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Green Certified Standards

  1. 1. Green certified standards Inside More than just a badge: certified standards can boost the bottom line Well-timed energy investments help the Royal Mint Costa Coffee expands while going nowhere Choosing an ISO 14001 certifier: tips for maximising value NOVEMBER 2012 Produced by Sponsored by ENDS research and survey looks at how businesses benefit from achieving certification to environmental standards and uncovers ways to enhance their value
  2. 2. Sustainable practices can grow your business. And you can maximise the benefits while minimizing your social and environmental impact. Let us help you. Our portfolio of products and services spans sustainable events, carbon footprinting, and environmental and energy management - all essential business tools, whatever your sector, size or location. We also understand that every business is unique. That’s why we provide a customized service tailored exactly to your business – getting you to where you want to be. Find out more at, call us on 0845 080 9000 or follow us @bsisustain Turn sustainability into success
  3. 3. 0503 BSI is very proud to sponsor and wel- come you to the first-ever ENDS Green Certified Standards special report. Having produced the world’s first environmental management standard back in 1992, now ISO 14001, BSI has continued to lead the way with pioneering new developments in this field, from energy ­management to corporate social respon- sibility, product carbon footprinting and biodiversity amongst many others. As the UK’s National Standards Body with both impartiality and heritage in sus- tainability standards, BSI was exceptionally keen to work closely with ENDS on this specific report and take a hard and critical, independent look at this area. For more than a century our experts have been challenging mediocrity and complacency to help embed excellence into organisations – from small businesses, to globally recognised brands across 150 countries worldwide. Our vision is to help organisations understand the tangible ben- efits of adopting standards and help them adopt best practice frameworks to make excellence a habit. ENDS’ report puts that vision under the spotlight of independent research into those companies and organisations that have worked to certified sustainability standards, and details both their results and experiences. For BSI, such insight is invaluable as it complements our own customer research and helps us further understand our mar- Recognising the benefits that certified standards can provide is key to making excellence a habit, says BSI, sponsor of this ENDS special report Understanding the true value of certified sustainability standards ket, our customers and the value of stand- ards. With this we can fine-tune the support we give, so that we perform at our best, and by doing so enable others to perform better. After all that’s our mission, and why BSI is very proud to sponsor this report. Our research echoes the findings of this report. That is, the vast majority of our customers value the benefits of certified sustainability standards. We know that what we do helps them identify and manage their impacts on the environment and com- munity, and better understand legislation. And it helps them drive their business to develop and implement robust policies to improve resource efficiencies that deliver both cost savings and improved business reputations. Also, like this report, BSI’s own research shows that while it is encouraging to see so many reaping the benefits of embracing standards by performing better, a minority do face challenges in realising the value. For BSI, with our vision to help our cli- ents make excellence a habit, it is critical to understand those challenges, problems and doubts. It is with insight such as this that we can help the minority realise the benefits that the majority have already found. Finally, following on from 20 years of innovation, BSI remains committed to continuing to innovate to tackle the ever-­changing issues of sustainability. It is reports such as this by ENDS that will help us do this better for both the world of busi- ness and the environment we live in. n Sponsored by: 0503
  4. 4. HELPING THE BEST GET BETTERNQA delivers world class UKAS accredited certification services and IRCA/IEMA registered training courses in energy and environmental management covering ISO 50001 and ISO 14001. And if you are a company with 1-5 employees, take advantage of cost-effective registration and affordable payment plans for a range of ISO standards through the new NQA Micro Firm Scheme. To find out more call 0843 308 5374 or email:
  5. 5. 15 Guoman Hotel Management achieves the Carbon Trust Standard 16 Aon uses CEMARS to demonstrate carbon reduction commitments 17 Costa Coffee wakes up and smells the ISO 50001 energy savings 18 Choosing an ISO 14001 certifier Handy tips for selecting and working with certifiers 03 Sponsor’s foreword 06 Green certification Results of ENDS survey show certification improves performance Case studies 11 Sustainability standard plays role in sailing academy’s post-Olympic plans 14 Energy standard helps the Royal Mint maximise energy investments Contents Green certified standardsGreen certified standards An ENDS special report Author James Richens Editor, ENDS Report Alison Carter Head of production Carolyn Avery Subeditor Hannah Modu Senior production controller Kevin Conroy Advertising Reena Bhari Commercial manager Fawad Minhas Publisher Nick Rowcliffe Publishing director Donna Murphy Cover photograph m-images/Alamy Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Data Services (ENDS) or Haymarket Business Media Ltd All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced in material form without the written permission of the copyright owner, except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Designs and Patent Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency ENDS Haymarket Business Media 174 Hammersmith Road London W6 7JP, UK T +44 20 8267 8100 ENDS is part of Haymarket Business Media Ltd, registered in England and Wales under company number 1468220. Registered office 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP, UK Green certified standards Inside More than just a badge: certified standards can boost the bottom line Well-timed energy investments help the Royal Mint Costa Coffee expands while going nowhere Choosing an ISO 14001 certifier: tips for maximising value November 2012 Produced by ENDS research and survey looks at how businesses benefit from achieving certification to environmental standards and uncovers ways to enhance their value ENDS (Environmental Data Services) has been a leading source of information on environment, sustainability and carbon for more than 30 years. As well as three subscription services for environmental professionals and a specialist carbon bench- marking service, ENDS produces a range of special reports. To discuss advertising opportunities con- tact Reena Bhari, reena.bhari@haymarket. com, tel: +44 20 8267 4634 About ENDS ENDS would like to thank the BSI for sponsoring this publication. We are also grateful to our research partners the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment and the UK Accreditation Service, especially for the advice of IEMA’s policy director Martin Baxter. We are also grateful to the ENDS Report readers, IEMA members and others who participated in the survey. Acknowledgements 0505
  6. 6. The popularity of environmental man- agement systems (EMSs) and other cer- tified standards is increasing year on year. Some 16,000 UK organisations are certified to ISO 14001 alone, making it far and away the most successful voluntary environmen- tal initiative (see figure 1). Companies hope that taking a rigorous approachtomanagingenvironmentalissues will help improve efficiency and cut costs, as well boost their reputations. More recently, growth has been driven by large companies and pubic bodies requiring smaller suppli- ers to implement a certified standard. This enables buyers to show they are promoting high environmental standards in their sup- ply chains. Standards are increasingly taking on a quasi-regulatory role. The Environment Agency in England and Wales and its Scot- tish counterpart SEPA reward sites that have obtained the international environ- ment management standard ISO 14001 or its EU equivalent EMAS with better risk management ratings, meaning they could be inspected less often. Under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, organisations with the Carbon Trust Standard or its equivalent were rewarded for taking early action to cut emissions. But is the faith that companies, public bodies and regulators put in certified stand- ards justified? What evidence is there that such standards enhance performance and improvecompliance?Andiftheydo,isthere potential to increase the benefits further? These are some of the questions ENDS set out to answer in this report. The research builds on previous surveys by ENDS in 2003 and 2006 on environment management systems (EMSs) ISO 14001 and EMAS. These revealed significant concerns about the effectiveness of these standards and the quality of certification. Ratherthanlookingjustatthewell-estab- lished environmental management systems, Organisations with a strong internal commitment to improving performance can gain real value from certification to green standards Green certification: more than just a badge ENDS decided to broaden its coverage to: ●● ISO 9001 (quality management) ●● ISO 14001 (environmental management) ●● OHSAS 18001 (health and safety management) ●● ISO 50001 (energy management) and its predecessor BS EN 16001 ●● Carbon Trust Standard or equivalent (carbon reduction) ●● BS 8555 (environmental management for smaller organisations, also known as the Acorn Scheme) ●● PAS 2060 (carbon neutrality) ●● EMAS (EU environmental management) This approach reflects the priority many companies have given to carbon and energy management in recent years. The inclusion of quality and health and safety manage- ment reflects the fact that companies often have multiple standards operating along- side each other. ENDS limited its research to stand- ards that must be independently certified because these are regarded the most cred- ible. It also focused on organisational stand- ards rather than product standards. The research is based on an online survey of ENDSReportreaders and members of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) to which about 200 responseswerereceived.ENDSinterviewed several expert commentators to discuss the results. Almost half of respondents came from organisations certified to one or more of the standards. A further 11% were uncertified organisations either using a standard unof- ficiallyorwithitsownproceduresandaquar- terwereconsultantshelpingfirmsimplement standards. About 5% were certification bod- iesconductingauditsandissuingcertificates, and 11% were regulators (see figure 2). Organisations came from a range of sec- tors including cement, chemicals, construc- tion, transport, business services, electricity supply, wood and paper, public administra- tion, and manufacturing and engineering. 06 0 2,000 4,000 6,000 8,000 10,000 12,000 14,000 18,000 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 180 16,000 160 20012000 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Sources: ISO, European Commission and IEMA ENDS index ISO 14001 Acorn EMAS Number of organisations Index of number certified to each standard (2007 = 100) By 2012, more than 800 organisations had the Carbon Trust Standard for carbon reduction, or one of its equivalents such as the Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) and the BSI energy reduction Kitemark. More than 70 UK organisations had energy management standard ISO 50001 or the former BS EN 16001 Figure 1 Organisations certified to selected environmental management standards
  7. 7. fication bodies on the number of certificates issued to UK organisations for each of the standards. However, the response was low, apparently due to concerns over commer- cial confidentiality. This is despite a require- ment in ISO 17021 – the standard governing certification bodies – for all accredited certi- fiers to publish a register of their valid certi- fications, including basic information about the companies certified. UK Accreditation Service, which accred- its certifiers, told ENDS it understands certifiers’ concerns. “The amount of infor- mation that they actually have to publish is limited because of commercial confidenti- ality. We wouldn’t expect them to pass on information that could be used by competi- tors,” it said. Some certifiers will only con- firm whether or not a company is certified by them in response to a query. ENDS has instead used data from a vari- ety of sources such as the International Organization for Standardization. Value of standards The headline finding of the ENDS survey will come as welcome news to those work- ing with certified standards. Three quar- ters of respondents said certified standards are valued by most organisations because they improve performance and benefit the business. However, it is a concern that a quarter question this view, saying the performance improvements were at best short term or 0507 More than half of respondents came from larger organisations with more than 250 full-time-equivalent employees, while almost 20% were with small organisations with less than ten employees. The rest fell somewhere in between. More than 85% of organisations using standards used a combination such as qual- ity and environment, health and safety. ENDS also tried to gather data from certi- ENDS’ survey found certified standards add value, but much depends on how they are used % An organisation certified to one or more of the standards covered by this survey An organisation using one or more of the standards covered by this survey An organisation with its own approach to managing environment, health and safety and quality issues Consultant Certification body Regulator 47 7 24 6 5 11 Figure 2 ENDS survey respondents CulturaCreative/Alamy
  8. 8. mark for well-managed organisations. It is specifically designed for all types of organi- sations, regardless of what their perform- ance is, as a tool to help them improve. ISO 14001 includes a requirement on organisations to continually improve per- formance, although it is up to the company how ambitious or modest its improvement targets are. Organisations consistently fail- ing to make efforts to improve risk having their certification withdrawn. Aside from improving performance, cer- tified standards could have a range of other benefits, including improving profitability, winning business and boosting an organisa- tion’s reputation. Again the results were mixed. Almost 60% of organisations with standards said they make little difference to profitability. The remaining 40% said they did increase profits. Certification bodies and consultants were more likely to say standards benefited profitability. This is perhaps unsurprising because these groups sell services related to certified standards. Baxter says whether companies increase profitability often depends on how long they havebeencertified.Companiesnewtousing certified standards may have much greater scope to save money than companies that have had it for many years, and therefore see profitability as a greater driver. Moreover, he says some of the standards could not be expected to improve profit- ability, such as health and safety standard OHSAS 18001. On winning business, respondents were fairly evenly split with 46% saying unam- biguously that standards help win busi- ness, while 50% said other factors are more important. Onthefaceofit,itmightseemdisappoint- ing that not more organisations felt certified standards help win business. But perhaps it is not surprising that other factors, such as cost, quality and service, are seen as more important in customers’ buying decisions. About a third of respondents said stand- ards help enhance a certified organisation’s reputation, but about two thirds thought other factors are more important. Again, some might be disappointed that there was not a more ringing endorsement of the reputational benefits of certified standards. One reason may be the increas- ing ubiquity of certified standards. As more and more companies need a certified stand- ard to do business, the more mainstream and less distinctive the standard becomes and therefore carries a smaller reputational benefit. This may be especially true for some types of certified standard such as ISO 14001 and 9001. Newer, less common, carbon reductions standards may have more caché. Resilience ENDS also asked how certified standards help improve an organisation’s resilience, meaning its ability to cope and respond to external risks and opportunities such as ris- ing commodity prices or carbon regulation. A modest 40% said certified stand- ards help resilience, while more than half thought other factors are more important. This is likely to be because most certified standards focus on operational manage- ment rather than strategic issues. Current plans to revise ISO 14001 include a require- ment to consider the implications of strate- gicissuessuchaswaterscarcity.Therevised standard is due to be finished in 2015. Baxter is sanguine about the mixed results. There are different drivers for different standards, he says. Regarding ISO 14001, organisations can align their system to whatever their priorities are. This 0509 that certified standards made no real differ- ence at all (see figure 3). The result is a marked improvement on the previous ENDS surveys in 2003 and 2006. These found that two thirds of respondents thought EMSs provided the basis for achieving significant environ- mental performance improvements. The remaining third thought the perform- ance benefits were either short-lived or non-existent. The current survey’s wider scope, look- ing at a range of certified standards, should be born in mind when comparing results with previous research. Nevertheless, there is clearly a persistent doubt among a significant minority of envi- ronmental professionals over the value of certified standards. Why is this? Motivation Martin Baxter, IEMA’s policy director, says the reason why an organisation has achieved a certified standard will affect how much effort it puts into the process and the results it gets. For instance, if a company is motivated to use the standard to improve performance, then it is more likely to yield benefits. But if it is just to satisfy business customers’ requirements, they are less likely to be committed to improvements. Mo Ghaus, head of certification body NQA, agrees. He says: “Slightly more than 50% of our clients are looking for a busi- ness partner to help them improve, while just under 50% use us as a badge provider because they need certification to be able to do business.” The badge-seekers want to do the mini- mum necessary to retain certification, while the others are looking for continual improvement to help grow their business, Ghaus adds. Maureen Sumner Smith, certifica- tion body BSI’s global marketing director, agrees: “The benefits depend on how the standard is deployed and integrated into the company, how far it is embedded, how far management is involved, how much you measure and monitor improvements.” This suggests the growing popularity of certified standards might be a double-edged sword. Getting more organisations certified through supply chain pressure may raise performance to some degree, but the full potential of certification may not be realised. It could also reduce a standard’s credibility if more and more organisations become cer- tified simply to freeload. But Baxter warns that standards such as ISO 14001 should not be seen as a bench- % Certified standards help to ensure sustained improvements in performance Certified standards make a short-term difference to performance Certified standards make no real difference to performance 76 10 15 Figure 3 Do certified standards improve performance? Slightly more than 50% of our clients are looking for a business partner to help them improve, while just under 50% use us as a badge provider because they need certification to be able to do business Mo Ghaus, NQA
  9. 9. Est. 1969 BUREAU ASSESSMENT THE BRITISH WINNER Gain confidence with ISO14001 training Very interactive and beneficial Kevin Lawton, Astound Cleaning Very enjoyable Mike Broad, Eastern Packaging Brilliant couple of days Lucy Deacon, Daktronics UK
  10. 10. cal issue. For several years, regulators such as the Environment Agency in England and Wales have been looking to develop a more risk-based approach to regulation. This has been a response to government pressure on public bodies to reduce the perceived ‘burden’ of regulation on business and to show good value for money. The economic downturn and public spending cuts have increased this pressure. Under the agency’s Operational Risk Appraisal (OPRA) scheme, recognition is given to companies with certified EMSs. A company with a good OPRA rating will be inspected less often than one with a poor rating. GivinggreaterweighttocertifiedEMSshas been difficult because of the lack of evidence 0511 could be better compliance, cutting costs or reducing environmental impacts. Not all of these will improve profitability and not all can be quantified in financial terms. “If you manage risk you don’t necessar- ily save money directly, so it’s not an issue of profitability, but the business value of it is still quite high,” Baxter says. Compliance The survey found about 80% of organisa- tions felt standards improve compliance. But 20% said they make little difference (see figure 4). Consultants, certifiers and regu- lators showed a more sceptical split of 75% versus 25%. For management systems such as ISO 14001 and EMAS, compliance is a criti- % Certified standards result in better compliance with legislation Certified standards make little difference to compliance with legislation 80 20 Figure 4 Do certified standards improve legal compliance? Event sustainability management system ISO 20121 has helped the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) enhance its reputation as a 2012 Olympic venue, secure future business and reduce its utility costs, according to its certification body BSI. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) required all venue owners and suppliers to manage sustainability issues through achieving ISO 20121, formally British Standard 8901. “It was imperative to support LOCOG’s ambition of delivering a sustainable games,”says John Tweed, chief executive of WPNSA. ISO 20121, he says, it put them in an excellent position to minimise and control any negative impacts relating to sustainability which might have occurred during the Games. Now that the Games are over,it is hoped the standard will help attract business forWPNSAas a conference facility.“We believe this independent certification will help us attract more corporate functions and sailing regattas from those seeking to integrate sustainability into their supply chain,”Tweed says. The system establishes a framework for identifying and managing relevant environmental, social and economic issues. It requires organisations to define the scope and prepare a statement describing what activities and functions will be covered.WPNSA did this by considering which issues mattered to its stakeholders. The standard also requires organisations to identify legal requirements covering its activities, reducing the risk of breaches. “Composing a register of sustainability legislation was a challenge, but essential as it summarises our obligations from compliance and is an integral part of meeting the requirements of the standard,”says Dan Reading, sustainability officer at The Green Blue, the joint environmental initiative of the Royal Yachting Association and the British Marine Federation. WPNSA achieved a cost reduction of about 15% due to better waste management and energy use controls implemented as a result of the standard. Sustainability standard helps sailing venue do business post-Olympics John Tweed (left) with Olympic sailing gold medallist Ben Ainslie
  11. 11. 12 thatcompaniesthathavethemaremorelikely to comply with environmental regulations. The EU’s three-year ‘REMAS’ study into this issue, which concluded in 2006, found that sites with certified EMSs tended to have better management controls, but did notnecessarilyhavebetterlegalcompliance. The results chimed with ENDS’s 2006 survey which found that a third of organi- sations thought EMSs led to better identi- fication of non-compliance with regulatory requirements. A further third said this would be followed by corrective action. However, the remaining third said correc- tive action does not always follow. Competency Research body Sniffer is carrying out a further detailed study into the competency of certification bodies on behalf of the UK environment agencies. It is due to report in early 2013. Responsibility for regulatory compliance and improving performance clearly rests with the organisation using the standard. But certification bodies have an important role in assessing whether a management system or other type of certification meets the standard’s requirements. Much depends on whether they do a good job. If certifiers are unaware of legislation or overlook issues of non-compliance with standards, an organisation may not get the best out of it. Worse still, it could lead to certified companies causing pollution inci- dents that could have been averted, bringing standards into disrepute. The UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), which accredits most certification bodies, also has a vital role in ensuring certifiers are competent to carry out the work. The survey found the majority of certifi- cation bodies seem to be doing a good job. Nevertheless, many respondents think there is room for improvement. Almost 60% of organisations believe cer- tifiers are competent, being familiar with both business operations and management of impacts. The remainder think their competence is lacking in one of these areas. Consultants, certification bodies and regulators take a slightly more negative view of competence (see figure 5). Looking at specific areas of perform- ance, 60% of organisations and 43% of certification bodies, consultants and regu- lators think certifiers spend an appropriate amount of time checking performance. But almost a quarter of organisations and almost half of certification bodies, consult- ants and regulators think certifiers spend little or no time assessing actual perform- ance in addition to policies and procedures. More than half of organisations said certi- fiers check compliance through on-site eval- uation, while a quarter said they stopped at checking documentation for evidence of compliance. Almost half of consultants, cer- tification bodies and regulators also thought checks were limited to documentation. Consistency On consistency, about 40% of respondents said certification bodies take a consistent approach, but a quarter of organisations and more than a third of consultants, certifi- cation bodies and regulators thought it was inconsistent, leading to different outcomes. Comments from respondents illus- trate some of the concerns. One company remarked: “Some auditors are extremely good but we are currently suffering with compliance auditors who cannot under- stand our business.” Another company said: “I have grave concerns about the lack of consistency and rigor of the certifiers of management sys- tem standards and feel this is completely downgrading the value and usefulness of the standards.” One respondent commented: “Certified standards are fine as long as they are a tool for driving standards with a company. Too many are just a marketing badge.” The Environment Agency’s Duncan Gid- dens, future regulation senior adviser, says: The results are “pretty much in line with what we’ve found… There’s good and bad out there”. For Giddens, the heart of the problem is that some companies are far less commit- ted to ensuring their certified EMS delivers improved performance and good compli- ance. And certification bodies are not hold- ing organisations to account well enough to ensure good results. “Wethinkatthemomentthatcertification is very process driven, but it’s not so good at finding out whether the company is compli- ant or not… We’re looking for it to be a much more outcome driven,” says Giddens. The agency is working with several large certifiers and 30 regulated companies in the chemicals, waste, cement and food sectors to address these shortcomings. The project is called the Environmental Permitting Regulations Assurance Scheme (EPRAS). Under trials of the scheme, the Environment Agency gives certifiers extra training on permit compliance checking. This is essentially a bolt-on module to an EMS audit designed to check compliance. It includes, for instance, finding out whether thesiteoperatoriskeepingtopermittedemis- % 60 17 24 43 10 48 Organisations’ views Constulants, regulators and certifiers’ views Certifiers spend an appropriate amount of time assessing the actual performance of organisations in addition to policies and procedures Certifiers spend too much time assessing the actual performance of organisations in addition to policies and procedures Certifiers spend little or no time assessing the actual performance of organisations in addition to policies and procedures Figure 5 Certifying procedures versus performance I have grave concerns about the lack of consistency and rigor of the certifiers of management system standards and feel this is downgrading the value and usefulness of the standards Survey respondent
  12. 12. Let Entropy manage your systems for you. And see how it improves visibility, control and assurance - while reducing risk, incidents and costs. BSI Entropy Software™ is a leading application in Sustainability Performance Management Software. It provides a simple management system solution for corporate responsibility, energy and carbon management, QEHS performance and governance, and risk and compliance. Organizations of all sizes are using Entropy solutions worldwide to streamline the way they manage and report on their environmental performance. To find out how Entropy can help your business: T: 0845 080 9000 E: Entropy drives sustainability for success Leading the way in sustainable assurance Driving sustainable assurance Sustainable assurance is becoming the bedrock of a company’s license to operate, both in the UK and internationally. ERM Certification and Verification Services (ERM CVS) is the worldwide environment, health and safety certification and verification business of ERM Group, one of the world’s largest providers of professional EHS and sustainability services. Our EHS and climate change professionals deliver the following services: To find out more about how our assurance services can support your sustainability programmes please contact:
  13. 13. 14 sionslimitsortakingactionafternear-misses to prevent them becoming permit breaches. It is intended that chief executives of companies in EPRAS will sign an annual statement confirming that their organisa- tions comply with legislation. This will be a powerful incentive to ensure compliance is driven from the top. Only companies with A and B OPRA rat- ings have been allowed into the scheme. For the companies, the benefits include a 10% reduction in Environment Agency inspection fees. The agency expects to be able to reduce inspections from one a year to one every three years for the best-per- forming firms. It will use the two certifica- tion audits that a site would typically receive each year to check compliance. Another important benefit is that a com- pany becomes part of a ‘good performance club’, boosting its reputation as a responsi- ble operator. For the Environment Agency, the moti- vation is to be able to take the next step in streamlining regulation by relying on certi- fiers to gather information on compliance that inspectors currently gather. EPRAS started at the beginning of 2012 and will run trials until June 2013. If all goes well, the agency will consult on changes to its regulatory fees and charges in 2014 and implement the scheme in 2015. The agency’s Duncan Giddens says initial feedback from the trials is positive: “We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the quality of most of the audits being carried out.” A similar scheme has already been imple- mented in the carbon-intensive farming sector. The agency added an environmental compliance module onto ‘red tractor’ farm assurance audits by certifiers. More than 800 pig and poultry farmers, some 70% of those with environmental per- mits, are in the scheme. Farmers are visited once a year, halving their permitting costs. Giddens says: “As a risk-based regulator, we should be focusing our resources on the poor performers. We can have lighter touch regulation for the good performers, pro- vided we have assurance they are doing the right thing.” “We’re actively promoting more use of standards, but we want to see certification improveandwewanttoseeaccreditorshave more teeth to sort out poorly performing certification bodies.” UKAS has an important role in driving improvements in consistency and compe- tency among certifiers. But Giddens says UKAS is not being tough enough: “At the moment we don’t see the weeding out of the Energy management system ISO 50001 has helped the Royal Mint incorporate energy management into its investment cycle and improve its plant operations. The mint, based in Llantrisant, south Wales, makes coins for the UK and about 60 other countries. It employs 900 people and can produce 90 million coins and blanks per week – some five billion per year. The company, owned by the government, has had environmental management standard ISO 14001 for the past seven years. It became certified after the site fell under the integrated pollution prevention and control regime, which requires companies to have an environmental management system. It already had quality standard ISO 9001. The main reason for having the EMS certified was to win and retain business. Martyn Grant, the Royal Mint’s environmental manager, said:“It’s something we need for the marketplace because we compete with other mints around the world and our customers are governments and central banks who are looking at the sustainability agenda, so having ISO 14001 is good for the business.” ISO 14001 has acted as a valuable tool to manage environmental improvements. For instance, the Royal Mint has steadily reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill. Last year it landfilled 800 tonnes of waste. By the end of 2012/13, it plans to have reduced this to less than 500 tonnes. Investing in a new effluent treatment plant has reduced the metal content of the waste. Energy was previously managed under ISO 14001. But implementation of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme led the company board to increase its energy management focus by obtaining ISO 50001 as well. The company achieved the standard in October 2011, leading it to realise it needed to consider energy use early on in the investment cycle for new plant and equipment.“We were not looking at energy at the right part of our planning cycle,”Mr Grant said. For instance, plating plants have a 25-year lifespan. Energy efficiency equipment, such as variable speed drives, is cheaper to install when buying new plant, so it pays back over its lifetime, rather than retrofitting it. As a result of ISO 50001, the Royal Mint has also implemented a more robust energy management and reporting system, including monitoring the efficiency of large energy-using equipment on a weekly basis. It helps staff plan production runs to make the most efficient use of equipment. Over the past year, the site has become 5% more energy efficient per tonne of coin, although increased production has led to slightly more energy use. The Royal Mint’s ISO 14001 and 9001 certificates were awarded by BSI while NQA certified the site to ISO 50001. Standard helps Royal Mint maximise energy efficiency investments ISO 50001 helped the mint time its investment in energy efficiency equipment
  14. 14. 0515 bad from the good… Why is a poorly per- forming certifier keeping its accreditation?” UKAS takes a more positive view of ENDS’ survey results. Janet Gascoigne, EMS technical expert at UKAS, says: “We were very encouraged by the results which showed an overall positive picture.” She refers to a recent survey by the Inter- national Accreditation Forum, the global association of accreditation bodies, of more than 4,000 organisations certified to vari- ous standards worldwide (18% of which had ISO 14001). Only 1.7% of respondents ques- tioned the competence of certifiers. Nevertheless, we must never be com- placent, she says. UKAS is looking to see constant improvements from certifiers. “Competence is paramount,” she adds. Most certification bodies in Britain are regulated by UKAS or a recognised equiv- alent national accreditation body. UKAS accredits certifiers under ISO 17021, which sets out requirements for auditing and cer- tifying management systems. ISO 17021 was introduced in 2006 at the height of concern over the effectiveness of EMSs. Certifiers had two years to comply. “The introduction of ISO 17021 raised the bar in terms of competence,” she says. It put knowledge and skills and how they are maintained, monitored and applied at the heart of what it means to be competent, rather than initial qualifications and experi- ence for the certification role. ISO 17021 was revised in 2011 to incor- porate guidance on auditing for ease of use instead of referring to a separate document. Impartiality of certification bodies is another requirement which was strength- ened by ISO 17021, Gascoigne says. It requires certifiers to have a committee to oversee and ensure impartiality. For instance, certifiers must not offer consul- tancy, otherwise they would be in effect marking their own work. Martin Hockaday, NQA’s environmental sector manager, says: “We would draw a company’s attention to an area that it could improve, but we have not gone so far as to suggest a specific solution to a specific prob- lem it may have.” “It’s a tough line to tread and we tread it very well. I think all certification bod- ies tread it very well, and there are very few instances I know of where that line is crossed,” he says. Gascoigne says the ENDS survey results highlight areas where there is room for We would draw a company’s attention to an area that it could improve, but we have not gone so far as to suggest a specific solution to a specific problem it may have Martin Hockaday, NQA Guoman Hotel Management has become the latest company to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.The standard provides independent certification that an organisation has cut its absolute level of carbon over three years. The standard covers all 36 Guoman hotels, from its five landmark properties in London such as the Cumberland and the Grosvenor to its UK chain of Thistle hotels. Guoman made a number of improvements to gain the standard, including fitting low-energy LED lighting in all of its properties. Motion sensors have also been installed in conference rooms and air conditioning units have been upgraded.Training has been given to all housekeepers to ensure all electrical appliances are switched off when cleaning rooms. Additional improvements include installing food digesters in hotel kitchens so that waste can be broken down on-site. Guoman has introduced water- saving devices such as tap restrictors and dual-flush cisterns. Heiko Figge, managing director of Guoman and Thistle hotels, said: “The Carbon Trust Standard is great recognition of our achievements in carbon reduction and demonstrates our continued commitment to reducing carbon emissions year on year.” Darran Messem, managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust, said: “Taking action on carbon is not only an environmental imperative, but can also deliver tangible cost savings and reputational benefits… By achieving the Carbon Trust Standard, Guoman Hotel Management is providing assurance to stakeholders and customers that the group is taking action to reduce its environmental impact.” More than 650 organisations have achieved the standard since its 2008 launch. In total, standard bearers have cut carbon emissions by 4.3 million tonnes and energy costs by more than £645m. The total carbon footprint certified by the standard is more than 165Mt. Guoman Hotels achieves the Carbon Trust Standard The Carbon Trust Standard covers all Guoman hotels, including the Cumberland
  15. 15. improvement. However, she was unable to suggest specific action that certification bod- ies could take. Certifiers failing to meet the require- ments of ISO 17021 risk having their accredi- tation suspended or withdrawn. Since 2008, UKAS has withdrawn the accreditation of four bodies to issue certificates for various standards, not just ISO 14001. It issued 18 suspensions over the same period. To put this in context, there are 171 UKAS-accred- ited certifications bodies. UKAS received 39 complaints about certi- fication bodies in 2011, 47 in 2010, 24 in 2009 and 31 in 2008, although not all were about competence. Not all certification bodies are accred- ited by UKAS, the UK’s only government- approved accreditation body. There are about half a dozen certifiers accredited by alternative bodies. The ENDS survey found that more than 80% of consultants, certification bodies and regulators and 90% of organisations said only UKAS accredited certification bodies should be employed. Most felt the regula- tory authorities should take steps to make sure this happened. Extracting value Greg Roberts, a consultant at manufactur- ers’ association EEF, has several sugges- tions for improvements among certifiers and organisations: “It’s easy to bash certi- fiers but I think they’ve got a very hard job.” Some companies do not help by failing to revealshortcomingsthatthecertifiershould know about. Other companies use certifica- tion audits to pick up on issues such as leg- islation that they should have known about before, he says. He suggests there is a problem with over- familiarity. Having the same person carry out an audit every year means it may not always be as rigorous as it should be. He says UKAS could help by recommending that certification bodies send different audi- tors on each visit. Roberts says there is anecdotal evidence that some certifiers do not use enough experts, relying on generic management system auditors rather than environmental experts. He says setting stretching short, medium and long-term targetsis animportantwayto continue getting value from EMSs and drive the business forward. “A lot of companies only set them before the certifier comes in,” he says. Roberts says adding value is especially important for companies with mature As a global provider of risk management services, insurance and reinsurance brokerage,Aon understands the growing regulatory and financial risks associated with carbon emissions.The company has set itself a target to cut its emissions by 5% each year over five years.This is in line with the Climate Change Act which commits the UK government to 3% year-on-year cuts. Aon chose to get its emissions reductions activities certified to the Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) offered by procurement services firm Achilles. It achieved the standard in June 2011. CEMARS is accredited to ISO 14065, the international standard for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies. It is also approved by the Environment Agency for use under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, which requires certified companies to achieve absolute emissions reductions. Gregory Lowe,Aon’s sustainability manager, said that although the CRC was an important early motivation for achieving CEMARS, clients now demanded it.The standard has also helped the firm prepare for mandatory carbon reporting, which might apply to the company in future. Aon hoped the rigour of having its carbon management system certified would identify opportunities to cut carbon and save money beyond in-house initiatives. CEMARS requires organisations to measure their carbon footprint and develop a detailed reduction plan with targets and improvement measures identified. The CEMARS assessment confirmed that reducing energy used to light, power and heat its 25 UK offices housing 7,000 staff was a key priority. However, it also revealed that two thirds of its carbon footprint came from transport emissions, especially air travel. Aon’s emission cutting activities have focused on campaigns to raise staff awareness and change behaviour, optimise office space and educate facilities managers.The company is looking at installing energy-efficient LED lighting and upgrading building management systems. Aon has saved £500,000 on energy bills since its energy reduction programme began in 2008. “We remain focused on reducing our emissions from electricity and gas usage and are reinvesting these proceeds in our energy management programme.You must fund a programme with a base amount and then apply a certain percentage of last year’s savings to the programme.” Cutting emissions from travel, which is central to Aon’s business, is more difficult.The company hopes that using less carbon-intensive transport and videoconferencing will help. Lowe said:“Reducing carbon from travel doesn’t always equate to financial savings… We have found modal shifts from planes to trains and cars a difficult equation to balance in terms of carbon and cost savings. Even videoconferencing is a challenge as it requires a large cultural change to realise the cost savings.” CEMARS has also helped Aon cut waste and water by targeting the carbon savings that come from reducing these. Lowe said a carbon reduction standard such as CEMARS, rather than an environmental management system, was the right choice for an office-based firm. Summing up the benefits of its certified standard, Lowe said:“Achieving CEMARS certification demonstrates Aon’s commitment to reducing our impact on the environment. By reducing carbon emissions, we are transforming Aon in to a more sustainable organisation that will mitigate negative environmental impacts.” Aon uses CEMARS to demonstrate carbon reduction commitments Certification can help cut climate risks 16 MatthewTrommer/
  16. 16. 0517 Implementing international energy standard ISO 50001 has had a host of benefits for Costa Coffee, the UK’s largest coffee house chain and part of hospitality sector giant Whitbread. The standard was certified by NQA, the first it had awarded to a food and drink company. Costa is a growing company and wanted to expand its only UK coffee bean roastery, based in Lambeth, south London, where it has produced its coffee for its UK and international operations since 1971. The problem was that the local energy company could not supply the site with the extra electricity required without building a new sub-station in the area.This would have cost Costa more than £100,000. Moving some of the production to a new location would also have been costly and potentially disruptive to the operation. The solution was to use less electricity on-site.The ISO 50001 standard provided a framework for Costa’s energy and environmental management team to assess energy used by every piece of equipment at the site. Coffee bean roasters and packaging machines use most of the energy. But the company also looked at the office area, on-site barista training facilities and a laboratory to identify opportunities to save energy. It also implemented a staff behavioural change programme focusing on energy efficiency. As a result, Costa has installed more energy efficient machinery such as compressed air equipment used in the packaging process. It has looked at how the production process is integrated to identify areas of energy waste. This led it to delay switching on packaging machines until the coffee beans were roasted and ready to pack. Monthly energy reports were produced to inform the team of how they were performing compared with the reduction target. In total, ISO 50001 helped Costa reduce on-site energy use by a quarter relative to production.This has given it the spare capacity to install a third coffee bean roaster in future.The site produces more than 4,800 tonnes of roasted coffee beans per year. The improvements will allow Costa to continue production at the Lambeth site for the foreseeable future. The standard will also help Whitbread’s performance under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, which levies a charge on carbon emissions to encourage companies to make reductions. As an added advantage, going for certification gave Costa a rallying point around which to engage and motivate staff beyond the usual‘switch it off’ campaigns. It also provided an externally audited indicator of Costa’s work towards its 2017 carbon reduction target of 25% across all operations. Oliver Rosevear, Costa’s energy and environment manager, said the company went for ISO 50001 rather than environmental management standard ISO 14001, which also includes energy use, because of its specific focus on energy. He said Whitbread is considering rolling out ISO 50001 across its other operations. Summing up the benefits he said: “ISO 50001 provided Costa with a framework with which to focus the management team and staff on energy efficiency across the roastery operation. The system has allowed us to work within the limitations of the area network while meeting the production demands of an ever-growing business.” Costa Coffee wakes up and smells the ISO 50001 energy savings International energy standard ISO 50001 has helped Costa’s expansion plans
  17. 17. 18 EMSs. “They’ve had ISO 14001 for several years and it’s stagnated, it’s not adding any value to the business and they’re paying out ten, twenty, thirty grand to get certified.” One suggestion is instead of companies doing internal audits of their own sites that are the same every time and take a verti- cal approach, they could do a horizontal audit by focusing on a specific issue such as waste across the business. Another way to add value is for companies to get more staff involved in the EMS to get a fresh perspective. Roberts also suggests environment man- agers consider how to link the EMS and other certified standards to the company’s sustainability goals. “This is the environ- mental management system; it’s managing the risks from the business to the environ- ment, but what about the risks from the environment to the business?” Companies use their EMSs to manage direct impacts from their sites, he says, but do not use them to manage risks down the supply chain. Strategic issues such as resource scarcity could be included. Tak- ing this approach could help environmental managers “get out of the boiler room and into the board room”, Roberts says. IEMA’s Baxter suggests certification bod- ies should issue a signed assurance state- ment; a public document that describes the company’s management system and its effectiveness in terms of compliance and performance improvements. It would also describe the scope of a certifier’s audit. This would improve transparency and accounta- bility of certification bodies’ work. The con- cept is similar to assurance given to some corporate sustainability reports to provide investors with confidence in the accuracy and relevance of the information. Ongoing training BSI’s Maureen Sumner Smith says constant and consistent training in managerial and technical skills is the key to keeping audi- tors up to date and competent. Maintaining knowledge of legislative requirements is particularly important for environmental standards. BSI auditors need to complete training courses associ- ated with each competence requirement, pass the necessary examination and be observed conducting an audit. “We have what is regarded by accredita- tion bodies, consultants and third parties as being the best-in-class training for our audi- tors,” she says. For NQA, the way forward is to focus on adding value for clients. Mo Ghaus says: “Certifiers are becoming more business orientated. Whereas before it was all about conformity and compliance, now it’s about return on investment and making sure that improvements will benefit the bottom line.” NQA’s Martin Hockaday says: “Our auditors really believe in the benefits these standards can bring to our clients. Some badge-seeking clients may initially think of it as a box-ticking exercise, but we try and win them over to our way of thinking.” Both certification bodies have done their own research into the value of cer- tified standards. NQA looked at ISO 14001 and energy management standards BS EN 16001, now replaced by ISO 50001. Of 100 respondents, 80% said they saved money as a result of the standards. BSI’s customer survey for ISO 14001 found 63% achieved cost savings, 74% saw an enhanced corporate reputation, 76% see an improvement in compliance and 61% benefit from higher staff morale. Despite ongoing doubts over weakness among some certifiers and whether some companies are using EMSs to their full potential, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the majority of survey respond- ents say certified standards are delivering value by improving efficiency, reducing impacts and boosting reputation. n The advantage of a certifier being UKAS approved is that, in theory at least, they will all have a common standard of assessment conduct, duration and staff skill level, for both assessment and other support staff. Non-UKAS approved certifiers have a place for organisations that simply want a certifi- cate for publicity purposes. Goals A client needs to decide at the outset why it wants to achieve ISO 14001 and then choose an appropriate certifier for that end. No matter what glowing references a cli- ent may have received for a particular cer- Certification bodies can be like dentists: one business associate will tell you that one particular certifier is excellent and then another will tell you the opposite. When selecting a certifier for the ISO 14001 envi- ronmentalmanagementsystem(EMS)there are some guidelines that can help organisa- tions make an informed choice and know what to expect next. Of course, an organisation can choose to implement an environmental management systemwithouthavingitexternallyassessed by a certification body. But organisations usually want independent assessment. The choice of certifier can be important in main- tainingtheir strategic goals for achieving the standard. Not all certification bodies are equal. If the certifier is not approved by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) for ISO 14001 then any such certificate obtained may not be acceptable for tendering for a contract. UKAS publishes a register of approved cer- tification bodies.1 Currently, more than 40 certification bodies are approved by UKAS to assess cli- ents against ISO 14001 requirements. Some are small organisations working in spe- cific client sectors, while others are global organisations. Choosing an ISO 14001 certifier Alan Field, managing director of Highdown Management Services, provides some handy tips on selecting and working with certifiers Certifiers are becoming more business orientated. ... Now it’s about return on investment and making sure that improvements will benefit the bottom line Mo Ghaus, NQA
  18. 18. 0519 tification body, it is still wise to approach at least three for quotations. Typically, all cer- tification bodies charge day rates. Some may also charge application fees, management or administration charges. Many charge asses- sor expenses in addition to day rates. Very small businesses are sometimes offered a flat annual fee. When quoting for an assessment, most certifiers focus on day rates. But it is wise to insist at an early stage on an inclusive quote, meaning one with any other fees included. This is a key point if a client is price sen- sitive. Some certification bodies – if they really want the business – may agree to cap assessor expenses at a daily level. This means the client is not saddled with hotel and travel costs if the assessor is travelling a long distance. Assessment period The number of days an assessment will take will be based on UKAS duration scales. In simple terms, these depend on the number of staff and sites and the organisation’s envi- ronmental risks. Some certifiers will interpret these scales slightly differently and there is always room for negotiation, but if a five-day certifica- tion is indicated, there is no point in a client demanding one day. It might achieve this from a non-UKAS body, but not a UKAS- approved one. The initial assessment process will be a two- or three-phase process. Certifiers differ, although the total number of days delivered should be the same. The purpose of phases – or stages as they may also be called – is to ensure the client knows the issues, typically called non-conformities, at each stage and can resolve them before the next one. The phases begin with a desktop review of their environmental management system (EMS) and move onto interviewing staff and observing processes to establish that ISO 14001 requirements are being met consistently. As a general rule, the initial assessment is a management systems assessment based on random sampling. This is not intended to be an exhaustive review of all of a client’s technical, scientific or business success outcomes. In broad terms, it looks to deter- mine whether the client meets all ISO 14001 requirements and has a management sys- tem that consistently delivers on these. All certification bodies will sign confi- dentiality agreements with clients. If there is any sensitivity about sharing certain information with assessors it needs to be discussed with the certifier in advance. Oth- erwise, it will simply create issues and false assessment trails during the initial assess- ment itself. If the client does not meet ISO 14001 requirements by the final initial assess- ment phase, it would need to pay for further assessment once it is ready. The ISO 14001 certificate is issued after the initial assessment is successfully com- pleted. Regular follow-up assessments are then needed, usually on a six-monthly basis. A reassessment process is carried out after three years. In addition to the certification body’s fees there are the ongoing staff and possible consultancy costs of ensuring the ISO 14001 management system is maintained and grows with the organisation’s processes. Level of service One factor in choosing a certifier is the type of assessment service they will deliver. Some will be prepared to discuss the spe- cific assessors to be allocated to a client and provide details of their professional back- ground and experience. While all will say their assessors give a consistent service, and there are UKAS rules about assessor qualifications and experience, different individuals will have more specific understanding in some sec- tors than others and may provide a better cultural fit. While UKAS forbids certification bod- ies from undertaking consultancy with assessment clients, they can carry out a pre-assessment gap analysis visit. In return for the usual day rate, a client will have an opportunity to meet the assessor assigned to them, giving both sides an opportunity to consider the fit. While this will not guaran- tee a successful outcome, it can help make it a more positive experience. Horses for courses comes to mind. The larger certification bodies are all currently focusing on how assessment can give added value. This usually means cer- tifiers keeping clients advised of new risk trends and products, and assessors devising more risk-based assessment trails within ISO 14001’s parameters. Alas, a few assessors may not have quite caught up with this trend; while cli- ents cannot dictate the assessment plan, neither should they blindly accept what is proposed. A client needs to get into dia- logue with an assessor and the relationship should certainly be neither obsequious nor adversarial. These types of interactions tend to prevent clients receiving added value. If an assessor is reluctant to get into a dia- logue, this needs to be taken up with their line management at an early stage – do not leave it until after the assessment. However, beware of business associates who blame certifiers for poor assessment outcomes. It may have an element of truth, but it is more likely that the certifier was not satisfied with the EMS presented at the time. In saying that, just like any service, a cli- ent has the right to complain to the certifier if it considers the assessment has not been carried out fairly or appropriately. But this is a different matter to simply being disap- pointed with the outcome. It is usually bet- ter to spent management time on resolving issues than arguing about them. An ISO 14001 assessment is a process that needs to be understood to get the most ben- efit from it. The truth is, however, that a cli- ent is responsible for its EMS. In saying that – within regulatory restrictions – certifica- tion bodies are an ongoing resource to help maintain these management standards. n Download at w 1. UKAS register of accredited ISO 14001 certification bodies When quoting for an assessment, most certifiers focus on day rates. But it is wise to insist at an early stage on an inclusive quote, meaning one with any other fees included Alan Field
  19. 19. Certifiers are becoming more business orientated. Whereas before it was all about conformity and compliance, now it’s about return on investment and making sure that improvements will benefit the bottom line Mo Ghaus, NQA