First company certified by BSI to revised Environmental Management standard

ISO 14001 certification

16 September 2015

Overbury is the first company in the UK to be independently assessed by BSI and achieve certification to the revised Environmental Management standard, ISO 14001. The standard, which was published on 15September 2015, has been updated to ensure that it continues to help organizations improve business processes, save money and deal with future environmental challenges.

As the world’s first and most-widely adopted international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001 has helped over 300,000 organizations across the world – and nearly 17,000 organizations in the UK improve their environmental performance. The new standard features a high level structure (HLS) – which includes terms, definitions, headings and text common to all management system standards - allowing easier integration when implementing multiple systems. Benefits of the standard include helping organizations to comply with regulations, reduce their waste and environmental impact and enhance reputation.

There has been increasing pressure on industries to become more sustainable – particularly in the construction sector. Overbury chose to pioneer the standard across all their sites and offices as they it wanted to bring environmental management to the heart of the organization.

Neil Pike, Head of Business Improvement, Overbury comments: “Standards are a vital part of our business – not just to help us achieve new business but also to help with our continual improvement and to facilitate growth. In order to achieve our certification to ISO 14001 we had to begin with a top down approach to make it really successful. We also needed cooperation between all departments from our internal environmental team, right through to our supply chain.  

“As a long-standing client, BSI has supported us throughout the transition, keeping us informed of changes and providing a wealth of information via various platforms in order to help our senior leadership team  understand the benefits of this new standard.”

Maureen Sumner Smith, Managing Director at BSI, commented: “Overbury should be really proud to be the first company in the UK to achieve certification to the revised 2015 version of the Environmental Management standard. The new version of ISO 14001 really supports organizations to prioritise their business needs whilst enabling them to meet environmental requirements, improve efficiency and environmental performance.

“We are actively encouraging BSI customers to make the transition as early as possible so that they start to experience the benefits of this new business improvement standard right from the beginning.  BSI is fully prepared to help businesses make the transition through a wide variety of training courses, webinars and workshops, as well as our full resourced team of expertly trained auditors.”

This new standard seeks to address the 11 concerns identified through the ISO ‘Future Challenges Environmental Management Systems’ study, which focused on users expectations for the revision of ISO 14001. Recommendations included improving environmental performance and increasing the uptake of environmental management systems in small organizations. An additional focus has also been placed on environmental impacts in the supply chain, particularly taking the ‘life cycle perspective’, which refers to the typical stages of a product life cycle, all of which will grow in importance as businesses expand. 

Some of the key changes to ISO 14001 include:

  • A new high level structure (HLS) - featuring terms, definitions, headings and text common to all management system standards, allowing easy integration when implementing multiple management systems 
  • Increased emphasis on the role that top management has in ensuring the  environmental management system (EMS) is integrated into business processes and improvement of environmental performance 
  • Consideration of the risks the organization faces (for example, the price volatility of raw materials), as well as the opportunities these risks present (greater resource efficiency)
  • Focus placed on the context of the organization, helping businesses better understand their impact on the environment but, as importantly, the impact that environmental concerns (such as climate change) have on them

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