Tag Farnborough Airport achieves international environmental standard ISO 14001 with SGS United Kingdom Limited
Online PR News – 28-April-2016 – United Kingdom – TAG Farnborough Airport is Europe’s leading business airport, providing a luxury aviation experience for a variety of high-end clients. Regarded as the birthplace of British aviation, TAG Farnborough Airport is seen as a key gateway to London by its clients, whilst its quality of aircraft handling and crew support assert it as a true market-leader in providing exceptional customer experience.
“We are the only airport in the UK dedicated exclusively to business aviation,” explains Miles Thomas, Environmental Manager at TAG Farnborough Airport. “We provide a comprehensive and unparalleled range of premium services and facilities for passengers and crew.”
Although the airport is dedicated to corporate travel, a great deal of focus is placed upon community engagement. In addition to hosting the renowned Farnborough International Airshow every other year, the airport has been keen to establish other initiatives to involve the community, such as the Twilight Runway Challenge, in which the local community participate in a fun run in aid of a local youth charity.
Due to the complex nature of their operations, TAG Farnborough Airport has been proactive in their acknowledgement of the potential environmental impacts that can occur. As a result, the airport has dedicated itself to identifying and managing such impacts through such means as policy development and in-depth reviews of their processes.
REASSURING THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER
Achieving ISO 14001 was an important step in proving to all of their key stakeholders that TAG Farnborough Airport is aware of its legal obligations and has implemented processes to comply with them.
“Stakeholder groups have interest due to environmental risks based on the airport’s size and complexity,” explains Rajesh Gopalakrishna, Lead Auditor for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) at SGS United Kingdom Ltd. “These groups, often local, are concerned with the impact upon the environment due to the airport’s activities.”
“Furthermore,” Raj continues, “the airport is highly regulated by bodies such as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), as well as national and local regulators such as the Environment Agency, therefore the work that the environment team undertake is crucial.”
“Our work towards ISO 14001 certification was driven by a desire to demonstrate to our variety of stakeholders, including the surrounding community, that we address Environmental Management through a credible and independently audited Environmental Management System,” says Miles Thomas.
WHAT IS ISO 14001?
ISO 14001 is the international management standard that sets out the criteria for an Environmental Management System (EMS).
Rather than state the requirements for your environmental performance, ISO 14001 maps out the framework that you need to follow to set up an effective and successful EMS.
ISO 14001 is used by organisations that want to:
• improve resource efficiency
• reduce waste
• drive down costs across their business
• provide assurance to all stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved
WORKING WITH SGS
“SGS was selected due to its experience in the certification of airports,” Miles Thomas explains. “The proposal for delivering our certification process was clearly laid out, with our certification requiring five consecutive days of auditing. This gave us plenty of opportunity to build trust with our auditor and, in turn, get the most out of the whole process.”
Rajesh Gopalakrishna of SGS was responsible for the auditing in the process, and praised the positive approach of the airport. “The environment team showed a very positive attitude throughout the assessment process,” says Rajesh. “They ensured that all of the necessary resources were made available to meet the requirements and implement the standard in both a meaningful and effective way.”
“The commitments to ISO 14001 were clearly visible at all levels of the organisation”, Rajesh continues, “and this was underlined by the excellent involvement between departmental managers and the environmental team for consultation.”
THE AUDIT PROCESS
The ISO 14001 certification process consists of six steps:
1. A proposal is carried out based on the size and nature of the business. An optional ‘pre-audit’ is offered to the business.
2. Stage 1, or a ‘Readiness Review’, begins. This stage is an evaluation of the environmental management system the company is implementing and looks at whether or not it complies with the standard.
3. Stage 2 begins. The auditor conducts interviews with employees, examines records, observes working practices and determines how compliant processes are with the standard and the business’s own system.
4. A technical review of the audit is conducted and, if successful, SGS will confirm the certificate being issued.
5. After certification the process focuses on continual improvement, with planned surveillance visits to check the system and action plan implementation.
6. After three years, a re-certification audit is carried out and the certificate is awarded again.
HOW ISO 14001 CERTIFICATION HAS BENEFITED THE BUSINESS
“The benefits that a company can see from effectively implementing ISO 14001 are clear to see,” explains Rajesh. “These range from providing a better structure for managing environmental risks, through to reducing costs, wastage and greenhouse gas emissions. Organisations can also improve their resource efficiency and influence views of interested parties, whilst preventing pollution and litigations all the while. As with TAG Farnborough Airport, the standard can help you to meet your stakeholders’ environmental expectations, which in turn can increase your organisation’s reputation.”
“The process impacted upon our staff in a range of ways,” recalls Miles. “We placed great importance in explaining the purpose of ISO 14001 certification and the role that everyone had to play for us to achieve certification. Ultimately, I’d say that going through the certification process has certainly increased environmental awareness internally, whilst externally providing assurance to our stakeholders that we are taking the right steps with our Environmental Management System.”