ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
UWE Bristol is proud to have been awarded its first certification for the international standard BS:EN ISO14001:2004 in July 2014. The certification covered the whole institution, our Estates, Services and Educational provision. In 2017 we were one of the first universities to transition to the ISO14001:2015 standard, which requires organisations to adopt a more strategic, integrated and holistic approach when implementing and managing an Environmental Management System (EMS).
"Our rigorous Environmental Management system shows our commitment to sustainability across the board, year on year, acting as a means to measure maintain and advance change. And for our stakeholders it provides the reassurance of external scrutiny of our activities. "
Paul Roberts Head of Sustainability
The scope of the Environmental Management system
The ISO 14001:2015 standard is designed to manage significant aspects, risks and opportunities that result from the operations taking place across the entire university including The Students’ Union at UWE. The scope includes all activities undertaken at all campuses and sites including those of employees and contractors.
Teaching and academic research carried out within UWE Bristol's faculties and professional services by students is included. However, research carried out by external parties on our sites is excluded.
Achieving aims through a systemic approach
The aims of the standard are to build on, embed, and ensure our continuous improvement in managing the University’s environmental impact. This requires us to take a systemic approach to identify:
- those operations and activities which have significant impact on our environment
- the relevant compliance obligations which includes environmental legislation with which we need to comply, to improve our performance on a year-by-year basis
- needs and expectations of our stakeholders to enhance our understanding
- internal and external risks and opportunities associated with sustainability throughout the organisation.
Frequent audits to achieve successful implementation
To ensure successful implementation we undertake regular internal audits and are audited once a year by an external ISO-approved consultant. As well as checking we are meeting the requirements under the ISO standard, the audits provide a vehicle to:
- promote both the overall aims of UWE Bristol’s Strategy 2030
- promote the ongoing work of the Sustainability team – in particular as to how we can support departments to make necessary changes
- facilitate greater integration of Estates, Services, teaching, learning, and research in order to enhance the quality of the student experience at UWE Bristol
- monitor progress towards the commitments and objectives set through Transforming Futures: Climate Action and Sustainability and supporting plans
For more information, please read our Strategy 2030.