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ISO 14001 Transition: Saatchi & Saatchi's story on leading the way

ISO 14001 Transition: Saatchi & Saatchi's story on leading the way

Brite Green has helped Saatchi & Saatchi London become the first advertising agency in the UK to achieve certification to the new environmental management standard, ISO 14001:2015. In this case study, we will explore some of the key changes to the new standard through Advertising Agency’s transition preparations.

The new edition of the ISO 14001 standard was published in 2015 and introduces a range of significant changes. The 2004 standard will lapse in 2018 and so most organisations will need to transition to the new standard in the next year or so, and there’s quite a bit to do to meet the new requirements.

We have worked with Saatchi & Saatchi since 2010 and provide ongoing support to run their environmental management system (EMS) including internal audits, training, and ongoing practical support for the business. We were commissioned in 2015 to help the agency transition to the new 2015 ISO 14001 standard.

This case study looks at how we met some of more important changes with Saatchi.

Environmental issues in the strategic context 
There’s a completely new section in the new standard that focuses on the context of the organisation. Organisations are now required to consider the environmental factors that can affect the business and those that they can affect. This means going beyond understanding where an organisation has a negative impact on the environment, and taking a more strategic view of the ways it might impact your business. This might affect supply chains, commodity prices, resource availability, customer expectations and even your brand.

The standard also now requires organisations to understand the “needs and expectations” of interested parties, which might include customers, investors and staff.

To help Saatchi meet the new requirements, we completed a full strategic review and conducted structured interviews with key internal and external stakeholders. The review analysed the drivers for managing environmental issues across the Agency’s service lifecycle (more on this below) and identified the key areas of risk and opportunity.

In a big change from the previous standard, we also considered how environmental issues could affect the business.

Taking a life-cycle perspective
The new standard introduces a new requirement to consider environmental impacts, risks and opportunities across a life-cycle perspective. This is potentially a big change for many organisations, especially where it means looking at supply chain and product use in detail.

We helped Saatchi & Saatchi map the life-cycle of their products and services and we analysed the major environmental risks and opportunities that applied at each stage. The analysis identified new processes that should be included in the scope (especially around production) but also found strong business drivers for good environmental management across the business, from winning new business to synergies with other business units in the Group.

Risks and opportunities
The wording of the new standard are now peppered with the words “risks and opportunities”, including a new section “actions to address risks and opportunities”. The risks and opportunities relate not just to environment, but also the business and the management system.

We helped Saatchi develop a new comprehensive environmental planning tool, which identifies the most important risks and opportunities that apply across their service life-cycle.

One of the key challenges the new standard has introduced is how best to document the more complex requirements in the planning stage of the standard. The new tools we have developed help to simplify the process and make it straight forward to demonstrate compliance to the auditor.

Top management
The changes have made the standard a much more strategic tool to improve business and environmental performance, but the new standard now includes a greater emphasis on demonstrating top management commitment and support.

Saatchi are lucky in that they have always had strong top management support for environmental issues. Saatchi and Saatchi’s Administration Director Jo Field has lad the EMS since it’s inception:

“We have had a long-standing commitment to environmental issues having had a formal environmental programme since 2010. Upgrading to the new 2015 standard has allowed us to expand the reach and ambition of our environmental objectives”.

The wider scope of the EMS has meant that management from each function across the business have now become involved, and are leading projects and initiatives in their areas.

What Saatchi & Saatchi say about us
“Over the years, Brite Green has worked really well with us at Saatchi and Saatchi to expand and build on our knowledge of all things ISO14001. We were thrilled that Brite Green worked so hard with us this year and through this hard work, we managed to be the first advertising agency to achieve the ISO14001:2015 standard. I would not hesitate to recommend Brite Green to anyone looking to achieve this standard.” 
Marion Wurr, Environmental Management System Representative

Download our ISO 14001 Transition Guide