Double win for Het Facilitair Bedrijf with ISO 14001

21/6/2023
Building sustainability ISO 14001

Het Facilitair Bedrijf , 'the facilities company', is the Flemish government's service centre for ICT, facilities, real estate, and public procurement. In its role as a facilities service provider, the organisation developed an ambitious sustainability plan. During the first phase, the organisation used ISO 50001 to address energy management. The next phase focused on improving environmental performance, with Het Facilitair Bedrijf achieving ISO 14001 certification in June 2020. Read their story and find out how our ISO 14001 Master Track can get you on track too.

With its ISO 14001 certification in 2020, Het Facilitair Bedrijf reaffirmed its ambitions to the outside world; in 2017, the organisation had already obtained ISO 50001 certification. At the time, this was a first in the Benelux for a government entity, and today, Het Facilitair Bedrijf remains one of only 32 government entities worldwide with this certificate for energy management. The organisation is also ISO 9001 certified for the quality management of its cleaning services.

With ISO 14001 certification, we continue to lead the way in the transition to a sustainable society and circular economy.

Tine Moens
Energy and Environmental Management System Coordinator at Het Facilitair Bedrijf

Scope: more than just buildings

"When defining the scope of the ISO 14001 project, we chose to concentrate on the 12 main administrative buildings of the Flemish government," explains Tine Moens. "That's where we knew we could make the greatest efficiency gains. Also, those buildings have local teams that were able to help roll out and monitor a management system thanks to their experience with ISO 50001. But making our buildings environmentally friendly is only part of the mission. We're equally committed to indirect methods, such as integrating environmental requirements into our real estate policies, maintenance and framework contracts, and permit management. Basically, the spirit of ISO 14001 is embedded in all our activities, so we can apply the learnings from our ISO certifications to other buildings as well."

Objectives: 3 focus areas

Using a context and risk analysis, Het Facilitair Bedrijf determined which environmental themes it wanted to focus on. The following priorities emerged, with concrete objectives for meeting the requirements of ISO 14001:

Sustainable mobility:

  • Fewer service trips and more sustainable transportation choices
  • Training on ecologically responsible driving
  • Purchase of service vehicles with better ecoscores
  • Charging stations for electric cars

Ecological water consumption:

  • Additional meters for better monitoring
  • Less piped water and wastewater, and more rainwater
  • Cleaning with probiotics
  • Water audits in pilot buildings

Smart use of materials:

  • Circular procurement procedures, framework contracts, and construction designs
  • Maximising closed material cycles
  • Less residual waste through awareness and a waste guide

Tine Moens: "In addition, efficient energy management plays a major role in our sustainability policy. We're going for lower CO2 emissions and a lower energy bill. For this, we look especially to the ISO 50001 standard, which matches perfectly with ISO 14001 for environmental management."

Implementation: real results, fast

"The decision to use ISO 14001 as the north star for our environmental management system has been a great success. After one year, the amount of residual waste has dropped by 12%, tap water consumption is on the decline, our vehicle fleet is a lot greener with an ecoscore of 73, and we're working with circular products for our furnishing. And that's just some of the most striking results. By reinforcing our long-term goals with concrete and measurable actions every year, we're gradually building an environmentally friendly organisation."

Using ISO 14001 as a north star for our environmental management system has been a great success.

Tine Moens
Energy and Environmental Management System Coordinator at Het Facilitair Bedrijf

Bottom line: ISO 14001 certification benefits all stakeholders

"By weaving environmental management into our corporate structures through a management system, we not only reduce our environmental footprint, we also demonstrate our positive contribution, rigorously follow environmental legislation, and show our commitment to continuous improvement. For customers, in turn, ISO 14001 certification means that we offer some fundamental guarantees. It inspires people to do business with us, because a certificate is objective proof that we take sustainability seriously."

Certification inspires people to do business with us.

Tine Moens
Energy and Environmental Management System Coordinator at Het Facilitair Bedrijf

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