The client

The client is a £76m construction company bouncing back from a financial crisis. Pre-crisis turnover had dropped from £80m to £44m and the company had gone through the associated pain of that transition. Management and revenues had now recovered, and the company were on target to deliver sales of £120m in the current year.

The plan is to expand the business to £250m and the company had recently been split to 3 separate divisions, each with their own MD and associated senior teams, in order to facilitate this ambition.

Project type

Undertaking a ISO 14001 gap analysis for a biotechnology and biological science centre

Rothamsted is almost certainly the oldest agricultural research station in the world. Its foundation dates from 1843 when John Bennet Lawes, the owner of the Rothamsted Estate, appointed Joseph Henry Gilbert, a chemist, as his scientific collaborator.

As part of an ongoing relationship with the National Research Councils, Statius was invited to undertake a gap analysis, against ISO14001, of the systems in place within the Rothamsted research facilities, including its operational farm at Brooms Barn.

The approach and the solution

Given the very specialist, and sometimes contentious, nature of the work undertaken the scientific research sector is under constant pressure to ensure it has suitable controls in place for the protection of people and the environment. It was believed that implementing a management system to control the activities undertaken, and having independent verification of those activities against the requirements of an international standard, ISO14001, would provide robust evidence of the direction in which the senior team wanted to take the organisation.

Due to the scale and complexity of the Rothamsted research facility, the planning of the initial gap analysis was critical to the success of the project. Prior to commencing the gap analysis, a planning meeting was held to form a team to develop the detail of the plan of action.

Matt Lear of Statius was the lead consultant where his knowledge of the Research Councils through a previous ISO14001 environmental management system project with NERC proved invaluable.

The gap analysis was then conducted in four phases:

1. A detailed site visit, of Rothamstead and Brooms Farm, to understand the scope of activities undertaken.

2. A detailed review of the operation against the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard.

3. The presentation of a comprehensive, but very practical, report detailing both the findings and the actions required to meet the standard.

Follow up meetings to discuss the finding and more importantly to formulate the project and resource plan for the implementation activities.


As a result of the work undertaken the Institute was provided with all the information necessary to make a decision on how to implement ISO 14001 and the resources required; Statius were then appointed to project manage the implementation process.

“A difficult and complex project was broken down into stages of key deliverables that could be easily and effectively implemented”

“Numerous efficiency and effectiveness improvements were identified and implemented”