Today we celebrate America Recycles Day, part of the Keep America Beautiful national initiative. It is the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States, which is currently at a rate of 34.5%. But as a nation, we can do better.
According to the National Recycling Coalition, the day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products, thus consuming less of our precious and limited natural resources, reducing our carbon footprint and waste that is deposited in landfills. Recycling also avoids the pollution associated with extraction of raw materials and their processing into finished products. While it’s important to raise awareness among individuals, it’s also critical for organizations to promote recycling and environmentally healthy practices, which is at the core of ISO 14001 certification.
ISO 14001 certified organizations understand the important role they play in supporting and participating in these types of initiatives because they are focused on measuring and improving on their environmental impact every day. They understand the benefits of implementing an environmental management system in accordance with the ISO standards because of the benefits which include:
- The reduction of environmental liability
- Averting pollution and reducing waste
- Improving community goodwill
Observances like America Recycles Day are important to these certified organizations because it aligns so closely with the hard work they put in to earn their certification. It is also an opportunity for ISO 14001 certified organizations to engage with their community and promote environmental citizenship and responsibility. Companies that hold this distinction are often sought out for new business opportunities as it is a key differentiator to those looking for environmentally responsible service providers. It truly sets them apart from their competitors that are lacking the ISO certification.
Many of these certified organizations maintain their standard of excellence by recycling paper, cardboard, metals, wood, plastics and actually utilizing recycled materials; by reducing waste and water consumption; and by participating in electronics collection drives and other similar methods that contribute to maintaining their certification. All of which are part of the America Recycles Day initiative.
For more on ISO 14001 and its effect on the environment, read our blog “How Does ISO 14001 Impact The Environment.”