar result which most certainly won’t help you achieve certification. This is one of those instances where you just might be in over your head, and should seriously consider hiring an experienced professional. Want more information? see ISO 14001 auditing article.
The investment may seem high in the short run, but what you stand to gain financially after making it will quickly become apparent when you start seeing those new contracts coming in. Additionally, a well-implemented EMS that keeps you compliant at all times and ensures that your environmental program is running effectively and effortlessly also means less money spent on violations and fines from watchdogs and lower operating and waste disposal costs. For better cost management, information on the requirement of ISO 14001 will help you significantly.
These savings alone will cover the cost of your investment, everything else is icing on the cake! Lastly, I will leave you with one piece of advice; when searching for the right consultancy, make sure you do not make pricing your only or main decision factor but rather focus on expertise, quality, and look at what their past clients are saying. We hope that you have found this article useful. If you have any questions, you may reach out to us, at any time, through our LinkedIn page where you will find information on our products and services as well as hundreds of testimonials from our past clients.