The Good Life Goals

The Good Life Goals I’ve written before about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to achieve an environmental, social & economic balance across the world. The aim is to deliver these 17 goals by 2030. It is important that governments, organisations & businesses all work together, to ensure the wellbeing of our citizens in the medium & long term. But individuals themselves may feel disconnected from the SDGs (& the supporting 169 targets). Enter the Good Life Goals. These have been developed to support the main SDGs, but show how we, our families & friends can make a difference. Our own everyday actions have the power to change the world!   I particularly like the environment & health ones. For each Goal, check out what you could be doing: Goal 13 - Act on Climate Learn about climate solutions Call for more renewable energy in your country Eat more plants and cut down on meat Walk and cycle rather than drive Demand leaders...
Read More

Back Garden Bird Race

Back Garden Bird Race Connecting with nature is important, especially during these difficult times of lockdown. If you’re frustrated about being stuck at home, why not get involved with Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Back Garden Bird Race? Happening each weekend, the next one is on Sunday morning. Between 10 and 11 am, they are asking people to sit in their gardens or look out of their windows for one hour and note down all the wild bird species that they can see. Details of your sightings can be entered on their Facebook group, app or on the website. Need help identifying the birds? Check out their Bird ID sheet – click here. I really enjoy the birds in my garden - spring is a great time to sit & watch them gather nesting materials, do their aerobatic displays & sing their little hearts out! For more info on the Bird Race check out the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s website.   _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter.  ...
Read More

Positive Vibes

Positive Vibes during Covid-19 Lockdown I try to give out positive vibes, so here are some thoughts on this Friday morning. I love the wildlife in my garden – the birds are busy gathering nesting materials & food. I was digging at the weekend – accompanied by inquisitive robins & blackbirds. Even the squirrels (previously, my nemesis!) are delightful, bouncing across the lawn. The birds are more vocal too – with the reduced road & air traffic noise. I’m getting better on identifying birds from their song. The spring colours are fabulous – the azaleas are coming out & the rhododendrons will be soon. Plus, the vibrant greens of the new tree leaves, especially the oak & beech, plus the reds of the acer. I’m talking more with my mum – previously we maybe had a weekly phone call. Now we’re touching base every couple of days & just ‘talking toot’. Again, sharing positivity. Similarly with the rest of the family on the Whatsapp group. We’re planning...
Read More

Save Energy when Working from Home

Save Energy when Working from Home With the country battling the Corona virus, many of us are dealing with new ways of working. While I’m sure no-one misses the daily commute, working from home presents its own challenges … & opportunities. Apart of the health & childcare concerns, we’ll also be using more gas & electricity while working from home, so our energy bills will be going up. So, I thought I’d put together some simple tips on saving energy at home whether you’re alone or with the family.   Turn down the heating Over half of a typical home’s fuel bill is for heating & hot water - turning down the heating by just 1oC can save up to £80 per year. Use the programmer to set your heating & hot water to come on when it’s needed & go off when it’s not. Make use of the thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to control the temperature in each room, especially those that are unoccupied (for...
Read More

Getting the Best from ESOS

After the Deadline – 4 Tips for Getting the Best from ESOS Thousands of companies rushed to comply with ESOS, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. Were you one of them? You’re probably thinking… great, I don’t have to do anything until the next deadline. But if you do leave it there, you’re missing out on great opportunities to save energy and money. Now is the really important bit. So, where do you start and how do you keep momentum?   How to Get the Best from ESOS Step 1 - Think about Priorities The report from your energy audit will have given you recommendations for saving energy - including electricity, gas, other fuels and for transport. The actions don’t have to be just technical, you should also be thinking about operational & behavioural changes too. You’ll probably have been given an indication of priority for the actions - the quick & easy ones (the ‘low hanging fruit’) that will give you best return or those that require...
Read More

Remote Auditing

Can Your Environmental Audit be done Remotely? The regular environmental audits are an important part of an Environmental Management System & help to keep an organisation on track in managing its impacts & risks. Usually the audit is done actually on-site, walking around, viewing files, speaking to staff. With many business premises closed down & workers confined to home, you may be concerned about keeping the audit programme up & running. Should you be doing your internal audits? What happens with the annual surveillance visit from the certification body? Rather than everything grinding to a halt, during these challenging times, it’s better to do something & keep up the momentum of your audit programme. Remote audits – which are conducted partially or completely off site, using technology to support the auditor - are now being offered. Who knows, we may find this new way of working may be suitable in the future as well. I can help you prepare for a remote audit.   Logistics &...
Read More

SINC Female Founders

My Business Journey - Talk for SINC Female Founders I was recently asked to speak at the Sussex Innovation Centre’s Female Founders Open Morning. This was a networking breakfast organised by SINC which brought together numerous women who had recently or were planning to set up their business. Included in the morning were 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with the SINC innovation advisers on how to establish and grow the business. SINC asked me to speak to share my story, with details of my business journey, challenges and achievements. It was lovely to be back at the University of Sussex, where I did my 1st degree. However, I was not able to share many of the stories of living on campus at the time! My story begins with me, aged 10, sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching the wonderful David Attenborough’s Life on Earth. This series was so inspirational to me, seeing the beautiful world around us, its diversity & fragility....
Read More

Sussex Community Foundation

My support for the Sussex Community Foundation Many companies, as part of their CSR programme, choose a ‘charity of the year’ to support & involve their staff in fund-raising. Being a single person business, Eshcon prefers to focus on one organisation & build a long-term relationship. Therefore, for over 10 years I have been volunteering the Sussex Community Foundation. I am very pleased to support the SCF, both in giving my time & also through financial donations. The SCF raises funds for and make grants to local charities and community groups across East and West Sussex. Since 2006, they have raised over £30 million to support Sussex communities. The SCF manages funds on behalf of Sussex donors, connecting them to the groups and communities they want to support. Over 4,000 grants have been given in partnership with those donors, totalling £14 million to around 2,000 charities and community groups. £18 million is in endowment – a collective fund of money that will benefit Sussex...
Read More

SECR – Are you In?

SECR – Are you In? Are you prepared for the new SECR carbon reporting regulations? The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations require large companies to include carbon & energy information in their Annual Report. This applies for financial years starting on or after 1st April 2019. Does this apply to you?   Are you large? SECR applies to quoted and large unquoted companies & LLPs registered in the UK (as defined by the Companies Act 2006), fulfilling at least 2 of the following conditions in the financial year: >250 employees Annual turnover >£36m Annual balance sheet >£18m.   Quoted? All quoted companies must comply with SECR and will need to include data for both the UK & global activities.   What’s your Financial Year? April-March Your first SECR report will cover April19-March20. Start working on this now!   Jan-Dec Your first SECR report will cover Jan20-Dec20. You have a little breathing space until early 2021, but make sure your data collection processes are up to scratch.   Oct-Sept Your first SECR report will cover Oct19-Sept20. Make sure your data collection processes are good – you’ll...
Read More

Pledge to Net Zero

Pledge to Net Zero I have worked in the environmental management field for nearly 25 years. It is my mission & my passion. It’s tough going, but I am hopeful for the future. More & more people are aware of environmental issues & the need to act urgently. Many organisations recognise that we are in a Climate and Environmental Emergency, with time running out to address the many challenges that lie in front of us. In June 2019 the UK Government committed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. This is hugely important step but we need to turn policy into action - organisations large & small play a huge role. Indeed, the UK's commitment comes at a time where more than four-fifths of the world’s largest companies are unlikely to meet the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement to limit rising temperatures to 1.5oC of pre-industrialised levels by 2050. The 'Pledge to Net Zero' has been established to commit...
Read More

Happy Anniversary

  Happy 8th full time Anniversary to Eshcon! I initially set up Eshcon on a part-time basis back in 2006, continuing to work up to 4 days a week elsewhere. I was about to go full time, when I was head-hunted to a consultancy in London - again working there part-time. Today (21st February) marks the day I gave up the job to focus solely on my business. Eight glorious, challenging, interesting, enjoyable years! Thank you to all my clients, contacts, partners & friends who have supported my mission to make environmental management THE business norm.       _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter.    ...
Read More

NatWest Accelerator

NatWest Accelerator programme for entrepreneurs   Applications are OPEN for the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator The NatWest Accelerator team are looking to support the founders, innovators, and disrupters of Brighton and the wider Sussex area. There are limited spaces available on the next intake. Applications are officially OPEN for the April 2020 intake of the Entrepreneur Accelerator, a 6-month programme designed to support growing and scaling your businesses to the next level. The programme comes with free desk space in our state-of-the-art co-working hubs, dedicated 1:1 coaching, access to specialist mentors and contacts, and a great community of like-minded founders to share your journey with. And it’s fully funded… so there’s no cost to you or your business. A typical founder is likely to get accepted if they are: Running at high growth start-up (vs. a lifestyle business) See their business as a company, not a job Developing a repeatable, scalable business model The idea is usually innovative and risky Have a clear and grand vision...
Read More

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Sussex Wildlife Trust I'm very pleased to have recently joined the Sussex Wildlife Trust as a corporate member. The conservation charity protects the wonderfully rich natural life in Sussex that is found in towns, countryside and coastal areas. The Trust manages over 30 nature reserves across Sussex that people can explore and enjoy. They also run conservation activities for volunteers & engage with policy makers to encourage positive change. I look forward to working with the Trust to get more businesses & their staff engaged with nature. If you consider that "What you experience, you value. What you value, you work to protect." I would like to encourage businesses to promote & experience nature around them. I particularly enjoy watching the birds from my desk window - even putting up a bird feeder outside offices could help you colleagues appreciate their natural surroundings. Check out the SWT shop for some great items, including bird feeders (via Vine House Farm), bird food & clothing.   Help our Kelp...
Read More

Are you ready for SECR Carbon Reporting?

Are you ready for SECR Carbon Reporting? Are you prepared for the new SECR carbon reporting regulations? The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations require large companies to include carbon & energy information in their Annual Report.  This applies for financial years starting on or after 1st April 2019.   SECR applies to quoted and large unquoted companies registered in the UK (as defined by the Companies Act 2006), fulfilling at least 2 of the following conditions in the financial year:>250 employeesAnnual turnover >£36mAnnual balance sheet >£18m.   The following information needs to be included in the Annual Report for that year: • Greenhouse gas emissions - Scope 1, 2 & some 3 emissions arising from energy use in buildings & transport – presented in tonnes of CO2e.Large unquoted companies & LLPs should report on UK operations. Quoted companies will continue to be required to report on global activities. • Energy consumption data in kWh used to calculate the emissions – electricity, gas, other fuels, company vehicles, rental cars...
Read More

Delighted to be FIEMA

Delighted to be FIEMA I was thrilled to receive a letter recently from IEMA, my professional institute, the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment. I’ve been a member for over 20 years, progressing through the membership levels, becoming a full member MIEMA & Chartered Environmentalist CEnv in 2005. The letter was to invite me to become a Fellow of IEMA. I was absolutely thrilled, as this is really the highest professional recognition there is. Rather than applying for FIEMA, I was nominated by other Fellows & approved by the selection committee, which wrote to say: “This is in recognition of your leadership skills as an award-winning consultant with expertise in environmental management and as an advocate for corporate sustainability. In particular, we wish to recognise your dedication, continuously working above and beyond your day job to give back to the profession, be it as a judge for the Sustainability Leaders Awards, as part of Sussex University’s student mentoring program or as Vice Chair of...
Read More

Hear me speak

Hear me speak (early 2020) I have a number of speaking engagements over the next couple of months, including the following: Sussex Innovation Centre’s Female Founders' Open Morning 27th February, Falmer A networking breakfast & 1:1 mentoring sessions for local business women and budding female entrepreneurs. I’ll be speaking about my business journey. Book here   Open4Business Expo 26th March, South of England Showground, Ardingly I will chair the panel & speak about making environmental management the business norm. Book here   Remote Auditing webinar with IEMA 29th April, 9.30 webinar I’m on the expert panel of the IEMA webinar sharing top tips to get the best from your remote environmental audit. This is one of a series of webinars about adapting to life during the Covid-19 lockdown. Book now       End of each month: Gatwick Diamond Business As Chairman of GDB I make a regular address to the monthly Members’ Meeting, about GDB strategy, direction & key learning points from events.   _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter.  ...
Read More

Making the Most of ESOS webinar

Making the Most of ESOS webinar I was delighted to be invited again to take part in an IEMA webinar, this time on ESOS - The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme. ESOS requires large companies to conduct energy audits & report compliance to the regulator. The deadline for this phase is 5th December 2019. IEMA – the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment – runs a series of webinars for its members, to keep them up to date with the latest issues & legislation, plus helps them with their own personal & business development opportunities. The webinar on Mon 10th June lunchtime was attended by over 150 delegates & we had a good range of questions at the end. As a registered Lead ESOS Assessor, I shared my experiences of the challenges faced last time – from getting good quality data to scheduling the meeting with the director in good time. A recording of the webinar, plus the slides are available here. See also my blog on The...
Read More

GDB Source Mar 19

The Source Chairman’s Column My regular column in The Source Magazine, for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.   In January, I attended the gdb Conference - did I see you there? If not, you missed a great opportunity (as the conference title said) to… Re-Energise You, Your Team, Your Business. We had four impressive speakers, with inspiration & advice for business leaders. Starting off with overcoming adversity, Richard McCann shocked us with his life story, starting with his mother’s murder & subsequent battles with depression, drugs & the law. Despite this, he’s developed a positive attitude. He believes in himself & that’s what makes him succeed. His motto is “I can - I will - I did”. Julie Barker of NatWest talked about Diversity as a Business Asset. Did you know that companies with a gender & ethnicity balanced workforce outperform others by 30%? She talked about barriers to entrepreneurs (& indeed anyone in the workplace), one being the lack of role models & mentors. I wonder if...
Read More

#ialso Top 100

#ialso Top 100 I am delighted to be listed in the f:Entrepreneur #ialso Top 100 of female business leaders. The goal of the f:Entrepreneur campaign is to celebrate the dynamic and inspirational businesses led by women in the UK.   #Ialso demonstrates how business leaders don't just think about their business, they often support a range of other initiatives too.   The Top 100 met at the House of Lords for a celebration of business successes. Hosted by Lord Young of Graffam, ex Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, we heard from Martha Lane Fox, businesswoman & philanthropist, founder of Last Minute.com. She shared stories of her career & pointers for success, hoping that next year instead of the Top 100, we would have the Top 1000 in the room!   It was fantastic to meet so many other business women, to hear their stories & successes.   The event marked International Women's Day which helps to forge a more gender-balanced world. The theme for 2019 is relationships - this is key in business where 'people...
Read More

SusLeaders19

Sustainability Leaders Awards It was another fabulous night at the #SusLeaders19. I've been judging awards for over 10 years & I've seen some amazing entries. It just doesn't get easier!   At the glitzy awards ceremony, I was delighted to present the #edieawards Water Management trophy to @Adnams for their innovative approach to water efficiency, which also helps in developing new products. See here for a full report of the Awards & all the winners - it's good to learn from the leaders.   After picking up the Lifetime Achievement Award, former Unilever chief executive Paul Polman issued a rallying cry for businesses to take corporate responsibility onto the next level by collaboratively ramping up climate action and championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here is his acceptance speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1Gh8IYdwH8&feature=youtu.be I was lucky to sit with Paul & the awards host Michaela Strachan - a great evening for me. Next day, Paul was awarded a KBE - a busy week for him!   _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter.  ...
Read More