We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded certification for ISO 14001:2015, the international standard for designing and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). Alongside our ISO 9001:2015 accreditation for Quality Management, ISO 14001 accreditation continues our longstanding commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, improving our operational processes and providing the highest quality of service for clients.
Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business strategy and forms a part of our everyday thinking, both in our business operations and the design solutions we deliver for clients. In recent years, we have helped Nando’s design and deliver its first ever 100% eco-friendly restaurant in Cambridge, are working with Inspired Villages to deliver the UK’s first net-zero retirement community in Bedfordshire and have recently completed a BREEAM Excellent industrial scheme for Aberdeen Standard Investments in Croydon.
Adopting ISO 14001 means we will continue to measure and reduce our environmental impact and fully supports our goal to be a net-zero carbon business by 2030.
Director, Tom McNamara, says: “We have held regular Sustainability Group meetings to discuss the practice’s environmental responsibilities for some considerable time and had already implemented a number of processes and measures to improve our environmental performance. Our decision to work towards ISO 14001 accreditation has more clearly defined some of that activity and ensures we now have robust environmental management systems throughout every aspect of the business.
“It’s important that we work together as an industry to limit the impact of our activities on the planet and we have been privileged to work with many forward-thinking clients who are themselves on the same journey towards net-zero carbon. Our ISO 14001 accreditation is further reassurance that we can consistently meet the rigorous requirements of our clients as we all work towards the same goal.”
As part of the ISO 14001 process we have developed a framework for establishing and reviewing the practice’s environmental targets and objectives, all of which will be embedded at a strategic level. Key objectives include promoting the health and wellbeing of staff, promoting environmental and sustainability policies internally and evaluating sustainable options for business travel. We are also looking to expand our existing recycling measures, as well as ways to reduce water consumption and energy use and have recently switched energy providers, moving to 100% renewable provision with Corona Energy.
We are also committed to strengthening environmental considerations in our design processes, improving staff knowledge with continuing professional development. Earlier this year, for example, members of the team took part in a series of lectures at the University of Lincoln to learn about the latest research into BREEAM and Passivhaus, as well as the whole-life impact of a building.
Tom concludes: “Whilst achieving ISO 14001 certification can present many challenges, we have been particularly delighted by the enthusiasm from all members of staff and, in particular, we would like to thank Adam Caffrey who was instrumental in pushing this forward. Actively reducing our carbon footprint is very important to everybody at Urban Edge, both in terms of our day-to-day operations and in the legacy we leave through the design of our projects.”