EMS Pays for Itself

By Don Dickerson, PE
Environmental Engineer
Whittington & Associates

To talk of money, we must begin with its companion: risk. Risk is whatever affects the prosperity of your organization and by extension, you. Even profit itself arises from risk, being a reward to you and your company for the risk you continue to bear in order to remain in business.

In particular, the success of your company depends on how well it manages risk, a word virtually interchangeable with relationships. In fact, every new relationship serves to add more risk to what an organization already carries as risk.

For example, top shelf companies do not expand into new territories without first becoming keenly aware of how they expect to relate to those new customers, employees, vendors, governments, and community. Whole departments, such as marketing, public relations, legal affairs, human resources, and insurance, devote themselves to trying to predict those relationships.

Why is all of this great care necessary? Because risk and profit are two sides of the same coin.

The relationship between an organization and its natural setting is also a matter of risk. The environment is just one more uncertainty that a company must manage to ensure ongoing profits.

The correlation between environmental success and profitability has not always been clear. After nearly forty years of harsh punitive actions and fines brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Justice, many organizations have been conditioned to dismiss environmental management as a costly legal burden with no profit incentive.

However, more recent experience shows that the environment is simply one more business risk that a company must manage well in order to prosper. As such, good environmental stewardship can actually lower costs and increase profits.

Our global marketplace is now acutely aware of the practical business value of environmental stewardship. As a result of this awareness, the worldwide financial community rewards corporations who properly manage environmental risk.

An environmental management system (EMS) is what every company must develop in order to capture and manage its environmental risk. Nearly 15 years of enduring success indicate that the best EMS is one that is certified to the international standard, ISO 14001.

ISO 14001 is a voluntary commitment to environmental excellence that leaves performance programs, targets, and objectives entirely to the discretion of each company seeking certification. Tens of thousands of organizations have received ISO 14001 certification and in doing so, are positioned to grow their market share, reduce the cost of capitalization, lower operational costs, and improve their standing at the local, state, national, and international levels of public awareness.

By virtue of ISO 14001 certification, companies not only find themselves complying with existing regulations, but also integrating the business element of environmental risk into their daily practices. For more information on how to make an EMS and ISO 14001 certification a reality for your company, please contact Don Dickerson at 770-517-7944 or Don@WhittingtonAssociates.com.


Don Dickerson is a new Associate at Whittington & Associates. He is an Environmental Engineer with experience in consulting, engineering, and permitting in pharmaceuticals, petroleum, manufacturing, and specialty chemicals. He has been a registered Professional Engineer (PE) since 1996, and recently became an ISO 14001 Provisional Auditor.