According to the ISO website the ISO14001 standard “maps out a framework that a company or organization can follow to set up an effective environmental management system.” Along the way the benefits listed include reducing the cost of waste management, savings in consumption of energy and materials, lower distribution costs and an improved corporate image.
It is an approach which St Martins Property Investment Ltd know only too well as they seek to meet their CSR vision of being “recognised for our corporate responsibility and a focus on sustainability in the property sector, and for our contribution to the improvement of the environment and society.” So when St Martins decided to follow the ISO14001 route for their building at 60 Threadneedle Street they did so with an eye to the environmental awareness and practices of all those who use, or work within, the site.
On the face of it, 60 Threadneedle Street is not a building which would benefit greatly from the ISO14001 certification process. Completed in 2009 and with a BREEAM rating of excellent the property already benefits from many recent environmental building practices including energy efficient lighting and heating, PV cells, duel fuel boiler and a focused approach to reducing water demand.
However the ISO certification is not just aimed at those in dire need of reducing consumption and can also help to validate existing practices whilst at the same time suggesting ways in which small changes in processes can bring further gains. This was certainly the case in this instance as the completion of the ISO exercise uncovered elements of the building’s operation that were previously taken for granted and which had a direct impact on the use of equipment within the building. In turn this greater understanding led to improvement ideas such as changes to the lighting management system which resulted in savings in power costs.
Happily the ISO exercise also resulted in the validation of many processes, whilst at the same time raising awareness of the environmental impact of the building and its users. For proving that no matter how environmentally robust a building may be, there is always room for improvement St Martins Property Investment Ltd were well deserving winners of a Green Apple Award.