Grant Thornton’s Vibrant Economy Index

Grant Thornton’s Vibrant Economy Index A new way to measure the success of the nation I came across an interesting report recently from accountancy firm Grant Thornton examining the ‘Vibrant Economy’. This challenges standard thinking and says that the economy should benefit society as a whole, taking into account not only financial growth and economic return within an area, but also a wider set of characteristics.   Under six headings, they examine these characteristics: Prosperity - An economy that produces wealth and creates jobs. Dynamism and opportunity – The economy is entrepreneurial and innovative, with a skills set that can drive future growth. Inclusion and equality - Everyone benefits from economic growth; the gap between richest and poorest narrows, regional disparities reduce, and there are opportunities for all. Health, well-being and happiness - People are healthy and active, leading fulfilling lives which provide individual prospects. Resilience and sustainability – The economy has a neutral impact on the natural environment, and built environments are resilient...
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Case Study – ISO 14001 Transition – Roffey Park

Case Study – ISO 14001 Transition – Roffey Park Institute Eshcon helped Roffey Park transition its EMS to ISO 14001:2015, with a Gap Analysis, updating the system & then supporting the certification audit.   Roffey Park Institute is an internationally renowned leadership institute based in West Sussex, operating across the UK and in Singapore.   Roffey Park has had an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place for a number of years and was certified to ISO 14001:2004. There had been a change of staff, particularly those leading on the EMS so it was important to ensure all elements of the system were properly covered.   Work started with a Gap Analysis to identify where the EMS needed to change. This gave a RAG-rating for each issue and a transition plan, with actions & timescales. Eshcon then worked with the ISOe Group on the transition work, starting with a workshop on context, risks, opportunities, interested parties, lifecycle & the company’s strategic direction. The EMS itself was revised & streamlined;...
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GDB Source Nov 17

The Source Chairman’s Column My regular column in The Source Magazine, for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.     How is a wedding like gdb? Let me share with you a story from my cousin’s wedding recently.   As we hadn’t seen each other for years, there was too much to cover at dinner on that first night. But, the more we met up over the long weekend, the more we talked - our lives & businesses, our plans & achievements. I met plenty of new people at the wedding, who I’d never have met without sharing something in common. The bride’s parents introduced me to a couple, owners of an accountancy firm whose clients were strong on supply chain & environmental issues. We didn’t talk long, but it was enough to tell them of my work & how I help similar businesses to theirs. It’s up to me now to build a stronger contact.   So whether it’s a wedding or gdb membership, I’ve learnt that your success...
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Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy

Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy A survey recently by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looked into how businesses have been managing their energy consumption.   They found that only 9% of SMEs had ever conducted energy audits on the business, while 69% of large companies had. The numbers ranged from 7% for sole traders to 84% of organisations with >1,000 employees.   This shows that there are huge opportunities for SMEs, particularly, to save energy & therefore save money.   I have found that businesses are put off conducting energy audits because they think they’ll just be told to spend lots of money - that the recommendations will all be about putting in solar panels or other expensive kit.   My approach to energy audits, however, is to look at not only technological options, but also at behavioural & operational changes which can often be no-cost or low-cost activities for quick results.   Back to the BEIS survey, of those SMEs that had done an...
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Nov 17 Newsletter – My Why & ISO 14001 Countdown

Nov 17 Newsletter – My Why & ISO 14001 Countdown

Nov 17 Newsletter - My Why & Countdown to ISO 14001 Eshcon regularly sends out an e-newsletter to contacts – here’s the latest from November 2017.   My Why – Why I am an Environmental Consultant In developing a business, we should apparently start with ‘Why’. Unsurprisingly for me it’s about improving the environment. My story starts with being inspired by David Attenborough through to developing my mission to make environmental management the business norm. That's why I am here. And I LOVE what I do.   Start your ESOS energy audits now Large organisations should now be getting ready for ESOS Phase 2. Start scheduling your energy audits so that it’s not a rush to final compliance.  For advice on what to do, plus learning from the challenges last time - click here.   The Global Goals Businesses, organisations & even individuals are adopting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Goals. But what are they & why should we care?   Countdown to ISO 14001 It is less than 1 year until deadline to update your EMS...
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My Why – Why I am an Environmental Consultant

My Why I'm reading a lot of business books at the moment - strategy, marketing, sales & psychology. 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 mesmerised by the wonderful David Attenborough when I was a kid. I knew it was my calling - to improve the environment ... & to make a living out of it!   - Diverse ecosystems - beautiful places to visit & of course to live. - Healthy air, healthy people. - Fabulous plants & creatures. - You don't have to travel far & wide to see beautiful things. The world is a amazing place & we all have to look after it.   My consultancy Eshcon puts the environment at the core of business. Indeed it is my mission to make environmental management the business norm.   I didn’t want to change the world by being an environmental campaigner. I wanted to do it in more pragmatic...
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Increases in ISO 14001 numbers

Increases in ISO 14001 numbers Each year the International Standards Organisation releases the results their research on take-up of ISO standards across the world. This year follows past upwards trends.   As usual the Quality standard ISO 9001 dominates the scene with over 1 million certificates in 2016 (current certificates, not just issued that year) - 1,106,356 up by 7%.   ISO 14001, the standard for environmental management, is the second most widely used with 346,189 certificates worldwide. This saw an 8% increase over the last year.   China has the most ISO 14001 certificates by far with 137,230, with Japan & Italy following with 27,372 and 26,655 respectively. This year the United Kingdom is down slightly (6%) & slipped one place in the league table to fourth, with 16,761 certificates.   It could be that this slight decrease is due to companies not knowing how to implement the latest version of the standard, ISO 14001:2015. Talking to certification bodies, they’ve told me that companies are worried about how...
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Roffey Park’s ISO 14001 Success

Roffey Park’s ISO 14001 Success I am pleased to say that another of my clients has successfully recertified to ISO 14001 - Roffey Park Institute is an internationally renowned leadership institute based near Horsham, operating across the UK and in Singapore.   The Environmental Management Systems (EMS) is used to manage impacts, reduce risk, identify opportunities for cost savings and address customers’ needs.   Key achievements include paper usage down by 22% this past year, electricity by 16% and oil consumption has fallen dramatically since the installation of a ground source heat pump. The extensive grounds are well managed and the kitchen garden even grows fruit and veg for the restaurant (see picture above).   The new ISO 14001 standard has extra requirements, including a strong focus on leadership and alignment to the business strategy. Eshcon guided Roffey Park through the transition process starting with an ISO 14001 Gap Analysis, improving the EMS documentation, conducting the internal audits & attending the certification. With a change of staff...
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EMS – Going a bit further…

EMS - Going a bit further… What I like about networking is meeting new businesses & chatting about them, their activities, challenges & opportunities. We talk about the work I do & I often hear about their own environmental activities. It’s pleasing to hear how companies are recycling their waste or using low energy lighting.   They are beginning to see the benefits that putting the environment into the business generates. But they realise they’re not as successful as they could be. Energy prices are still spiralling. Legal issues keep cropping up. Customers want more & more information. Staff don’t seem to be engaged.   What they haven’t realised is that putting in an Environmental Management System can help address these problems. It gives the structure to manage impacts, find efficiencies & savings, get staff involved & communicate with their stakeholders.   Seeing as most companies get started on the environment because their customers demand it, it makes sense to put in an Environmental Management System &...
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What are The Global Goals?

The SDGs: what are they & why should we care? Hopefully you should be becoming aware of The Global Goals - the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals - but what are they & why should we care? Myles Wickstead CBE is an expert on international development, a Visiting Professor at King’s College London, was British Ambassador to Ethiopia and was Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa. Myles wrote a great article a year ago on the SDGs. Here it is in full and I'll summarise a few of his key points below to give you an introduction. At a UN Summit in late September 2015, Governments signed up to a document called: ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. It contains a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), supported by 169 targets and many more indicators. The 17 SDGs are shown in this diagram. If all these goals and targets are too much to remember, think 'P'. The key elements...
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Sept 17 Newsletter – ESOS & How to Win Awards

Sept 17 Newsletter - ESOS & Tips on How to Win Awards Eshcon regularly sends out an e-newsletter to contacts – here’s the latest from September 2017.   ESOS Phase 2 ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme) is in Phase 2 & companies are advised to get going on the work soon, to avoid the rushes experienced at the last deadline. Energy audits can be done from now onwards, to help identify opportunities to save energy & money. As a Lead ESOS Assessor I can help you with your energy assessments & ISO 50001. A New Look for ESHCon Over summer I've been busy redesigning my brand. I have a new look website & logo. These all revolve around my mission to make environmental management the business norm. Check it out. Student Mentor Scheme I am a Student Mentor on the programme run by the University of Sussex. This is how it benefits both the student & myself. Tips on How to Win Awards As a judge of national & regional business...
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Student Mentoring

Student-Business Mentoring Scheme It's been a while since I left university & went into the world of business. I have over 20 years of experience in the environmental management sector. I enjoy what I do & get satisfaction from helping my clients improve. And it occurred to me that I had experience that I could share with others, perhaps younger people starting out on their career. So when the Head of the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex asked me to become a Student Mentor, I thought that would be a great opportunity.   Sussex runs a program linking local business people with their students. The idea is to share experience, the things we've learned along the way. This is particularly good for me, returning to my old Uni.   I was linked with a young woman studying economics. At our first meeting we completed the Mentoring Wheel diagram. On each spoke of the wheel, an issue or area that was important...
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What does my logo mean?

What does my logo mean?

What does my logo mean? This last month I've been working on my business not just in my business. I've redesigned my website (it's looking nice and fresh now). I've been thinking about marketing strategy. And I've even revisited my logo. As you know I am an environmental management consultant. I work with businesses to manage their impacts, reduce risk, save money and find commercial benefits.   Indeed, my mission is to make environmental management the business norm. I often talk about putting the environment into the heart of the business. I don't want it to be an add-on. It should be part of core business operations. That's how you get the true benefits.   I have redesigned my logo recently. It hasn't changed much, except the colouring & accents.   You'll notice the green 'o' - this represents the green world, within the core of the business.   That's what Eshcon is all about. Making environmental management straight forward for you to put it into your business so you...
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ESOS Phase 2

Getting Started on ESOS Phase 2 Are you getting on with ESOS? We are now in the Phase 2 compliance period and, although the deadline of 5th December 2019 may seem a long way off, you should now be thinking about the compliance process.   ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK. ESOS requires you to Measure your total energy consumption Conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities Report compliance to the Environment Agency.   The Agency is urging organisations to act early to help avoid disruption & enforcement action, also to unlock the financial savings brought by greater energy efficiency.   You may choose to conduct energy audits of your sites or choose an alternative route, such as an ISO 50001 Energy Management System.   Start gathering your data now - you’ll need to show energy consumption for a 12 month period covering 31st December 2018.   I am a Lead ESOS assessor, which need to be involved...
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GDB Source June 17

Source Chairman’s Column My regular column in The Source Magazine, for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.   What are the most important things a company can have? Most would say profits; perhaps a good reputation; engaged and motivated staff. You can't buy reputation. You don’t just magically get motivated staff. And you can't improve your profits without either of these. As an environmental management consultant, I’ve been running workshops getting clients ready for new standards, like ISO 14001. I get staff together from across the company and all levels, to look at business risks and opportunities. This helps them become more efficient, plan for the future and raise their profile with customers. The important element here is staff engagement. Everyone has something to contribute. Staff want to be part of the organisation, to be truly involved and feel proud of the company. Staff motivation can also be helped through team building. Take, for example, the GDB Charity Challenge. I had a great afternoon at the challenge, alas not...
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