ISO 14001, ISO 50001 and the Bottom Line


ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 are related standards for environmental and energy management systems, whose implementation can deliver substantial bottom line financial results for their users. What relates them is the fact that material and energy that enter a process must come out either as a saleable product or waste, and elimination of waste flows directly to the bottom line and this webinar will provide simple analytical tools with which to achieve this.

Event Type:
Feb. 5, 2020
10:00 AM PST | 01:00 PM EST

ISO 14001 (Environmental management systems) and ISO 50001 (Energy management systems) offer enormous bottom line benefits to their users. ISO 14001 does not, in fact, encompass its full potential as written because environmental aspects are only one form of material waste. The truth is that anything we throw away wastes money regardless of whether it is an environmental aspect, and Henry Ford recognized this more than 100 years ago. Ford sought to refuse to make the waste, or at least reduce, reuse, or recycle it in an era when he could have legally thrown into the nearest river whatever wouldn't go up the smokestack, and he made a lot of money by doing this. Zero emission factories put the same principle to work today, and the results show up on the bottom line.

  1. Key clauses of ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 50001:2018. Several clauses of ISO 50001:2018 (the newer standard) are also applicable to ISO 14001:2015 and will improve its effectiveness if adopted by ISO 14001 users. As but one example, ISO 50001:2018 calls for an energy review, which suggests a material review in ISO 14001 (or a combined material and energy review).
  2. While we know we must obey environmental regulations, ISO 14001's focus on environmental aspects actually limits what we can do with it. The truth is that any material waste is a cost, whether the cost relates to proper disposal of pollutants or simply the cost of materials that are purchased only to be thrown away. Henry Ford made an enormous amount of money (which he shared with his customers, suppliers, and workforce) by not wasting anything.
  3. Ford realized quantifiable and substantial financial benefits by refusing, reducing, reusing, or recycling waste. Kingsford Charcoal was, for example, what became of wood that was not serviceable for any other purpose, while slag from blast furnaces was sold as cement and paving material. 3M's 'Pollution Prevention Pays' program also is cited.
  4. We cannot eliminate waste that we do not know exists. No known material or energy waste can, however, hide from the chemical engineering material and energy balance. This supports a material and energy review, an extension of ISO 5001:2018 clause 6.3 (Energy review).
    • Material waste (especially) is on the other hand often visible in plain sight; just pay attention to what is thrown away.
    • Light pollution represents enormous energy waste that is clearly visible for miles around. Is the objective to light the streets or the sky?
  5. The workforce is often in the best position to recognize material and energy waste, and can be easily trained to do so.
  6. The Four Rs
    • Refuse to make the waste
    • Reduce the amount of waste
    • Reuse the waste
    • Recycle the waste
  7. Examples of simple and innovative ways to implement the four Rs are provided.

Manufacturing and quality professionals and practitioners; people with responsibility for continual improvement and lean manufacturing, and also people with environmental systems responsibility.

William A. Levinson, P.E., is the principal of Levinson Productivity Systems, P.C. He is an ASQ Fellow, Certified Quality Engineer, Quality Auditor, Quality Manager, Reliability Engineer, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He is also the author of several books on quality, productivity, and management.

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