14001: 2015 – lessons from the early adopters

Marek Bidwell talks to four organisations that were among the first to achieve the revised standard

More than 250,000 organisations worldwide will have made the transition to ISO 14001: 2015 by September 2018, yet for most this challenge still lies ahead. There is plenty of advice available about the changes, but organisations that have already been through the process may provide the most practical insights. These include precision metal fabricator Hydram Engineering, project development and construction firm Skanska UK, train operating company Northern (formerly Northern Rail) and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Existing strengths

Common to the four was the advanced state of their environmental management systems (EMS). Northern, which was the first organisation anywhere to be certified to the new standard, had carried out a context analysis in 2012 as it developed an environmental strategy for a two-year franchise extension, implemented an energy management system and reviewed its procurement process according to the requirements of BS 8903 (principles and framework for procuring sustainably).

Meanwhile, Manchester Metropolitan University has been active in sustainability for at least five years and in 2013 topped the People and Planet Green League, the independent table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance. It is now working to embed sustainability into its teaching curriculum. Skanska UK has developed a tool to embed sustainability into the lifecycle of all ...

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