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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Hear me speak

Hear me speak I do quite a lot of public speaking at conferences, seminars, webinars & networking events. I speak mainly about environmental management, but also about business issues. I love sharing my experiences, stories & know how with others - how can I help you with your event?   Hear me speak - coming up I have a number of speaking engagements over the next couple of months, including the following: Seize the Net Zero Opportunity - webinar with GDB 6 November, 11 am In this Ask the Expert session for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business, Zoë Osmond of the Green Growth Platform and I will explore the opportunities and benefits of embracing low carbon innovation. Book here East Sussex Assembly Annual Conference - The main theme is: Climate change: how can we all adapt to meet the challenges of a changing environment 23 November, 9.00 I will be hosting a series of break-out sessions covering Your Net Zero Journey. More info here   Past events I’ve been busy – here are some of my...
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GDB Diamond Sept 20

Read my Chairman’s Column in the GDB Diamond My regular column in Diamond – the magazine for Gatwick Diamond Business.   Welcome to my last Chairman’s Column. I stayed on for an extra couple of months during the pandemic until the AGM, postponed until September. It’s been a privilege to be Chair of gdb & I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself, indeed the years have flown by. I’ve seen a lot of change, with new staff coming on board, of course the pandemic, but also now our more formalised, strategic approach for the business. We have developed new services, partnerships with key organisations, learning & development programmes, quality publications, structured membership options & attracted more diverse organisations, in terms of size, sector & location. All these truly demonstrate the great value of gdb membership. With lockdown easing, we now have a great opportunity to change the way we live, work & operate as a nation – to Build Back Better, with greater benefits for society, the environment and economy. I am...
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Avoiding Extinction!

Avoiding Extinction! “Today WE are the asteroid causing many, many species to go extinct simultaneously.” Last night I got round to watching Extinction: The Facts, the latest David Attenborough documentary on the BBC, looking at how humans are affecting the ecosystems and the species on which we depend. This blog summarises some of the key points and briefly quotes the experts interviewed. One million plant and animal species face extinction. It was heart wrenching, to see the damage we’re doing to our beautiful planet. Also really frustrating to think how this is affecting ourselves as well. The programme started with a ranger protecting the last two Northern White Rhinos – a mother and daughter. It’s so sad to think that when they die, that amazing species will be gone forever. While the high-profile species like orangutans and rhinos get the coverage, it’s going to be the small ones that affect us personally most. There are grave impacts for us all – affecting our food, our water and...
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#IamCEnv

#IamCEnv - Supporting the SocEnv Campaign #iamCEnv – What does it mean to be a Chartered Environmentalist? 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. CEnv SocEnv asked me to share my story - how I developed my career, why to went for CEnv and any tips for others. See here for my short video (be kind, it's my first You Tube video!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8_8hrH-dB7Y&feature=emb_logo I became CEnv back in 2005. As the environmental industry was still emerging, I wanted to gain the professional qualification to highlight my skills & knowledge, to show that environmental management was a credible and recognised field. I have a mission to make environmental management the business norm. My work on ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS), SECR carbon reporting & ESOS energy...
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Have you ever been Forest Bathing?

Have you ever been Forest Bathing? Last weekend I had a lovely walk around Heartwood Forest, a site owned & managed by the Woodland Trust. Until 2008, this 347-hectare site in Hertfordshire was just agricultural land, now it makes the largest continuous new native forest in England, with 600,000 native trees planted by volunteers. In addition, there are precious pockets of ancient bluebell woodland, old hedgerows, wildflower meadows, wonderful bird life and open grassland. I spent a couple of hours there, meandering around the trails, enjoying the woodland areas, young & old. It was a pleasure to listen to the birds, watch the squirrels, eat the blackberries, feel the breeze on my face. Forest Bathing At a business meeting recently, I was introduced to the concept of forest bathing. First developed in Japan in the 1980s, ‘shinrin-yoku’ is not about wild swimming in tree-lined ponds (you don’t need to pack your swimsuit), but more about walking in woodland, slowing down and immersing yourself in the forest...
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Support the Sussex Crisis Fund

Support the Sussex Crisis Fund In these Covid-19 times, it’s important to think of others – neighbours, acquaintances, businesses and charities. It’s wonderful to see how people have become visibly kinder and more generous. For many years, the Sussex Community Foundation (SCF) has been the chosen charity of Eshcon for both financial and voluntary support. The SCF raises funds for charities and community groups across Sussex. I particularly like the SCF as it directs funding towards small charities that would not normally be on the radar of businesses looking for their ‘charity of the year’ to support. As well as making donations, I have been a regular volunteer for the SCF, helping during the grants allocations process. The usual timetable involves grants applications being submitted three times per year. I am involved in the initial assessments of incoming grant forms, against the criteria for each fund. It is honestly quite a humbling experience reading the applications – to see the variety of organisations out there,...
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Why use UKAS accredited certification bodies

Certification - Why you should use UKAS accredited certification bodies You know I often extol the virtues of an Environmental Management System (EMS), using the ISO 14001 standard. It is a great way to manage your impacts & costs, comply with the law & engage with your customers & staff on issues that are important to them. Although you don’t need to get it certified, it is good practice to do so. Externally certification gives validity to the EMS, demonstrates you are serious about the quality of your system & helps identify where to improve. UKAS accredited certification bodies You would bring in auditors from a certification body to do this. 'Cert bodies' may cover a range of standards (ISO 14001, 9001, 27001 etc) and/or industry sectors. Certification bodies are themselves overseen by UKAS, the National Accreditation Body, which is responsible for determining the technical competence & integrity of these organisations. Maybe surprisingly it is not mandatory to use a UKAS accredited certification body, even...
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Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero

Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero Net Zero is the new buzzword. With so much more interest in climate change nowadays, from individuals & companies alike, it is not surprising that many businesses are committing to reduce & even neutralise their carbon emissions. The trouble is, most people don’t know where to start. It’s exciting to set the goal, but to achieve it requires a considered approach. Luckily, that’s where ISO 14001 comes in. ISO 14001, the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) standard, offers a formalised framework for identifying your environmental impacts, including climate risks & carbon emissions.   ISO 14001 EMS & Climate Change My latest webinar for IEMA was attended by nearly 200 people. I shared the virtual stage with Marek Bidwell, Nick Blyth of IEMA & also Kirit Patel of DHL Supply Chain, who gave an overview of DHL’s Environmental Management System & approach to risks & opportunities. I spoke about how ISO 14001 can be used to turn climate aspirations into reality. Climate...
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Adapting my business during Covid-19

Adapting my business during Covid-19 How have businesses adapted during the Covid-19 crisis? Are female entrepreneurs thriving during these difficult times? What changes need to be made to existing business models? I was pleased to discuss these issues in the SINC Female Founders webinar run jointly by with Sussex Innovation Centre & Gatwick Diamond Business, as part of their Survive & Thrive series. I shared the screen with 2 other female founders - Daniela Carl, Deputy Chief Executive of the Regional Studies Association, and Oanh Brophy, head of a circular economy start up. The objective of the session was to introduce our businesses & discuss how we had adapted during the pandemic. Here’s what I covered.   Effective Environmental Management during Covid-19 I shared my story – my why, my business, my services. I started with ‘My Why’ – my love for our beautiful, complex & wonderful world. It’s important to me & what drives my career in environmental management. Indeed, many more people nowadays feel the same. Recent research by...
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Tell me your Environmental Stories

Tell me your Environmental Stories “Where do your machines go when they die, Daddy?” A talk with his young daughter prompted the MD of medical manufacturing company to start their environmental journey, managing energy, materials & waste – all done through their ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. With the ongoing pandemic, I’m making use of the time I used to spend travelling. Rather than learning a new language or baking sourdough bread, I’m finally getting round to writing my book. It’s all about how, why & when to put in an Environmental Management System.   Do you have environmental stories to share? For my research, I want to speak to businesses, particularly SMEs, who have an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Why did they get started? How involved is senior management? Did they use a consultant? How long do staff spend each month? What motivates staff to be part of environmental projects? What’s the weirdest thing found in the audit? Anecdotes & stories are really useful, especially when...
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