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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Why use UKAS accredited certification bodies

Certification - Why use UKAS accredited certification bodies You know I often extol the virtues of an Environmental Management System, 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.   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 non-accredited bodies can assess your EMS &...
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Jargon Buster

From Access Economy to Zero Carbon – here’s the Environment A-Z The environmental industry can seem a little cliquey to the outsider. Maybe we talk in TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms!), abbreviations or just use words that are so outside the sphere of ‘normal people’.   For years I have tried to avoid using the term ‘sustainability’ because it immediately turned people off – using ‘environmental’, even though this is only one of the three elements of sustainability, makes it immediately more understandable. As experts we want to get it right, but we do have to consider our audience.   The news site edie has helpfully put together a Jargon Buster.   This helps you cut through complexity and get straight to the definition & then gives you related content (news stories, blogs & features).   Helpfully, for some of the more complex issues (e.g. science-based targets) they provide more in-depth analysis & how to apply it to your business.   So check out the Jargon Buster & get talking about these...
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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 an 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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5 Top Tips on Writing an Environmental Policy

5 Top Tips on Writing an Environmental Policy Your Environmental Policy is a written statement, signed by senior management, which outlines your organisation’s commitment to managing its environmental impacts.   Unlike H&S policies, there is no legal requirement for organisations to have an adopted environmental policy. However, it is essential if you want to implement an ISO 14001 EMS. It's also vital if you work with large organisations who often ask for EMS certification and info on your environmental improvements.   There is no standard content for an environmental policy, although they often contain the same themes; plus there are specific requirements within ISO 14001.   Top Tips -1-      The policy is meant for everyone to see, so make sure it's easy to read and understand - not too dry or filled with jargon. -2-      Make it realistic, achievable and relevant to your activities and practices. Readers should be able to understand what your main impacts are and how you are committed to managing them. -3-      It...
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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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ESOS – The Challenges Last Time

ESOS – The Challenges Last Time I am Lead ESOS Assessor and was very busy during the first round of ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme legislation). Some of my clients started nice & early, but many came to me very late so I had to work extra hard to get everything done for them in time. Indeed, many companies only started to look at ESOS a couple of months before the deadline, so there was a huge rush and a lot of frayed nerves. Apart from the lack of assessors & short timescales, I noticed trends from ESOS Phase 1. I’m sharing these now, so that hopefully Phase 2 can run more smoothly for you. These are the sorts of challenges I saw: Company structure – this could be a problem, particularly for large groups with complicated ownership structures. Find all the companies in a group, the company registration numbers, all the sites, who is the Board member to sign off. Missed companies – although...
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