What even is responsibility, and why are environmental issues important to us?

How is our operating environment now?

What is important to businesses right now? Both companies and the media discuss various threats and scenarios, and the different viewpoints may make everything more confusing to simple people, such as the author of this blog. Large and savvy organisations identify megatrends and report on their ESG indicators and responsibility in a multi-faceted manner on page after page, but on the other hand, there are explosions and leaks here and there, cyber threats are real and continuity management is in bad shape. The world is a scary place right now.

The prioritisation and priority of matters vary, depending on the viewer and viewpoint. From the perspective of a simple person, home, family, friends, workplace, health and nature are often what matters. Organisations preach responsibility on a large scale in their strategies. Do they have anything in common?

Responsibility, ESGs and the things that matter the most to individuals have much common ground. The different areas of responsibility related to the environment affect us all. Our well-being and health are strongly linked to the well-being of the environment, and diverse nature is a resource for us.

What on earth are integrated management systems?

In our current operating environment, it is essential to consider several different perspectives in the management of organisations. It is no longer enough to pay attention to the customer. Companies must also take into account the attraction and retention of human resources, well-being at work and occupational safety, as well as environmental aspects and improving the level of environmental protection, without forgetting energy efficiency and information security. In other words, it is no longer enough to maintain a good level of financial health and customer satisfaction. Instead, management must consider many different perspectives.

Systematic management yields good results, but you must be able to include all relevant perspectives in management. By comprehensively taking into account all aspects of responsibility, you can establish a more efficient management system in the organisation and cut costs. Smooth processes, elimination of overlaps and centralised risk management are among the benefits of combining different management systems. An integrated management system is key to a functional organisation.

Management systems?

Management systems are best management practices from different perspectives.  For example, using the ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems standard leads to high-quality products and services, and customer focus and customer satisfaction play an important role in this. ISO 14001 focuses on environmental considerations, meeting essential requirements and improving the level of environmental protection. ISO 45001, on the other hand, takes into account the perspectives of occupational well-being, occupational health and safety, and involves all employees in improving the level of occupational safety. There are many standards related to management systems, and you should use them to continuously improve your organisation’s performance. For example, information security, data protection and risk and continuity management are topics that you just cannot ignore, and the utilisation of good, established models is always better than learning from your own mistakes 😊

Where to start?

Typically, the first customer requirement is a certified quality system. This is why the certified ISO 9001 is the most common starting point for management systems. But then what?

Responsibility as a megatrend introduces new requirements already through the values of organisations and the requirements of different stakeholders.  The most common next step in developing a company’s management is related to sustainable development and environmental protection. We all want to identify our own environmental impacts, take measures to reduce them and help protect nature, ecosystems and biodiversity. You could next consider introducing ISO 14001 in the management of your organisation.

Why an environmental management system?

Many countries impose demanding obligations under different environmental acts. Stakeholders, customers and partners also expect sustainability and environmental responsibility from organisations. An international management system that complies with ISO 14001 helps you meet these requirements.

The various environmental measures required by management systems also introduce financial benefits, for example through energy saving and waste reduction.

Organisations that are committed to improving environmental protection can also gain a competitive advantage and attract environmentally conscious customers. Environmentally friendly practices can also improve the organisation’s reputation and brand. Taking environmental risks into account helps to prepare for and protect the company from threats related to climate change, for example. An environmental management system promotes sustainable development, economic growth, environmental protection and social responsibility.


Tiia Tuomi
Management Consultant

Then what?

You will need competence and resources to take the perspectives of different management systems into consideration and for building and further developing your management system. You can improve your competence through training, or you can get help with building the system from outside your organisation.

If you wish, we can help you get started with building or developing a management system. You can book a free survey of your current situation with us. The survey will provide you with a list of different ways forward. We would also be happy to support the development of your operations, and we will provide you with functional digital tools to support and facilitate your management system.

Further development of your environmental management system

We are happy to help you – please contact us.

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