Environmental management

The Environmental Management team in the UK works across the organisation, managing the environmental impact of our buildings as well as looking at our programmes and projects and how to make them more sustainable.

UK

We have an Environmental Management System (EMS) that complies with International Standard 14001:2004. Our EMS was set up in 2008 and aims to deliver our environmental commitments and to improve environmental performance. We achieved ISO14001 across the whole of our UK estate in March 2011. The system is regularly audited by internal and external auditors. It covers operational estates management (energy, waste, sustainable procurement and travel) and legal compliance. See our Annual Report for targets and achievements.

Overseas

We have implemented an Environmental Framework Tool (EFT) in the 110 countries in which we operate which enables us to manage the environmental impact of our overseas operations by

o embedding greater awareness of operational environmental management issues at British Council offices and sites;
o providing direction to countries on environmental management activities;
o providing a platform of capability and cognisance from which countries can then respond to local opportunities and constraints
o ensuring the environment is integrated into normal day-to-day British Council activities.

Features embedded into the tool include:

o flexibility to country/region needs
o compatibility with key features in ISO 14001, the international standard for environmental management systems
o legal compliance

Our EFT received a commendation in the Special Awards category of the 2010 Greater London Authority Green500 awards.

We have made significant progress across our estate but recognise we have a lot of work to do before we are environmentally sustainable.