The Environment Agency (EA) was the proud winner of ‘the ‘Sustainable Business of the Year Award’ at the Environment and Energy Awards 2014 recently.
Judges awarded the accolade to the organisation for its highly ‘integrated and engaging’ approach to sustainability.
One of the Environment Agency’s key success factors has been the continued maintenance and development of its ISO 14001 certified environmental management system. Since 2003, its 14001 system has been utilised to incorporate, monitor, review and improve all new environmental initiatives introduced to the organisation.
Simon Dawes, head of internal environmental management at the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency is helping the country to be better prepared for the changing climate while also reducing its own footprint. Our ISO 14001 system helps us improve our own sustainability and provides a framework for us to implement changes – many of which have been suggested by our staff. A 14001 certified system helps steer the team through the steps to success.”
One of the initiatives judges favoured is the organisation’s travel initiative. The Environment Agency has made it easier for employees to shift from cars to train, to use audio conferencing, use pool and hire cars and encouraged car sharing.
A hierarchy of travel decision making has also been promoted so staff check that travel is really needed and, if it is, choose the greenest mode possible. As a result, since 2005 the number of miles travelled by the organisation’s employees has been reduced by 17 million – over 30%.
Rob Allen, senior marketing manager at NQA, who sponsored the award, said: “The Environment Agency is a leading example of an organisation committed to meeting and going beyond the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard. It is forward thinking organisation and its proactive attitude to sustainability has improved its environmental impact in all areas of operation. It comes as no surprise that the Environment Agency has won this award.”