Antarctica New Zealand is thrilled to announce we have achieved ISO 14001 certification for our environmental management system! This is on top of our Toitū enviromark diamond certification and Toitū carbonreduce
Our Environmental Advisor Sophia White explains
An ISO standard is decided by industry experts and is seen as best practice for that particular area. Being ISO 14001 certified means we can be sure we are doing everything right with our environmental management system. The ISO 14001 standard tells people that we have practical tools that are in place to help us protect the environment from our activities. This is super important for Antarctica New Zealand, not only do we work in one of the most unique environments in the world (Antarctica) but we also operate from beautiful Aotearoa New Zealand.
What type of things do they measure to get us to this standard?
The audit process for ISO 14001 took two days, with the auditor zooming in to Scott Base and being shown pre-recorded videos of how waste is collected, compacted and stored. We also showed the auditor how hazardous substances, such as fuel, are stored, used and close to appropriate spill kits should any drops land on the ground. The auditor spoke with the Senior Leadership Team and several employees in the office and they got a true sense of how important environmental stewardship is for everyone at Antarctica New Zealand. They also spent a long time looking at our documentation – data, reports, manuals, standard operating procedures, the lot!
How great of an achievement is it?
This is the first time we have been ISO 14001 certified! Although we have been Toitū enviromark diamond certified for 10 years too.
How does it set us aside as an environmental leader?
Antarctica New Zealand are 1 of just 330 organisations across New Zealand whose environmental management systems are certified to ISO 14001. This certification means our environmental management system is aligned to best practice, and best practice is what environmental leaders are!
Tell us more about the Toitū Environmark and Toitū carbonreduce programmes?
We’ve been certified with the Toitū enviromark programme for 10 years at diamond level. Every year our systems are audited, much like the ISO 14001 audit, to ensure our environmental management system is set up so that Antarctica New Zealand can manage our environmental footprint and mitigate the impact. Auditors have been to Scott Base to watch our staff to do their jobs and see for themselves the steps we take to minimise our waste, prevent spills of any hazardous substances and reduce the risk of any non-native species establishing in Antarctica. Diamond level is the highest rating an organisation can receive at this certification and we are really proud to have had a decade of this.
The Toitū carbonreduce programme certifies our carbon footprint and helps us to keep track of our carbon emission and maintain a focus on reducing them wherever we can. We have been a member of the Toitū carbonreduce programme, formerly CEMARS, since 2009.