Does Certifying To ISO 14001 Impact Your Company’s Marketability?

Last week, we discussed ISO 14001 in depth and outlined its framework as a quality management standard.  In part 3 of our series, we will detail the many benefits of certifying to ISO 14001, including enhancing a company’s marketability.

By implementing ISO 14001, a company can gain a competitive edge by decreasing costs through increased efficiencies.  These efficiencies can include lowering energy and raw materials use and reductions in waste and pollution.  Mitigated risks of accidents and emergency situations can also translate into greater profitability and productivity.   Equally, in areas where environmental responsibility is a requirement, certification to ISO 14001 can create and maintain business development opportunities.  But what about enhancing your company’s positioning and marketability?

An organization can demonstrate environmental leadership by implementing ISO 14011.  Customers want to do business with organizations that are committed to protecting the environment.  ISO 14001 certification can help to establish your company’s environmental credibility and commitment to quality and can also improve your corporate image and community goodwill.  Certifying to ISO 14001 can also foster improved relationships with shareholders and environmental organizations.

A study done by the Journal of Operations Management, which was featured in a March 24, 2011 article in, revealed some interesting facts about the impact of “green initiatives”, including ISO 14001.  The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Michigan State University, analyzed how environmental performance affects shareholder value through stock market reactions. Interestingly, the markets ignored announcements out recycling programs, eco-friendly products and even LEED certification.  Only 3 categories generated a positive reaction to share prices.  Certification to ISO 14001 resulted in one of the most significant positive reactions (full article in GreenBiz).

Why ISO 14001 certification and not emissions reductions? ISO 14001 is a globally recognized quality management system.  It is audited by an independent third party and it validates that an organization has a serious commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability and quality.

Imagine creating new business opportunities, enhancing marketability, decreasing costs and improving your organization’s productivity with one strategic move: certifying to ISO 14001.  Next week, we will clarify the difference between ISO 14001 and other environmental initiatives such as R2 and e-Stewards and we’ll begin to review the current catch phrase: “being green”.  For assistance with ISO 14001 implementation contact