ISO 14001 User Survey

ISO 14001 User Survey 2021 Calling all users (and those familiar with) the international standard on Environmental Management Systems ISO 14001. We’re seeking your views on the standard – how it works for you (or doesn’t), what do you like about it, what problems do you encounter and what future challenges do you expect (in relation to changing business practices)? Here is the link to the survey. Survey should take ~20 mins to complete. The survey takes place across the world - it's good to hear views of people from different countries, industry sectors and size of organisation.   Why get involved? - Have your voice heard - Share your experiences - Help inform the revisions of ISO 14001 and its host of supporting standards - And it’s a good opportunity to have a good look at your own EMS.   Why are we doing the ISO 14001 User Survey? Standards are periodically reviewed to ensure they work correctly, deliver value to the user and help them meet their objectives. This user survey supports the...
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Plant For Our Planet

Plant For Our Planet campaign We love listening to buzzing bees, watching the birds flit around the air, inhaling the aroma of roses and monitoring the snuffling of hedgehogs. You don’t have to live in the country or go out to national parks to realise that wildlife is important to us. Even urban areas benefit from a range of plants, birds, insects and animals. But the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. So, what can you do to help wildlife recover at your home, neighbourhood or business? The new Plant For Our Planet campaign encourages to plant trees and flowers in order to help tackle biodiversity loss with nature-based solutions.   Plant For Our Planet The campaign, launched by the UK government, is backed by The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, National Trust, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Horticultural Society. It asks individuals and communities to support nature in planting flowers and trees – this obviously helps bees, birds and insects, but will...
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B Corp certification – how EMS improves your chances

B Corp certification - how EMS improves your chances I’m getting a lot of enquiries from companies wanting to go for B Corp, but they need help with environmental management. It’s been an interesting development for me. Most of my clients want an EMS because their customers demand ISO 14001 certification or they use it for legal compliance issues. The new companies aren't coming to me for help with the application itself (although I do have a partner consultant who does this) – they actually need me to help them with the environmental section.   What is a B Corp? B Corp is quite a challenge and a great achievement. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Instead of just driving profits, they have a strong purpose (indeed it’s written into their Articles of Association). Their aim is to redefine business and develop a more inclusive and sustainable economy. There are currently over 3,700...
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Top Tips to go Peat Free

Top Tips to go Peat Free There is no good enough reason to use peat in your garden or workplace. Of course you’d expect me to say that – as an environmental consultant. But even the top gardeners agree – TV gardener Monty Don has described using peat in your garden as an act of eco-vandalism! Go Peat Free For years, gardeners have used peat-based compost to help plants grow big and strong. Unfortunately, this is bad environmentally on a number of fronts. It is using non-renewable resources, depleting some of the last remaining peat-lands – indeed over 90% of the UK’s lowland peat bogs have been destroyed or damaged. It decimates wild ecosystems and a wealth of wildlife has disappeared. Additionally, peat bogs store large amounts of carbon dioxide, so its release accelerates climate change. Peat-free growing media, like compost and soil conditioners, are available at many garden centres and DIY stores. But they do still sell products using peat as their organic ingredient to a...
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ISO 14090 – 14001 White Paper

ISO 14090 – 14001 White Paper As well as reducing carbon emissions, we should all be including climate adaptation in our EMS. I recently wrote an article for IEMA on a new white paper to help people do just that.   In Perfect Alignment - Embedding Climate Adaptation into your EMS A new white paper from ISO covers the ISO 14090 ‘Adaptation to climate change’ standard and helps users address these issues in their own Environmental Management Systems. Anya Ledwith and John Dora take a closer look. IEMA members can’t help to be aware of the climate emergency and, in the run-up to COP26, it seems the wider world is taking notice as well. Climate change is already affecting us with different weather patterns, more extreme weather events, sea-level rise, flooding, storm surges, drought and erosion. We are seeing biodiversity loss, poor air quality, effects on employee health and safety, disruptions to operations and value chains. This is triggering changes to the way we vote,...
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Celebrating Eshcon’s 15th Anniversary

Celebrating Eshcon’s 15th Anniversary Help me celebrate! 15 years ago, I set up Eshcon to develop and deliver my mission – to make environmental management THE business norm. 2006 seems an age ago now. It’s strange to look back and think about how I, and the business, have developed. Eshcon became full-time in 2012, previously working one day per week. I’ve had a rollercoaster of a ride – learning how to set up and run a business (never done that before), developing new services that clients really value, getting out and about to raise the profile of environmental management to a whole new audience. This is no mean feat seeing as most SMEs don’t last more than five years.   Anniversary party? Of course, I wanted to mark the anniversary. Pre Covid, it would be normal for companies to hold a little soirée - inviting clients, colleagues and partners for drinks and canapés. Parties aren’t really my thing, even if we were allowed to meet in person. I...
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How to Plan Environmental Audits

How to Plan Environmental Audits I was pleased to share my experiences of environmental auditing again recently on a very well attended IEMA webinar. I was joined by Gillian Gibson (Gibson Training), Ben Goodwin (IEMA) and Matthew Goldberg (National Grid). We are all part of IEMA’s Environmental Auditing Committee, a working group of experts ranging from consultants, in-house auditors and UKAS the organisation that oversees certification bodies. We are reviewing the IEMA Register of Environmental Auditors and prepared briefing papers on the value of environmental auditing. The committee has also developed a series of webinars, some for experienced auditors and others for those new to the industry – the latter, the Environmental Auditing 101 series, examines different elements of auditing and the ISO 14001 standard. This, our most recent webinar, was titled ‘Planning, scoping & resourcing for successful audits’. This was obviously a subject of great interest as we had over 500 people join us. Pitfalls of not planning Why should you prepare for an environmental...
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ISO 50001 Gap Analysis

Mind the Gap – are you Ready for ISO 50001? We know that energy efficiency is good for your business – save energy, save money. If you want to have a deeper focus on energy, why not expand your existing ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and get ISO 50001?   What is ISO 50001? With their soaring energy costs, I see that more and more companies are interested in Energy Management Systems (EnMS). The system helps them understand and manage energy consumption and budgets, in a formalised way. It can then be certified to the international standard ISO 50001. But why start from scratch? It’s much easier to build upon an existing management system. All significant management systems standards follow the same ‘high level structure’ so that the core framework for each is the same. This makes it more straight-forward to expand existing systems (e.g. ISO 14001 Environmental Management System or ISO 9001 Quality) to incorporate energy and the requirements of ISO 50001. The cyclic process of the ISO...
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3 Top Tips on Networking from a GDB Ambassador

3 Top Tips on Networking from a GDB Ambassador I recently finished my two terms as the Chair of Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB), the most notable business membership organisation in the region. I was delighted when they invited me to stay connected and become a GDB Ambassador. I have seen the organisation grow, adapt and flourish with new services and membership options, always with networking at its core. Face-to-face or virtual, it’s great to meet other GDB members - useful and interesting people - to discuss their objectives, opportunities and ideal clients. Being a GDB member has been extremely worthwhile both for my business and for me personally. Eshcon thrives on partnerships and recommendations – GDB is the place to be.   GDB Ambassadors I join a group of five other Ambassadors, representing a range of business type, size and sector. We’ve all been members of GDB for many years and see the value of networking, while supporting other members. Back when GDB just did in-person events,...
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Seize the Net Zero Opportunity Webinar

Seize the Net Zero Opportunity Webinar In my latest webinar for Gatwick Diamond Business, I teamed up with Zoë Osmond of University of Brighton to show how businesses can Seize the Net Zero Opportunity. I started with an introduction to climate change and #ShowYourStripes, plus the benefits organisations see when embedding the environment into their business practices. Zoë spoke about the Green Growth Platform (delivered nationally now via Clean Growth UK) and the support available to businesses to drive green innovation. Advice, seminars, grants and events – all aimed at driving the local carbon sector. Your Net Zero Journey I finished with Your Net Zero Journey. It can be complex so I’ve distilled it down to a five-stage process, that’ll ensure your journey is straight-forward, achievable and successful. For more details on this, see here. Check out the webinar here on YouTube: My sections are at 0.49 and 33.09 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyMPqwGq6j4&t=3s If you’d like green innovation support, check out Clean Growth UK services here.   _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the...
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CEnv – My Webinar with SocEnv

CEnv - My Webinar with SocEnv I’m really pleased to support the Society of the Environment (SocEnv) campaign to promote the Chartered Environmentalist professional qualification. I am a CEnv and Fellow of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment). Being CEnv demonstrates a commitment to the environmental industry & leadership to others – clients, partners & other professionals. In my recent webinar with SocEnv, I joined 2 other Chartered Environmentalists to discuss ‘How CEnv has helped me and my career’. SocEnv webinar How CEnv registration has helped me and my career - that's what we asked three Chartered Environmentalists in this special webinar. In this webinar CEnv professionals join us to share their experiences of securing the designation, the opportunities which obtaining the qualification have presented and the positive impacts achieving CEnv has had on their work. Our special guests: Anya Ledwith - Director at Eshcon Ltd. Sophie Harris - Environmental Regulation and Response Manager at Thames Water. Chandra Kripa Dwarakanath - Principal Consultant at Jacobs. My slot starts at...
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My webinars with Sussex Innovation

Check out my webinars with Sussex Innovation Over summer I’ve been busy doing webinars. These have been with a variety of organisations, including Gatwick Diamond Business, IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management) and Sussex Innovation (SINC). Check out below the 2 webinars I did with SINC as part of their Survive & Thrive series. I spoke about the benefits of environmental management, my business and the challenges/opportunities of Covid-19.   Sussex Innovation’s Survive & Thrive series - Sustainable Futures We've all seen and heard about the positive impact that lockdown has had on the environment. For many of us it has given us pause for thought about how we can maintain and build upon these sustainable behaviours as we move towards the "next normal", but what does this mean for businesses? This webinar explores how small businesses can seek to reduce their environmental impact, and the benefits of doing so. The panel includes: - Steve Creed (Creed Management Solutions) gives giving an introduction to and the benefits of...
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The impacts of air pollution on our health & the economy

The impacts of air pollution on our health & the economy We don’t think enough about the impact of air pollution – on our health, on society and indeed the economy. Air pollution loses 3 million working days Research from the CBI and the Clean Air Fund has found that poor air quality in the UK causes 3 million lost working days, costing the economy about £600m per year. This is down to people getting sick or taking time off to care for sick children. Improving air quality standards could help improve productivity, actually benefitting the economy by about £1.6bn a year and preventing a staggering 17,000 premature deaths of working age people. Then there’s the benefit to the NHS from lower sickness rates. During the Covid-19 lockdown, we saw how reduced traffic levels can improve air quality. Data from the Clean Air Fund found a 25% reduction in NO2 emissions in London during the morning rush hour and a 34% fall at evening commuting...
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Green business is a growing priority

Green business is a growing priority New research from the Carbon Trust has found that sustainability is becoming more important to large companies as a result of Covid-19. The research into ‘Corporate attitudes towards sustainability’ covered 450 large companies (all over 1,000 staff & >25% more than 5,000) in Germany, France, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and the UK. More of a priority Nearly three-quarters said environmental management is likely to become 'somewhat' or 'significantly’ more important for them as a result of Covid-19. It’s not just those that are thriving. 70% of those experiencing substantial disruption from the pandemic expect sustainability to become somewhat or significantly more important. It is interesting to note that three-quarters of organisations interviewed had been negatively impacted by Covid - 32% significantly and 4% saying it represented an existential threat to their organisation. Other research (e.g. by Capgemini) shows that consumers are also interested more in environmental and social issues – this is true both after the Covid lockdown and in the preceding...
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Chair of GDB – What it means to me

Chair of GDB – What it means to me After completing my two terms, I recently stepped down as Chair of GDB. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, with ups & downs, some challenges and a lot of enjoyable experiences. I’ve been a member of GDB Gatwick Diamond Business since I first set up my business Eshcon. I knew that networking would be an important part of my business and marketing strategy. I get nearly all of my work through referrals, so having an active network of contacts is really important. People need to know me, like me, trust me. And I use my GDB network for just that. In addition to the paid staff, GDB has an Executive Council made up of members, lead by the Chair and Directors. I first joined the Executive in 2013 and became Chair in 2016. My GDB objectives My objectives when I became Chair were to show strong leadership, of both the Executive and the whole organisation. GDB was...
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