Market your environmental credentials

Gaining recognition through environmental standards


By becoming certified to an environmental standard you can demonstrate to customers and other stakeholders that you take the environmental performance of your business seriously.

You may be able to use a logo on packaging and marketing materials to promote the fact that you are certified to an environmental standard.

What is an environmental standard?

A standard is a technical document that describes an agreed, recognised way of doing something. The most well-known environmental standards are those that relate to setting up environmental management systems (EMS), such as the international standard ISO 14001 or the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

Smaller businesses and those that want to take a slower, step-by-step approach can use BS 8555, which leads to credit and recognition after each of six steps. Completing the sixth stage leads to ISO 14001 certification.

It is now also possible to assess the carbon credentials of your products against the PAS 2050 product carbon footprint standard. PAS 2050 will help you assess the greenhouse gas emissions generated by your products through their lifecycle. It will also help you identify where there is room for improvement and can help customers make more informed purchasing decisions.

Why should my business have an environmental standard?

EMAS requires organisations to produce an environmental report about their performance. You can use this report, which is validated by an accredited verifier, to assure customers, investors and other stakeholders that the information you provide is reliable and has been checked by an accredited third party.

Some organisations, particularly those in the public sector and large businesses, are increasingly using environmental criteria in their tendering process. Being certified to a standard will increase the chance of your business winning these tenders.

If you gain certification to a standard, maximise the publicity by letting the local and trade press know.

For more information on EMS standards, see environmental management systems (EMS) - the basics.