Vital Consulting have been pioneer in Implementing the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems for Organizations in India.
Vital provides System Certification for various Standards for Institution for Environmental and Sustainable Development, Implementing ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems for Organizations in India.
The rate of complying for ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) certification has been generally slow in Indian Organizations compared to the adoption of other popular management systems certifications like ISO 9001 Quality Management System and ISO 22000 Food Safety Management System. In India , the awareness on the benefits of having this certification for an organization is also at very low level and limited upto getting the certifications only. . The vital consulting has been helping the MSME to used to adopt ISO 14001 by making them aware of the benefits gained by implementing the ISO 14001 and limitations faced by the organizations in implementing and maintaining this certification were also evaluated to get a better understanding on this problem. The vital consulting have imlememted morethan EMS systesm which have been certified for ISO 14001 Environmental Management System by global Standards which are member body of International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
Most of the organizations certified are in large and medium scale business ventures. The results clearly indicated that the most significant potential driver to implement ISO 14001 EMS, is to improve the image of the organization. Results further showed that ISO 14001 could be used as a marketing tool that intends to reduce environmental impacts while enhancing regulatory compliance. The greatest limitation that the organizations faced was to change the attitudes and practices of workers. High design cost is ranked as the next highest limitation in Environmental management system; Environmental performance; Compliance
ISO 14001 International standard specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance .
Growing environmental concerns beginning from the 1960s to the 1970s saw many governments tightening regulations for protecting the environment . In recent years, there has been significant awareness of global environmental problems like ozone depletion, global warming, and climate change .
According to National Disaster Management Authority of India, in May 2015, India was hit by its second deadliest heat wave on record, and fifth deadliest in world history, with more than 2500 killed .
In Sri Lanka, the atmospheric temperature is expected to rise from 1.1°C to 2.4°C by 2100, depending on the emission scenario. Rainfall is projected to increase by 48% for the southwest monsoon by 2050, which affects the wetter southern part of the country, while the northeast monsoon, which occurs in the drier northern region, is expected to decrease by 27% to 29%. Therefore, the wet zone is expected to become wetter and the dry zone drier with climate change .
The main purpose of an EMS is to systematically control adverse environmental impacts and ensure that established objectives and target are met. An environmental management system (EMS) is one of the tools which firms can use to voluntarily implement environmental policy. EMS is a formal management system aimed at continual environmental improvement .
ISO 14001 is designed for any organization wishing to demonstrate to customers, insurers, regulators, and the public and financial institutions, that the organization is committed to effective environmental management. It consists of a number of interrelated elements that function together to help a firm manage, measure and improves the environmental aspects of its operation. These elements include creating environmental policies, setting objectives and targets, implementing programs to achieve those objectives and targets, monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of the programs, correcting problems if any and reviewing the programs and their overall improvement thereof .
There are several unanswered questions regarding what drives organizations to adopt ISO 14001 EMS. Other questions include whether these drivers differ according to the type of business sector i.e. manufacturers, service providers or others (neither manufacturing nor service providers); whether there is any relation between the potential drivers and benefits for ISO 14001 EMS and also whether there is any relation between the potential drivers and limitations in implementing ISO 14001 EMS. In order to answer these questions a questionnaire survey was used to collect data from ISO 14001 certified organizations covering sectors categorized as manufacturing, service and other in India
Organizations and ISO 14001 environmental management system
International organization for standardization (ISO) describes ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders. The revised version of ISO 14001 is ISO 14001: 2015 . It requires environment management to be more prominent within the organization’s strategic direction, a greater commitment from leadership, the implementation of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation, a focus on life cycle thinking to ensure consideration of environmental aspects from development to end of life and a stakeholder focused communication strategy .
When organizations aim to implement ISO 14001 EMS many different aspects have to be considered. According to Hale  an EMS is a framework established by the top scale of the management with the objective of gaining and maintaining control over the company’s activities.
Potential drivers for organizations in adopting ISO 14001 EMS
Fryxell and Szeto  clearly state that decisions to develop and implement EMSs are also a response to external forces influencing operation of firms. Some of these external drivers suggested by Morrow and Rondinelli  are increased investor confidence and giving company international competitive advantage; customer pressure for environmental stewardship; peer pressure among companies who are involved in the same business sector; and the growing interest of corporate stakeholders outside of a firm such as regulatory agencies, insurance companies and financial institutions. Fryxell and Szeto  cited improved regulatory compliance; increased market share; response to customer pressure and access to markets; and cost reductions from improved efficiencies. Sohal and Prajogo  cited reasons/drivers for implementing ISO14001 in Australian and New Zealand organizations as, Natural continuation from a previous standard (i.e. ISO 9001); to build synergies among management systems; to build competitive advantage; to improve efficiency and control in the operations; to match competitor’s actions; to comply with government policy or regulations; to meet customer demands; to improve image and social impact and to improve environmental performance. Top management have a critical role in making sure that EMS is successfully implemented and are the main drivers of EMS implementation .
Limitations that organizations face in implementing ISO 14001 EMS
Benefits are important in promoting EMS but the limitations to implementation must be acknowledged and addressed in order to minimize them. The adoption of an EMS is a complicated procedure where difficulties can appear in the different stages, acting as barriers for implementation .
Benefits for organizations in implementing ISO 14001 EMS
Hillary  identified there were two sets of benefits differentiated as internal and external benefits. The internal benefits, internal positive outcomes from the implementation of an EMS, presented by Hillary  are classified into three main groups of organizational, financial and people benefits. Organizational benefits include improved environmental performance as a result of enhanced environmental information, sense of environmental responsibility and strategic overview of environmental issues. Financial benefits such as cost savings through efficient use of material, energy and waste reductions were also reported. The people benefits included better company image and improved dialogue between staff and management.
The external benefits described as external positive outcomes from the implementation of an EMS were classified as commercial, environmental and communication benefits.
The commercial benefits were gaining new customers, satisfying existing customers and developing more environmental friendly products. Hillary’s  study (Cited in Dladla, ) reported that the external environmental benefits were the improved environmental performance, assured legal compliance and increased recycling as well as reduced pollution. Lastly the communication benefits were that of creating a positive public image, developing a better customer relationship, and developing a better cooperation and relationship with regulators.
Sohal and Prajogo  cited the most improvements/benefits on implementing ISO14001 in Australian and New Zealand organizations as, reducing environmental hazards; improving environmental performance and waste management.
Studies on the benefits of implementing ISO 14001 EMS have been researched by many researchers .. Study conducted in Australia claimed that the most significant benefit that an organization gained through the implementation of ISO 14001 EMS is cost reduction . On the other hand, a study in Sweden reported that the most significant benefit for organizations in Sweden is improved corporate image There is also another study conducted in Australia and New Zealand which showed that the most significant benefits experienced by organizations are morale building within the organization and fulfilling of the customer expectations . The different findings in these studies showed that organizations in different countries experience different types of benefits and this could be due to the different culture in each country and organizational expectations
Top management may have to identify critical success factors that suites their organization because each organization are unique having their very own organizational behaviors .