ICLEI EMASplus certified enterprise
The ICLEI European Secretariat is practising what it preaches by becoming a fully certified EMASplus enterprise.
Although ICLEI has an excellent reputation as a supporter of environmental and sustainability management systems for local governments, the European Secretariat decided it was time to be systematic about its own actions and launch a full environmental and quality management system in its office.
ICLEI's management principles
ICLEI institutional framework and stakeholders
ICLEI is a membership organisation and it is the members who govern, based on democratic principals and decisions. The World Secretariat and the Regional Secretariats and Offices have been established to implement these decisions on behalf of the organisation.
Therefore members are always the focus of our work. We validate our quality by remaining sensitive to the needs and demands of stakeholders, partners and clients, which are continuously and systematically checked.
Our task and mission
Out of a sense of responsibility for today’s society and for future generations, ICLEI supports cities and local governments in making the transition to becoming sustainable cities.
This requires an urban management and lifestyle that could be a model for any locality world-wide, without exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet’s ecosystems.
We believe that sustainable cities and towns are central to achieving global sustainability. We consider a sustainable city to be one that strives to reduce its per-capita use of natural resources to a level that neither endangers local nor global ecosystems, while ensuring that political, economic and social systems guarantee a high quality of life for everyone.
Our focus is on the improvement of local governance and management. Our work is shaped by a fundamental awareness of the scarcity of environmental resources and the need for all to adapt to the conditions arising from a changing earth. All of our activities respect the principles of participation, peace, justice and equity, regardless of cultural or ethnic differences.
EMASplus improvements at ICLEI Europe
ICLEI aims to continuously improve its sustainability and environmental awareness. The organisation is also committed to ensuring that the workplace itself is a healthy environment.
Some of the changes that have been implemented:
- There has been a gradual replacement of older computer monitors with ergonomically and environmentally improved LCD displays.
- We prefer to buy environmentally friendly and fair traded products and services.
- Lighting systems are now 99 percent within energy efficiency category A.
- The majority of office materials were already environmentally friendly, but paper used for faxes has now been switched to the environmentally friendly Blue Angel label.
- More comfortable writing desks, office chairs, foot and wrist rests have been bought.
- Workplaces have been organised according to ergonomic guidelines.
- Staff play their part by using public transport and bicycles for the commute to work, and the train, where possible, for business travel - reducing CO2 emissions in the process.
- A new colour copier is now up and running and functions according to sustainable procurement criteria on the basis of UNEP SP guidelines.
- ICLEI plans to take part in a Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) initiative, CO2-free business trips. DB buys a quarter of the amount of renewable energy needed for travelling, replacing energy from other sources within their electrical network.
To check out the latest European EMASplus news, click here.
The ICLEI sustainability team is made up of four staff members and meets every two months. The team examines the requirements of the environmental audit and puts plans in place to implement the necessary changes.
EMASplus benefits for ICLEI
Since the introduction of EMASplus there have been many long and short term benefits:
- The establishment of an environmental management system reduces environmental impacts and strengthens ICLEI’s commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness.
- By optimising our use of raw materials, transport, water and energy, and rationalising and recycling packaging, we can cut costs and achieve significant savings.
- By introducing the EMAS system to the workplace, we have improved the working environment for our staff, improving both their welfare and increasing productivity.
- EMASplus has improved the internal management, processes and communication at ICLEI Europe.
The European Commission EMAS website Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a voluntary European Union standard that supports small and medium-sized companies and associations in implementing an ecological audit scheme.
EMASplus introduces the added dimension of also taking quality management and corporate social responsibility into account.
In order to become EMAS certified, an organisation must carry out an environmental review assessing its’ products and services. Using the results an effective environmental management system sets out objectives, operational procedures and communication systems.
An environmental audit then assesses the system and finally the organisation provides a statement of its environmental performance laying down the results achieved against objectives and steps to be undertaken in the future.
ISO 9001 quality management system
In conjunction with EMAS, ICLEI has introduced the ISO 9001:2008 standard, which provides the framework for taking a systematic approach to managing our organisation's processes so they consistently satisfy customers' expectations.
Like EMAS, the ISO 9001 standard helps organisations to improve customer satisfaction levels, internal efficiency and employee involvement.