Hear me speak

Hear me speak (spring/summer 2018) I have a number of speaking engagements over the next couple of months, including the following: 23rd May: edieLive This is THE conference & exhibition to attend on environmental management, energy & resource efficiency. I’ll be chairing & speaking at two sessions - Compliance & standards: unlocking new energy opportunities; and Into the dragon's den: how to achieve boardroom buy-in.  More details here 10th July: Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers seminar An interactive seminar on Innovation & the Environment - more details available shortly. 10th August: Sustainable Business Partnership breakfast How environmental management is like riding a classic motorcycle over the Himalayas! Book here   I've been busy - here are some of my past events: 14th Feb Webinar: ESOS - What you need to do now We are now in Phase 2 of ESOS, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, legislation that requires large companies to conduct mandatory energy audits. I delivered a webinar with Alfa Energy to get companies going with their ESOS preparation. 21st Feb: IoD Sussex...
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Walking Meetings

Meet & Walk & Talk We’ve all sat through long meetings, feeling hot & stuffy and, no matter how interesting the subject matter, worrying that you might just nod off. How much better can you feel going out into the fresh air & (ever hopeful) sunshine? As we spend a majority of the working day glued to a screen (& even more when we get home too), walking meetings may be more beneficial than ever before. Have a meeting on the go doesn’t have to be a big commitment. It may take a little longer, but there are so many benefits. The plus points Clearly, you get a bit of easy physical activity – helps your general health & immediately lifts your mood Can promote inspiration & even clarity just from being in a new setting It can help you focus (after all it’s difficult to walk & text) A slightly more relaxed setting can put staff at ease, allowing them to open up...
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April 18 Newsletter – Risks & Opportunities

April 18 Newsletter - Risks & Opportunities Eshcon regularly sends out an e-newsletter to contacts – here’s the latest from April 2018.   ISO 14001 Deadline is Looming I’m getting a lot of calls from companies realising they need to act before the September deadline to update their EMS to the new ISO 14001 standard. Here’s how to turn hassle into success. Are you ready for MEES? From April 2018 the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard requires properties to have an EPC rating of E or better. A landlord or a tenant, this can affect you. Making ESOS Work for You To make your next ESOS Assessment run smoothly, it’s worth the effort now to put in the processes to gather good quality energy data. The better the information you supply to your ESOS Assessor, the deeper they can analyse it for energy saving opportunities. Here are 5 Top Tips to help your ESOS Assessor. FSB Awards – Eshcon is Green Business of the Year I was thrilled to be recognised as...
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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

Are you ready for MEES? From April 2018, rented buildings must meet new energy efficiency standards. It will be unlawful to rent or lease a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below an E. This applies to new tenancy agreements now and in 2023 will expand to include all privately rented property included in existing longer-term leases. New tenancies already must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which have A – G energy efficiency ratings. Currently 40% of EPCs are rated D or below & 25% are the worst F or G ratings. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), coming in to force in April 2018, requires the property to achieve an EPC of E or better. This means that if any of your offices, sites or buildings have an EPC with a rating of F or G, you will not be able to lease that property. You must upgrade to E or above before the lease is completed. There are five Exemptions...
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GDB Source March 18

The Source Chairman’s Column My regular column in The Source Magazine, for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.   Did you attend the GDB Speakers Conference? I was so impressed with it, an event truly worthy of the Gatwick Diamond Business name. Entitled Challenging Business Practices, we had four really interesting & engaging speakers. I wanted a share a nugget from each of them for you. It started with a new concept to me: Unconscious Bias - where the images & messages we see all the time help to shape our thoughts & influence our behaviour. Then the youngest British woman to climb Everest talked to us about Motivation. What usually stops us achieving is not that something is too hard, it’s the fear of failure. The Futurologist shared the idea of the 4 New Economies: - Maker - innovations in production, e.g. 4D printing. - Sharing - the sharing & full utilisation of equipment & assets. - Circular - getting away from the linear extract-use-dispose model & promote the reuse of...
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Making ESOS work for you

Making ESOS work for you We are now in Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) - the energy data review & audits must be completed, & then the notification of compliance submitted to the Regulator, by December 2019. Those companies that know they will qualify for the scheme (they meet the financial &/or staff thresholds) should be thinking about beginning the compliance process now - commission your energy audits early to avoid the rush as the deadline approaches. Although you won’t be able to calculate your Total Energy Consumption yet (it needs to include energy use covering 31st December 2018), the energy audits can be started now using data already gathered to inform them. Last time in ESOS, many companies were unprepared & spent a lot of time trying to locate the energy data needed. This wasted time & cost money, as the ESOS Assessor had to focus so much more on gathering & analysing quality data. One client provided me...
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Energy Efficiency Grants

Energy Efficiency Grants Did you know that there are grants & other finance opportunities available for businesses? Grants of up to £10,000 are available for energy efficiency works & other business development, though these will depend on your size (usually for SMEs), location & sector. Here are two examples of grants schemes that I know of in the South East.   LoCASE – business support for low carbon sector LoCASE is a scheme administered by the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform to drive green business growth in East Sussex, Kent & Essex. There are two elements of the grants scheme, firstly to help SMEs in low carbon & environment sectors with business growth & R&D grants. Grants of up to £10,000 covering 40% of the cost, for projects to help grow your business or develop new products & services. Grants can fund: Energy efficiency measures Development finance - to enable expansion of the business (e.g. marketing costs) Plant & machinery - including re-tooling & installation of...
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End of the Road for Halogens?

End of the Road for Halogens? We all know that halogen bulbs are notoriously short-lived – they are forever blowing & it takes time & money to keep changing them. But did you know that halogens are on the way out? Most types of the gas-based bulb are scheduled for phase-out on 1st September 2018. A few will remain on sale - e.g. used for spotlights and floodlights - but in general you need to be thinking now of alternatives & LEDs will be the sensible choice.   LED Savings LED technology has advanced over the years & it’s now available in every household fitting. The energy & cost savings in choosing LEDs over halogen stand to be significant. For example, you have a traditional 100 Watt bulb – the energy costs of replacing this with a 14W LED would be around £2 a year, while a 77W halogen would cost around £11 and a CFL £3. The CFL may be cheaper to buy but it’ll...
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I am FSB Awards Winner

FSB Awards - Eshcon is Green Business of the Year Today I attended the FSB Awards. The Federation of Small Business is a membership organisation whose mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. The FSB runs a national awards scheme, with regional events for the 12 awards categories.   Eshcon was shortlisted in the South East as a finalist for the Ethical - Green Business of the Year Award, which was sponsored by the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform.   There was really strong competition with the other finalists being: SAS Energy – the designer, supplier & installer of renewable energy systems Crumbs Brewing – creating beautiful beer from artisan bread that would otherwise go to waste Nature Shop – an online retailer of premium, natural fibre clothing Genuine Solutions Group – distributor of mobile phone accessories.   I am thrilled to say that I was successful & crowned the Green Business of the Year. My application explained how I manage my own company’s impacts & costs, e.g. Eshcon...
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ISO 14001 Deadline Looming

The ISO 14001 Deadline is Looming - Turning hassle into success If you have an ISO 14001 EMS you need to think now about updating to the new standard. The deadline for this is September 2018. I see that many organisations are worried about the doing the transition - they don’t know what’s involved, how to do it or whether they have the commitment from their bosses. You know what it feels like - it's a hassle, like pushing a boulder up a hill. So they leave it for now … then suddenly it’s mass panic to get it done in time! Take one company I helped recently, they first put in their EMS to show their customers just how committed to the environment they are. They already did lots of good green stuff but it was a bit sporadic & they wanted to shout about their successes - hence a formal ISO 14001 system. But their certification audit was looming - they were feeling...
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Feb 18 Newsletter – Great opportunities

Feb 18 Newsletter - Great opportunities in environment & business Eshcon regularly sends out an e-newsletter to contacts – here’s the latest from February 2018.   Combining your EMS & QMS A number of my clients have an ISO 9001 Quality Management System & now need to manage their environmental impacts. Rather than starting from scratch, adapting the existing system for the requirements of ISO 14001 reduces the amount of time & effort needed. See my blog & Factsheet for how to combine your QMS & EMS - I can help you. #PassOnPlastic Since Blue Planet II, there has been a lot of interest in marine plastic pollution. Every minute, a dustcart’s worth of plastic goes into our oceans, it never decomposes & affects marine life & our own food chain. #PassOnPlastic is a pledge to reduce or even eliminate single-use plastic, e.g. takeaway coffee cups, bottles, straws & microbeads in beauty products. Make the pledge yourself & encourage your company, school, council or other organisations to pledge. Deadline September...
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Combining your EMS & QMS

Combining your EMS & QMS Got quality, now want environment? A number of my clients have a functioning Quality Management System, often certified to ISO 9001, and now want to manage their environmental impacts. Rather than starting with a blank piece of paper, it would make sense to use the existing system & adapt it to meet the needs of ISO 14001. Many of the ISO standards have changed recently, deliberately using the same high level structure (HLS) so that management systems can now be more easily merged – processes, responsibilities & documentation can be fully integrated. This reduces the amount of time and effort needed to fulfil the requirements. While there are differences between the two standards (such as environment-specific requirements in ISO 14001), they revolve around 10 common clauses: Clause 1 – Scope Clause 2 – Normative references Clause 3 – Terms and definitions Clause 4 – Context of the organisation Clause 5 – Leadership Clause 6 – Planning Clause 7 – Support Clause 8 – Operation Clause 9 – Performance...
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Clean Air Day 2018

Clean Air Day 2018 It’s important to get your colleagues involved in your Environmental Management System. Running a campaign (ideally reflecting national or international ones) provides a good focus. 21st June is Clean Air Day. Run by Global Action Plan, this year the campaign’s theme is cutting one pollution source – traffic. Achieving clean air requires millions of people to decide to travel differently around our cities and towns; make it easy for them to change with this one first step. I ran my first transport campaign years ago, with a Car Free Breakfast for people coming on foot, by public transport, bike or motorcycle. Once we even got someone come along in a husky sledge! Here are some more ideas you might try: Take it EV. Get electric car drivers to take a colleague or a neighbour for a spin, so that they are encouraged to choose an EV (electric vehicle) when they upgrade. Meet virtually. Do you really need to travel to...
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The SDGs: Important & Relevant in the UK

The SDGs: Important & Relevant in the UK In 2015 Governments across the world signed up to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 17 in total covering people, planet & prosperity. If The Global Goals are to have a chance of succeeding, certainly within the timetable of 2030, we all need to contribute - governments, businesses, individuals. Those that are of particular interest to me are obviously the environmental ones, e.g. 13 Climate Action or 12 Responsible Consumption. But actually they are all interlinked in some way, with activities in one area trickling down / along & having a positive effect elsewhere. We need to understand that the SDGs are not just about the richer countries simply funnelling money to the less developed ones. These goals apply a key equally to us. Here are some stats put together by UKSSD showing the situation in the UK. SDG 1 No Poverty   -   16.8% of people in the UK live in poverty SDG 12 Responsible Consumption & Production  - ...
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GDB Source Jan 18

The Source Chairman’s Column My regular column in The Source Magazine, for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.   At the Members’ Meeting recently I asked a bit of tricky question - why are we here? This wasn’t a theological query, but rather asking why are we all here today at this gdb event? For our companies, it may have been to increase our network or grow sales. On a personal level, perhaps to pay the mortgage, learn or simply enjoy. Or maybe for more altruistic reasons: to build the economy, to boost skills and for a better quality of life for all. I'm reading a lot of business books at the moment, the latest is putting the WHY into our business ... in developing our strategy, we should start with why. For me it's about improving the environment. I was inspired by David Attenborough to bring about positive change and make a living out of it! So, it is my mission to make environmental management the business...
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News for 2018

Environment in Business - News for 2018 All companies should be embedding the environment into their business to get the commercial benefits. I work with organisations to identify improvements, calculate carbon emissions & put in Environmental Management Systems (EMS), so that you become more efficient, reduce risk & win new business. This year, you should be aware of deadlines & legislation requirements that may affect your business.   ISO 14001 Deadline Does your organisation have an EMS (Environmental Management System) certified to ISO 14001? If so, then you need to upgrade to the new version of the standard by the deadline September 2018. There are some significant changes required, which need to be ASAP - including context of the organisation, leadership, risks and opportunities, life cycle & evaluation of performance. More info is here. I’ve helped a number of organisations with the transition - making it smooth & successful.   ESOS Phase 2 ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK....
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Duty of Care

Duty of Care - What Should I do with my Business Waste? All businesses are legally required to manage their waste. But recent research suggests that more than half of UK companies do not fully comply with Duty of Care and 94% of those are SMEs. Mostly this is because they don’t know what they need to do.   It is a legal requirement (Environmental Protection Act 1990 - Duty of Care Regulations) that the producers of waste must: Apply the waste hierarchy Separate and store their waste correctly Dispose of the waste using licensed waste carriers and disposal methods Keep waste documentation correctly. All waste Duty of Care paperwork must be held for a period of two years (three years for hazardous waste).   If you don’t use a licensed waste contractor, you risk them simply dumping your waste (fly-tipping) - if this is traced back to you, you are still liable for prosecution, even if you had acted in good faith.   Follow the waste...
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Top Tips on Surviving Certification Audits

Top Tips on Surviving Certification Audits Whether you're experienced or it's your first time, Certification audits can be a nerve wracking experience. I have helped many clients achieve and retain certification to ISO 14001. Here are some top tips for surviving the audit.   Know your objectives - do you want to get through with as little hassle as possible or do you want the auditor to see it all & find areas for improvement?   Prepare well beforehand. Plan the agenda (including timings) and brief your colleagues about what is likely to be covered. Thus may be their first time being scrutinised - you don't want them to appear 'bunny in headlights'!   Get all your documentation together - you might want to have hyperlinks to their locations, saves you trawling through loads of folders.   Make sure you've addressed all the Non Conformities raised at the last audit.   Have you conducted the annual Management Review and did it properly involve top management?   Things auditors often look into: Duty of Care...
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Ikigai – what is your purpose?

Ikigai – what is your purpose? I read a blog recently from the World Economic Forum on the Japanese concept of Ikigai & it made me think a lot about myself as a person, my career choices & why I set up my business.   Originating from a country with one of the world's oldest populations, the idea is becoming popular outside of Japan as a way to live longer and better. Ikigai is thought to combine the Japanese words ikiru (meaning “to live”) and kai (“the realisation of what one hopes for”). Together these create the concept of “a reason to live”. I suppose the closest English word could be “purpose”.   To find this reason or purpose, consider these four questions: What do you love? What are you good at? What does the world need from you? What can you get paid for?   Finding the answers and a balance between these four areas could be a route to ikigai. However it’s not about finding...
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10 Environmental Moments of 2017

10 Environmental Moments of 2017 Well, 2017 has been an ‘interesting’ year dominated by Brexit and the US president. There’s been lots going on in the environmental arena too; I reflect here on just some of them.   Climate change - hurricanes, floods & wildfires You can't have missed all the news about the extreme weather experienced across the globe: Hurricane season in USA & Caribbean, dreadful flooding in Bangladesh, thick smog in China & Iran, wildfires in California. Thousands have been killed & millions affected, losing their homes, farmland & livelihoods; people’s health is deteriorating & business is being impacted. Climate change is just making these natural phenomena worse & more frequent. Renewable energy The rise of renewables in the UK has progressed, despite cuts to feed-in tariffs, this summer providing more than half of UK electricity for first time. National Grid reported in June that power from wind, solar, hydro & wood pellet burning supplied 50.7% of UK energy (include nuclear it’s up to...
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