In July this year, we were proud to add ISO 14001:2105 for enhanced environmental performance to our growing collection of ISO certifications. Buy what exactly is ISO 14001:2105? What is it intended to do and how did we go about attaining it?
The textbook definition is that ISO 14001:2015 “specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organisation can use to enhance its environmental performance”. It’s intended for use by organisations wanting to manage their environmental responsibilities in a systematic way that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
This standard helps us achieve the intended outcomes of our environmental management system, which provides value for the environment, our business and any interested parties. It dovetails nicely with our environmental policy and aims to do three things...
The process of obtaining ISO 14001:2015 certification isn’t something for the faint-hearted. It involves a tremendous amount of detailed consultation with a qualified consultant who reviews each element of the standard and completes a gap-analysis of our compliance against the requirements. They then audit a sample of records to confirm whether the processes and procedures are carried out. It’s tough.
We then had to create a bespoke set of Management System Processes to support our implementation of the new Management System. Next, an auditor provides us with clear information about what actions and timescales are required.
It doesn’t stop there though. There are 6-montly management review meetings where objectives are set to ensure we remain on track. We’re then audited annually to check we’re maintaining compliance.
What aren’t we doing would be easier to answer. As part of the process, we created an Environmental Aspects register. This assesses all Environmental Aspects related to the company for their potential impact. We set an objective, actions and monitoring methods for each.
The aspects we considered included (deep breath) company environmental awareness, travel and transport, office heating and cooling, office lighting, office equipment usage, work equipment recycling, cleaning agents, waste and food recycling, office consumables, emergency preparedness, water usage, disposal of toner cartridges, disposal of confidential waste, promoting the business, pensions investments, home working...
Before even embarking on achieving ISO 14001:2015, we were already had a number of initiatives in place which helped us attain this enhanced environmental performance certification.
We know that the sustainability credentials of suppliers is vitally important to many clients. ISO 14001:2015 certification is proof of our environmental performance. If you’d like to chat more about sustainability or have a project you need a free, no-obligation fixed price quote for, call us on +44 (0) 20 3855 0690 or fill out our website form here.