9 March 2021

For the 9th year running, ECT has had its ISO 14001 certification renewed. The scope of the certification covers ECT’s Development, Quality, Operations and HR departments, meaning that all the ECT sites that upcycle materials are certificated. This is the result of the commitment of the departments concerned, and it is an explicit statement of the importance of minimising or eliminating the impact of our work on the environment.

In November 2020, Anaïs AUBRÉE joined ECT as environmental project officer. Responsible for directing our approach to ISO 14001, she gives us an overview:

For ECT, what are the issues with ISO 14001 certification?

ECT upcycles soil excavated from sites in the Île-de-France region. Our work is an application of ‘circular economics’. [Note: Circular economics uses maximum recycling with the minimum addition of raw materials, water and energy, unlike the extraction-manufacture-consumption-disposal model of linear economics.] That’s why, for ECT, the two core issues of certification are:

  • To demonstrate to interested parties our commitment to the protection of the environment

How? As regards the quality of materials we re-use, by reinforcing the chain of traceability. On our operational sites, by upcycling soil on many useful and collaborative development projects. During the design phase, by undertaking land-use developments that promote biodiversity and respect the landscape. And our R&D is focused on the recycling of spoil. ‘Urbafertil’, ECT’s fertile substrate, is a successful demonstration of this.

  • To evaluate the impacts of our work on the environment

By assessing impacts, we are able to apply initiatives to minimise or eliminate them. On those of our sites where soil is upcycled, for example, we measure air quality and acoustic impact relating to movements of trucks and the use of earthmoving plant.

How do you get ISO 14001 certification?

By implementing, within the business, an environmental approach based on a management system. Our environmental management system (the Système de Management Environmental or SME) meets the requirements of the 2015 edition of ISO 14001. An accredited certification body comes to check that our work and our sites are compliant with these requirements. INTERTEK is the certification body for ECT. Each certificate lasts 3 years, with an audit every year.

What does your role as ECT’s environmental project officer involve?

It’s a wonderful role! I have to manage the SME and constantly adapt it to the work being done. I work with the departments concerned to put indicators and corrective action in place. My objective is to keep ECT working within a framework of continual improvement: Keeping our promises and standardising our best practices. The business has also looked into an ecosystems qualification relating to the impact of its projects. It’s a real challenge to align this with our SME. 

For ECT’s ISO 14001 certificate, click here