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Becoming “The Greenest Bank in the World”: How Implementing ISO Certifications Helps Achieve Energy and Sustainability Goals

Sustainable building, renewable energy standards

Background

One of the ways to start the journey towards corporate sustainability is by implementing internationally recognized standards in areas such as energy and the environment. In 2016, Altenex Energy team member, John Egbuta, led the implementation of ISO 14001 and 50001 certifications for a Global Fortune 500 Financial Services company across their offices in order to achieve their sustainability goals. The company was committed to responsible business by supporting social development and reducing its impact on the environment, and had an ambitious goal to become “The Greenest Bank in the World”. As result, the implementation of the certification helped the company to achieve this goal and exceed the DOW Jones Sustainability Index Targets.

Overview of the Certifications

ISO 50001 provides guidance for establishing an energy management system. By following this, companies integrate systems and processes that would lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, environmental impacts, and energy costs through systematic management of energy. The standard includes setting more efficient energy policy, fixing energy targets and objectives, performance measurement and reviewing procedures, and improving data use to make more informed energy decisions.

 

 

The purpose of the International Standards for environment – ISO 14001 is to provide companies with a management system and framework to protect the environment and respond to changing environmental conditions in balance with socio-economic needs. The ISO 14001 covers such aspects as improving companies’ environmental performance, compliance with environmental obligations, and setting and achieving environmental targets. This standard contributes to 12 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Both standards are aimed at helping companies with addressing their impacts and implementing solutions for existing global challenges. Although these certifications are not obligatory, some companies decide to get certified in order to prove their commitments.

The Solution

To achieve ISO 50001, the company designed and implemented a signature energy management system at the main head office building that could be replicated across the portfolio. This system included standard operating procedures, monitoring and targeting systems, and control procedures. Following successful embedding of this new energy management system and an external audit, the same signature system was rolled out across 14 Head Office buildings. In addition to this, two data centers were integrated.

For ISO 14001, the company already had a signature environment management system at their main head office building. Following a successful embedding of this signature system, and an external audit, the same signature system was rolled out across the Head Office buildings portfolio.

Both management systems were verified to be effectively established and maintained in line with the international standards for energy and the environment.

The Result

The successful implementation of the two International Standards, and a high-level understanding of energy and environmental performance, led to the shaping of a comprehensive energy reduction strategy showing impactful energy savings across the portfolio. The company became one of the first organizations in the world to effectively embed and transition to the new version of the ISO standards in 2016 by doing the following:

  • Demonstrating Effective Leadership, Commitment, and Continual Improvement;
  • Modifying the context of the organization to address new factors;
  • Addressing the needs and expectations of interested parties;
  • Effective Planning for Significant Aspects, Compliance Obligations, and Risk Management.

This achievement supported the placement of the Global 500 Financial Services company in the top 10 positions on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2016. The work of our team members ensured this result leveraged extensive real estate knowledge, with energy and environmental management experience, to achieve valuable results for a key client.

Contact Altenex Energy to learn more about how we can help you assess your portfolio risk and achieve your energy goals!

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