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?

What is ISO 14001:2015?

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…

  1. Enhance our environmental performance.
  2. Fulfil our compliance obligations.
  3. Achieve our environmental objectives.

How did we achieve ISO 14001:2105?

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 are we doing as part of our Environmental Management System?

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…

Key objectives

  1. Enhance awareness within the Organisation of aspects of our business activities that have a direct impact on the environment.
  2. Ensure that environmentally friendly choices are made when purchasing office consumables and we only purchase what we need.
  3. Minimise the use of energy by efficient use of office equipment.

Key actions

  1. Close monitoring of energy usage.
  2. Appointment of environmental champion.
  3. Discuss environmental policy as part of induction and company meetings.

Positive initiatives

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.

  • Renewable energy – all our energy is on a 100% renewable tariff provided by EDF. All our source certification meets GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance Quality Criteria.
  • Sustainable premises – our office building is a winner of the BREEAM Very Good Sustainability Award. This includes everything from water saving and efficiency measures to LED lighting and renewable energy.
  • Paperless office – being a provider of software solutions, operating a paperless office policy was a natural thing to do.
  • Energy saving – all devices, whether in the office or at home, are set to an automated sleep mode which kicks in after just 3 minutes. This reduces energy usage and is also part of our ISO 27001 Security Management system.
  • Ecologi – we subscribe to Ecologi for every member of our staff. Our subscriptions help provide vital funding for climate solutions around the world and mean our entire workforce is climate positive.

Want to work with a sustainable software agency?

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.