Manchester Met maintain certification to international environmental management standard

The university has recently maintained certification to the international environmental management standard ISO14001:2015 – demonstrating our commitment to managing and continually improving our environmental performance.

Back in February 2016 Manchester Met were the first university in the UK, possibly the world, to attain certification to the new and more challenging ISO standard.

The NQA, a leading global certification body, visited Manchester Met in March 2017 to conduct a ‘surveillance audit’ to assess the university’s continued compliance to the  ISO14001:2015 standard. A two-day audit involved two NQA auditors interviewing a range of staff from across the university and undertaking site visits and documentation audits to assess our legal compliance, and approach to continued improvement.

Paul Kingsmore, Director of Services and Chair of the University Environmental Strategy Board added, “We are delighted to have been re-certified to the ISO14001 standard. This reflects our determination to put sustainability at the heart of our university business. We are clearly demonstrating a continued effort to manage and reduce our adverse impacts, and to contribute towards sustainable development at the University, and further afield”.

Manchester Met has developed an innovative approach to its Environmental Management framework in Higher Education by incorporating sustainable development activities undertaken through the formal and informal curriculum and research, in addition to activities and impacts typically identified within an organisation’s Estates and Facilities functions, into its management framework.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was one of five key focus areas in this year’s surveillance audit where the NQA auditor interviewed colleagues from the Environment Team in the Estates Directorate, and the School of Environment, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. The auditor gained an understanding of Manchester Met’s approach to embedding environmental sustainability and social responsibility into formal and informal learning, and professional development activities, research and partnerships, and effective communications – all through a university-wide ‘Learning for a Sustainable Future’ programme.

Other areas of focus included waste and recycling, sustainable buildings and estates strategy, transport and travel, and carbon and energy management.

Since gaining the ISO standard in 2016, the University has been working with the HE sector to support the implementation and transition of other universities to the newer standard through workshops, advisory services and organisational assessments.

Helena Tinker (Energy and Environment Systems Manager), responsible for the implementation and continued improvement of the ISO14001:2015 at Manchester Met said that “We are extremely pleased to have maintained our certification to the standard; I would like to thank everyone involved in improving our environmental sustainability performance over the last 12 months. The auditors were extremely impressed with our progress, acknowledging, in particular, our enthusiasm and passion for the agenda.”

You can find out more about the ISO 14001:2015 standard at Manchester Met.

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