RLB, an independent and people-focussed global property and construction practice, was keen to implement ISO14001 for the UK arm business for two reasons - to help attract more business and to support corporate responsibility goals. We were invited to help.
With ISO9001 in place and a willingness to learn, the team needed direct support on environmental matters and how they applied to offices, the services offered, procurement and other areas. Direct guidance was given on assessing risk and impacts, and interpreting environmental law, as well as sustainable procurement and carbon monitoring. There was a need to demystify the language of 'ISO14001' too, making it relevant. The quality manager was given responsibility for taking things forward and quickly took the reigns, gathering confidence throughout the few months we were on board. It is always a challenge engaging people and building environmental awarenss, particularly those spread across sites but by building a network of willing volunteer 'Champions' the process was made easier and practical measures put in place to help. For example, the senior managment team were supported to hold a cross-site competition (reported in Property Week) to encourage innovation - the winning suggestion was implemented and rewarded with a folding bicycle. BSI auditors accredited the system to UKAS ISO14001 standard according to RLB's desired timeline and RLB credit, in part, a multi million pound contract to the timing of this success.
2015 update: The business continues to hold ISO14001 and now has a dedicated team driving environmental practice forward. We continue to have strong ties with RLB, with senior partners providing pro bono support to EMERGE Reycling, another client of ours.
Image: RLB UK (Manchester)