UK law firm TLT has achieved ISO 14001:2015 – the internationally agreed standard that sets out the criteria for an effective environmental management system and requires continual improvements through annual re-certification.
The standard requires that organisations consider all environmental issues relevant to their operations – both positive and negative – such as air pollution, water issues, waste management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, resource use and efficiency.
TLT’s environmental management system is a cross-departmental approach to identifying, managing, monitoring and controlling environmental issues, involving the senior leadership team, sustainability team, facilities, IT, risk, HR and procurement.
The decision to apply for certification stems from TLT’s commitment to going beyond minimum requirements and ensuring that it can be held to account for its environmental performance.
Agnes Altmets, senior sustainability manager, says: “Applying for ISO 14001 was a significant undertaking; the process was extremely comprehensive and required a variety of data and information from different sources, as well as modifying and setting up new procedures to ensure that we actively manage all of our significant environmental impacts. But it was necessary – it’s a critical endorsement of our approach to environmental concerns and will ensure that we are making improvements year after year.”
Maria Connolly, head of future energy and real estate and executive board member responsible for sustainability at TLT, adds: “Sustainability is a key part of our strategy, and it’s important that we have the right systems in place to deliver at the scale and pace that’s needed. ISO 14001 will help us to achieve our business aims by incorporating environmental issues into business management, and allows us to improve efficiencies and even reduce some costs. We also see this as a fantastic tool for keeping all TLT colleagues engaged in our sustainability strategy.”
The standard has recently been updated, with key improvements including the increased prominence of environmental management in an organisation’s strategic planning processes, greater input from leadership, and a stronger commitment to proactive initiatives that boost environmental performance.