Integrating ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 into a business

| July 9, 2019


The paper should include:
1. Cover page
2. Table of contents
3. Introduction to the topic 
4. Review of the relevant issues and background information (information may come from texts, journals and completed studies, etc.) 
5. Case study discussion which explains how the topic applies to a specific business. The case study discussion may be either a detailed discussion of one business case (in-depth), or a less-detailed, comparative discussion of application by several business cases (breadth). 
6. Discussion and conclusions
7. Works Cited page
In-text citations and reference documentation must follow the Chicago Manual of Style reference and citation format. In academic writing, lack of citations for ideas, concepts and quotes from other sources is considered plagiarism and is the greatest academic sin! You can find information guides on conducting research, the Chicago Manual of Style reference and citation format, and plagiarism on the Wallace Library website: 

In this paper, Please show the benefits and draw backs of integrating ISO 14001 and 18001 and what it means to a company that adopts both standards. An example of a company that has integrated both standards is Cambridge City Council. This city council is trying to reduce all activities that lead to environmental degradation and also maintain a safe and healthy environmental for its workers ( show how the integration is working for this company). It has integrated both ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 management systems to enable the company meet these goals


Integrating ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 into a business


Introduction. 2

Benefits of integrating ISO 14001. 2

Drawbacks of integrating ISO 14001. 4

Benefits and drawbacks of integrating ISO 18001. 6

Benefits. 6

Drawbacks. 7

Case study of Cambridge City Council 7

Conclusion. 8

References. 8


This paper explores the benefits and drawbacks of integrating ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 in a company. Then, a case study of Cambridge City Council is provided. Cambridge City Council has integrated both ISO 14001 and ISO 18001. This is part of the Council’s efforts to reduce all activities that lead to environmental degradation as well as to maintain a safe and healthy environment for its employees. In this case study, the aim is to show how the integration is working to contribute towards the achievement of these goals.

Benefits of integrating ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is a standard that addresses different issues relating to environmental management. It contains provisions on various practical tools that are of benefits to companies and organizations that are keen to identify their environmental impact as well as control it by constantly improving environmental performance. In this case, focus is on environmental management systems. Other issues addressed in ISO 14001 include specific aspects of environmental management, including communication, life-cycle analysis, and auditing (Rondinelli, 2000).

The aim of ISO 14001 is not to highlight the requirements that must met for optimal environmental performance to be achieved; rather, it maps out a clear framework appropriate for use by an organization or company in the establishment of an environmental management system that is highly effective. It is appropriate for any organization or business regardless of the sector in which it operates or the activities it undertakes. In other words, the existence of ISO 14001 is a clear indication to employees, company management, as well as external stakeholders that issues of environmental impact are being addressed, measures, and far-reaching improvements made.

The standard was designed for organizations with the willingness to demonstrate to insurers, customers, regulators, financial institutions, and the public that there is organizational commitment to effective management of environmental issues. The standard condition for certification is the existence of a succinct environmental management system that is being fully operated and implemented. One of the numerous independent third-party certification bodies that are in existence today is called upon to undertake a thorough system audit to determine if it meets all the standards’ requirements and to ensure that there is full adoption.

Perhaps the certification’s biggest benefit is to the environment. The organizational commitments made ensure that improvement in issues relating to environmental performance is an ongoing undertaking. However, other stakeholders within an organization stand to gain a lot through successful implementation of ISO 14001 standards. To these stakeholders, one of the benefits of an ISO 14001 project is that exposure to non-compliance as far as environmental legislation is concerned is greatly reduced. The system introduced controls and a holistic program of external and internal audits that increase compliance.

The certification also makes it easy for organizations and companies to meet customer demand. An increase in awareness regarding environmental issues translates into an increase in the need to address various public concerns. For instance, real estate development companies that address current and anticipated environmental concerns have a greater chance of maintaining a competitive edge, thereby winning the attention of many potential customers and business partners.

Moreover, the positive publicity that comes with this certification is always a good thing for any business or organization. Certification in this area provides an excellent opportunity for an organization to gain positive publicity, particularly when this achievement has been publicized strategically both locally and internationally. One of the best ways through which this publicity is created is through incorporating this certification milestone in the company’s annual sustainability or CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) report. In this reporting, environmental management is always a major component. Emphasis on ISO 14001 certification in the report is a great way of highlighting recognizable and achievable targets, thereby demonstrating the commitment of the company to its corporate social responsibility policy.

Many other benefits relating to this certification are management-related. It ensures that an organization is being run in an efficient manner, meaning that many costs, for example distribution costs, are being minimized while at the same time ensuring compliance with legislation. One aspect of this efficiency relates to effectiveness in energy efficiency and waste management. Nevertheless, like in the case with all other management systems, the potential benefits and success of the environment management systems are greatly dependent upon organizational commitment as well as the resources made available.

Drawbacks of integrating ISO 14001

As already pointed out, just like all other management systems, the far-reaching benefits of this certification can only be achieved if there is organizational commitment as well as channeling of resources into the certification process as well as maintaining all the required minimum environmental management standards. The process achieving this certification is a lengthy one, which at times may even appear to be diverting an organization from its core objectives, particularly short-term ones.

Bansal (2003) indicates that that there are 11 steps that organizations have to go through before they can obtain the ISO 14001 certification. In all these stages, there is a need for resources to be committed and a plan of action drawn in order to ensure that compliance is achieved. At first, an organization has to undertake a comprehensive environmental review, which may be done by either internal or external professionals. The aim in this regard is to identify legislation relating to environment that the organization has to comply with. In the second step, focus is on future legislative requirements and the preparedness of the organization to meet them. Perhaps the third step, that of training and identification of roles and responsibilities, is the most labor- and resource-intensive one.

The other steps relate to the identification of aspects and impacts, setting of targets and objectives, and implementation of policies and procedures. This is procedurally followed by internal reviews and audits and management reviews, which pave way for efforts to ensure readiness for the ISO certification. Getting ready for the certification essentially means conducting last-stage audits and identifying areas that require improvement and progress. It also means putting in place an action plan for final improvements on processes and systems before final certification is obtained. These checking and re-checking of systems, procedures, and practices demonstrates how tedious this process can be, even for companies that are very dedicated to environmental management.

Towards the end, the company has to undergo stage-two audits. These audits resemble those of the first stage only that this time, the locations being visited and audits carried out are agreed on in advance with the professional auditing body. Even when this step has been taken, there is still the final stage, in which operational control targets and objectives are put under continuous review as a way of demonstrating that continuous improvement is being made against all environmental issues. This final stage is also intended to demonstrate the organization’s ability and willingness to continue looking ahead as well as keeping abreast of emerging environment management issues.

Benefits and drawbacks of integrating ISO 18001


ISO 18001 is a certification that is aimed at ensuring that there is occupational health and safety in the organization (Pheng, 2005). This certification is of great relevance in the modern organization, considering that in recent times there is a rapid increase in occupational hazards, risks, and accidents. Moreover, every organizational setting presents one form of hazard and occupational risk or the other. Through the establishment of this standard, the risks that an organization could face in the event of an occupational safety or health incident are significantly reduced.

Some of the main benefits of ISO 18001 include reduction of accidents demonstration of an organization’s commitment to occupational health and safety, increase in productivity, and minimization of the risk of legal action (Pheng, 2005). Reduction of accidents is achieved through the setting up of emergency procedures for identifying hazards and risks as well as ensuring that the right systems are in place to ensure that accidents are reduced in just the same way as the costs accompanying them. Moreover, a reduction in accidents means that the risk of the loss of crucial employees through injury, incapacitation, or death is dramatically reduced. Moreover, this greatly minimizes the risks associated with legal action while enhancing the company’s reputation and brand.


            A major drawback of implementing the ISO 18001 standard is that it comes with an increase in health and safety management costs. The standard requires a heavy investment in competencies, time, and required equipment. Without this investment, it is impossible to get the certification. Although long-term returns on this investment are guaranteed, this costs involved may be too high for many companies to bear.

Case study of Cambridge City Council

The Cambridge City Council has already put in place both ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 standards (BAI, 2012). In this undertaking, the aim of this institution was to minimize the environment impact exerted by its activities as well as to drive out inefficiencies. In achieving ISO 14001, the Council effectively emphasized its commitment to the identification of activities that impact upon the environment. The council also emphasized its understanding of all applicable environmental laws as well as setting the objectives required for continual improvement.

In terms of demonstrating awareness of future environmental concerns through ISO 14001, the Cambridge City Council has established the ‘Climate Change Fund’. Other key initiatives include the installing of a solar photovoltaic array in November 2007; the replacement of old vehicles with new Electric Mega Vans; and the introduction of a new-design refuse bin lift with the aim of reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions.

The key challenge, particularly in the implementation of ISO 18001, is that of embedding strategy within the Council’s organizational structure. Getting staff at every level to buy into the accreditation concept has been a challenge. This is perhaps the main reason why this standard is yet to be implemented in areas where the Cambridge City Council operates.


In conclusion, gaining ISO 14001 and ISO 18001 is a major step ahead towards environmental management and occupational health and safety efforts respectively. Both certifications come with immense benefits both to the organizations implementing them and to the society at large. In fact they bring numerous benefits to all stakeholders. However, as demonstrated by the case study of Cambridge City Council, concerted efforts have to be put in place in all management levels as well as across all areas of the organization’s jurisdiction. Moreover, implementing both standards is a resource- and labor-intensive process, hence the need to embedding strategy within the company’s organizational structure.


BAI (2012) Case Study Cambridge City Council, retrieved from

Bansal, P. (2003) Strategic Explanations for the Early Adoption of ISO 14001, Journal of Business Ethics, 46(3), 289-299.

Pheng, L. (2005) ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 Management Systems: Integration, Costs and Benefits for Construction Companies, Architectural Science Review, 48(2), 145-151.

Rondinelli, D. (2000) Panacea, common sense, or just a label?: The value of ISO14001 environmental management systems, European Management Journal, 18(5), 499–510.

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