Research by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)[1] shows a 28% increase over the last 2 years in the use of formal environmental management systems by organisations in the UK.

Research by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)[1] shows a 28% increase over the last 2 years in the use of formal environmental management systems by organisations in the UK.

Figures collected by IEMA shows that the number of UKAS accredited ISO14001 certificates in the UK have risen significantly in the last two years, with over 8500[2] certificates now issued representing an increase of 28% on figures from IEMA's research in 2008.

Martin Baxter, IEMA's Executive Director - Policy, said:

"These figures show that many organisations have identified the wider value of environmental management systems and the role they can play in developing a competitive advantage in meeting the challenges of the low carbon economy."

Such positive figures in the context of the challenging economic conditions of the last two years indicate that many businesses are recognising the wider benefits of adopting the standard beyond improved environmental performance, identifying economic benefits in areas such as reduced energy consumption and improved resource efficiency.

Dr Miles Watkins, Director of Sustainable Construction at Aggregate Industries commenting on the value of ISO14001 certification said;

"I believe this surge in certifications is a direct result of businesses positioning themselves as responsible supply chain partners and the integration of environmental enquires in procurement, be it public or private, has in turn driven this process. "

With the coalition government's move towards a reduced regulatory approach, the adoption of voluntary standards such as ISO14001 will become increasingly important for business to demonstrate commitment to improving their environmental performance.

Commenting on the figures, Catherine Golds, Head of NQA, one of the leading certification bodies in the UK said;

"The impressive growth in ISO14001 certification is testament to the fact that it delivers quantifiable business benefits in addition to credibly demonstrating an organisations commitment to environmental improvement".

For more information on IEMA, its policy, position on green claims, green jobs and skills as well as IEMA events, services, products, membership, training and publications, explore the website or contact Communications Co-ordinator Katrina Pierce at k.pierce@iema.net