As environmental aspects are becoming more and more important in our daily work, AFC decided earlier this year to strive for an ISO 14.001 (Environmental Management System) certification for its premises in Bonn. The ISO 14.001 is applicable to any organization, regardless of size, type, and nature, and applies to the environmental aspects of its activities, products and services that the organization determines it can either control or influence.
As the certification is not a single event, but a continuous improvement process, the goals defined should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. Following this approach and these five environmental goals were agreed on by AFC within the first year of the Environmental Management System:
- Reduction of CO2-emissions by 1% within one year,
- Reduction of energy consumption by 1% within one year,
- Reduction of copy/printer paper consumption by 4% within one year,
- Enhanced waste separation (not quantifiable),
- Reduction of water consumption by 1% within one year.
Some General aspects related to office material and equipment, were also defined.We are striving towards purchasing more regional, sustainable and ecofriendly material / equipment to avoid unnecessary wrapping, and CO2 emissions.
In total, 45 measures were defined: 25 of them already implemented, 18 are currently undergoing implementation and2 measures can only be carried out later.
Measures already implemented are for example, the labelling of all waste containers in the entire office (paper, residual waste, and packaging material) and introduction of organic waste bins for the office building. This allows further reduction of residual waste.
Sensitive documents are now securely stored in a locked box for later destruction, therefor two small electronic shredders became obsolete and were disconnected. Two more measures were based on change of behavior like switching off the entire computer system including the monitors when leaving the office as well as switching off lights in meeting rooms and the foyer.
The ISO 14.000 certificate, granted to AFC after an intense audit on November 24, 2020, will be valid for one year.