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Sustainability in Focus: Plastic Ingenuity’s Journey to ISO 14001 Certification

October 5, 2023|BY: Rob Helmke

Plastic Ingenuity Custom Thermoforming
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ISO 14001 Certification

Plastic Ingenuity was awarded ISO 14001 certification for our Cross Plains, WI and Mazomanie, WI facilities in September 2023. Environmental aspects are highly material to our stakeholders, as evidenced by the results of our materiality assessment . ISO 14001 certification enables PI to embed sustainability into our operational frameworks in addition to the products and solutions we provide to our stakeholders. ISO 14001 builds upon PI’s existing ISO certifications, including ISO 9001 – Quality Management System and ISO 13485 – Medical Devices.

What is ISO 14001?

The ISO 14001 standard is an internationally recognized framework that assists organizations in navigating environmental management challenges. Established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the standard provides a pragmatic approach for organizations to enhance their environmental performance through systematizing policies, processes, and practices.

The standard ensures that environmental management is not a static but a dynamic, evolving process. Organizations are empowered to identify, monitor, manage, and control their environmental aspects and impacts through a structured Environmental Management System (EMS). Additionally, it enables compliance with applicable legal requirements and provides a mechanism to demonstrate such compliance to stakeholders.

Benefits of ISO 14001 Certification

PI made the strategic decision to pursue ISO 14001 certification to realize the following benefits for our stakeholders:

  • Enhanced Environmental Performance:
    The systematic approach to environmental management enables PI to identify significant environmental aspects and implement controls to mitigate impacts, thereby elevating our overall environmental performance. 
  • Regulatory Compliance:
    ISO 14001 offers a structured approach to identify, monitor, and comply with pertinent legal requirements, minimizing risks of non-compliance. 
  • Stakeholder Confidence:
    Certification signals to stakeholders – including customers, suppliers, team members, and communities – that PI is committed to managing its environmental responsibilities diligently, fostering enhanced trust and credibility.
  • Operational Efficiencies:
    Continuous improvement is a core value of PI. The principle of continuous improvement embedded within ISO 14001 aligns with this core value. The standard will help PI identify opportunities for enhancing efficiency, leading to reduced waste generation and optimal utilization of resources.
  • Risk Management:
    Through the proactive identification and mitigation of environmental risks, the standard will help PI fortify operational resiliency and safeguard against potential disruptions.
  • Team Member Engagement:
    “Being ever mindful of our natural environment” is in our mission statement. ISO 14001 will enable our team members to realize our founder’s vision for the company.
  • Supply Chain Sustainability:
    Adopting ISO 14001 permeates through the supply chain, enabling PI to ensure our suppliers adhere to environmentally responsible practices, thereby mitigating supply chain risks.


PI formed a cross-functional team to modernize our legacy environmental system for alignment with the ISO 14001 standard. The team updated the quality policy to reflect PI’s environmental commitments. Key commitments include:

  • Designing products for our customers that minimize environmental impact through the full life cycle.
  • Reducing operational waste through reuse and recycling.
  • Efficiently using resources, energy, and water within our operations.
  • Monitoring our environmental performance regularly.

In addition to addressing operational impacts, the standard provided a roadmap for integrating life cycle considerations into our design and development process. As a result of this integration, a sustainability assessment is executed on every new design created by PI design engineers. The sustainability assessment includes all stages of the life cycle including design for recycling, incorporation of circular materials, minimizing material usage, and optimizing design efficiency. We are confident that these process improvements will bear fruit for our customers and other stakeholders. Please visit our website to download the certifications.