At Hungry Shredder, we are very proud of the fact that our shredding services are fully ISO compliant across the board. We tell you all about it in ‘Our Shredding Service Standards’, along with all of the other shredding accreditations we have. But enough about us. Today we want to take a moment and explain what exactly these numbers are, and what they mean for you as a customer. After all, unless you work in the industry, odds are you don’t know what these specific ISO standards are for. So, we want to explain.
What Are ISO Standards?
Starting at the beginning, ISO standards are international standards set out by ISO, which stands for International Organisation for Standardisation. This body (which has a membership of over 163 other national standards bodies) creates documents that provide each industry with requirements, specifications, guidelines and characteristics that can be used consistently to ensure that materials, products, processes and services are truly fir for their purpose. This ensures that customers are getting a consistent minimum standard of products or service. These standards are developed by the industry that needs them, using experts from all fields and geographical locations to ensure everyone can adhere easily. Almost every sector you can think of has their own ISO standards, and these are identified by a series of numbers. For shredding, the primary ISO standards are 9001:2015, 14001 and 9001:2008.
ISO 9001:2015 is the standard that specifies requirements for quality management systems within an organisation. They are required when an organisation:
- Needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and applicable statutory and regulatory
- Aims to enhance customer satisfaction through effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.
A bit of a mouthful, isn’t it? And it might seem a bit generic too, but it designed to be. This is because ISO 9001:2015 needs to be applicable to any organisation, regardless of its type or size, or the products or services it provides. This standard ensures that there are system in place to manage quality of products and services before they are provided to customers – an essential for any business.
The ISO 1400 family sets the standard for environmental management, and provides practical tools for companies and organisations of all kinds who want to manage their environmental responsibilities. So naturally, dealing with paper and its disposal falls into this category. ISO 14001:2015 and its supporting standards focus on environmental systems that will help businesses achieve this. ISO 14001:2015 specifically maps out a framework, which a company can follow to set up an effective and compliant environmental management system. It also allows business owners and external stakeholders to see that environmental impact is being measured, and steps are being taken to improve it. There are some great guides out there, including this handbook for SME’s that gives you a step by step guide to following ISO 14001:2015. There is so much included in this ISO standard that it is difficult to explain it all in one short piece, but overall it outlines the ways that businesses should be operating to minimise their environmental impact – from energy and transport to manufacturing, waste disposal and management strategy.
The ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards is designed to help organisations keep information assets secure. There are many different ISO standards under this heading, so we won’t go into them all today. But by using this family of standards, any business can easily manage the security of the more intangible assets in their business – like financial information, intellectual property, employee details or third party information. This ISO standard hangs very well with the Data Protection Act, and almost adds an extra layer of protection to your business. As a shredding company, we are part of many businesses compliance with ISO/IEC 27000.
Being ISO compliant is about more than just adhering to some rules. ISO standards have been designed to ensure that our customers get a consistent service, and some, like ISO 14001:2015, have been designed to help the environment. To find out more about how we help other businesses be compliant with ISO standards, or what we do to be compliant, get in touch with our expert team today.