A guest post by ReAgent Chemicals

Minute read

A guest post by ReAgent Chemicals

Minute read

Why ISO Standards are so important in the chemical industry

By on October 3rd, 2019 in Batch chemistry, Flow chemistry, Reaction calorimetry, Scale-up

It’s probably safe to say that many people have a negative opinion of the chemical industry, believing that chemical manufacturers are responsible for environmental damage, hazardous waste in our water systems, and putting our health at risk. But reputation is just one reason why ISO standards are so important for the chemical industry.

In this industry, we must do what we can to comply with health and safety and environmental requirements while ensuring quality, efficiency, and effective processes. ISO standards are there to support chemical manufacturers and suppliers to be the best they can be.

Which ISO Standards are most important in the chemical industry?

There are almost countless ISO standards which are applicable to the chemical industry, but the main ones that potential customers actively seek from a chemical supplier typically include:

  • ISO 9001:2015 – A quality management standard that ensures consistency of products and reliability of services, continuous improvement, and strong customer focus
  • ISO 14001:2015 – An environmental management standard that enhances environmental performance, ensures compliance with environmental regulations and achieves environmental objectives
  • ISO 45001:2018 – A health and safety standard to implement best occupational health and safety practices, continually improve and fulfill legal and other requirements

8 benefits of ISO Standards to the chemical industry

Having internationally-recognized standards for chemical companies the world over to adhere to has numerous benefits for the industry as a whole.

1. Quality

Meeting a set standard for materials, products, and processes means that the consumer enjoys quality products and services no matter where they are or which company they buy from. It ensures global consistency and boosts the chemical industry’s reputation.

2. Meeting regulatory requirements

In order to meet ISO standards, a chemical company has to demonstrate compliance with any applicable legislation or regulations – local, national, or otherwise. You must list all legislation that your company is required to meet and state whether you’re compliant or not. If not, you must create an action plan for how to become compliant and take steps to put that plan in place. This ensures that businesses throughout the industry meet recognized legal and regulatory standards.

3. Managing environmental impact

Meeting the requirements of ISO 14001 means that chemical companies adhere to environmental legislation and manage their impact on the environment. This improves industry efficiency in terms of energy use, reducing waste, and recycling practices. It also means that businesses become more efficient at batch manufacturing so they are not over-producing and making products that aren’t used.

4. Employee safety

Companies must comply with local health and safety legislation, such as the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health in the UK.

5. Continual improvement

Regular audits ensure compliance and maintain high standards. This includes ongoing internal audits, an annual external audit, and certificate renewal every three years. This lifts the quality of the industry as a whole.

6. Encouraging innovation

As part of meeting ISO standards, companies have to set objectives for the forthcoming year and demonstrate continual improvement. This encourages innovation (and growth) as companies can set objectives for introducing new products or looking at different forms and methods of manufacturing.

7. Mitigating risk

When introducing new products to market, conforming to ISO standards means identifying potential risks during the early stages of development, for example in the quality of raw materials and how they are handled, storage, hazards, etc.

8. Facilitating trade

As ISO standards are internationally recognized, they provide a boost to businesses and economies all over the world.

All of these benefits to the chemical industry also benefit customers and end consumers, assuring them that products are safe and reliable to use, and creating constructive competition.

Benefits to chemical suppliers of holding ISO certifications

As well as to the industry as a whole, there are also myriad benefits to individual chemical companies of holding ISO certifications.

Not only does holding an ISO certification enhance a chemical company’s reputation, but it also provides access to new markets, streamlines internal operations, strengthens the work culture, and reduces cost by minimizing errors and waste. During ongoing measuring and monitoring, any weaknesses are identified and corrected, opportunities are grasped, and quality is consistently maintained.

Ultimately, ISO standards portray a professional image that attracts customers, resulting in company growth.

About the guest authors

ReAgent Chemicals is a UK-based specialist chemical manufacturing company.

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