Building and delivering the highest quality x-ray scanners is a critical part of our mission. Astrophysics is proud to announce we were recently granted ISO 14001 certification, focusing on our commitment to implement and maintain environmental management systems. Paired with our ISO 9001, these certifications demonstrate our dedication to quality production processes, environmental policies and the continual improvement of each.
International Organization for Standardization – ISO (14000)
ISO certifications are sets of standards companies follow that highlight their commitment to their customers, stakeholders and sustainable business practices. They focus on how products are produced and cover many different business functions, including quality manufacturing (ISO 9000) and environmental responsibility (ISO 14000). Participation is voluntary and audited through a third-party accredited certification body.
Astrophysics’ newest certification, ISO 14001, focuses on environmentally responsible production by helping companies in three (3) key ways: minimizing the negative environmental impacts of their operations and processes; ensuring compliance with applicable laws, regulations and environmental requirements; and regularly reevaluating and improving these efforts.
How do companies ensure their production processes are environmentally responsible? ISO 14001 guidelines provide a set of standards that organizations use to develop environmental management systems (EMS). The EMS serves as both a road map and confirmation that ISO-certified companies are meeting these environmental standards. The EMS is part of companies’ overall management system and touches all aspects of the business: organizational structure, planning activities, procedures, processes, and resources for implementing and maintaining the environmental policy. The basic principles of an EMS are based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, which encourages continuous evaluations of and improvements to the environmental policy.
In addition to achieving ISO 14001 certification in December 2020, Astrophysics has been ISO 9001 certified for over a decade. This certification focuses on quality manufacturing by emphasizing 7 quality management principles: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management. ISO 9001 certification also follows the PDCA cycle while focusing on processes that encourage high-quality and efficient manufacturing.
Long-Term Business Viability
There are significant advantages for ISO-certified companies. Many of those benefits trickle down and have a positive impact on customers and stakeholders. For the business, ISO certifications tend to generate cost savings. With ISO 14001, an effective EMS helps reduce waste and improve resource efficiency. It also reduces the complexity and challenges that come with maintaining multiple sets of procedures. That time and effort can instead focus on tasks that more directly drive the business’ success.
The cost savings also come from increased conformance with business standards. ISO certifications help businesses meet domestic and international regulatory requirements, reducing their risks of costly fines. Also, since ISO certifications are internationally-recognized standards, they limit the need for additional certifications to operate in markets around the globe.
Employees and stakeholders also benefit from ISO certification. Having quality manufacturing or environmental responsibility processes in place confirm these impacts are being observed, measured and improved. The certification also allows for easier comparison between companies. In the past, companies were allowed to develop their own EMS, which made comparing environmental responsibility almost impossible. Today, the standardized EMS ensures everyone is operating on an equal playing field.
Finally, these certifications are smart approaches to long-term business viability. Mandatory annual surveillance audits with a complete recertification every three years by the third-party accredited certification body ensures companies keep pace with rapidly changing standards and are not left behind in the rapidly-changing business world.
Fortifying Sustainable Security
Continuous improvement is never done, and ISO certifications adapt and evolve over time. This approach is very similar to our company culture; focusing on R&D, innovation, and continuous product improvement.
These certifications fortify and demonstrate our commitment to sustainable manufacturing processes, while aligning with our innovation ideals. We are constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible with x-ray imaging, quality manufacturing and environmental responsibility, and are proud to be ISO 9001 and 14001 certified.