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: 10th July: Gatwick Diamond Meet the Buyers seminar Opportunity Knocks - Growth through Innovation - Book here. What are the selling points you need to demonstrate that you meet your customers’ requirements? We will cover three areas to help your business to grow through innovation: Systems - effective management systems & efficient processes Products - innovative products & materials Markets - identifying new markets & opportunities. 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: 23rd May: edieLive This is THE conference & exhibition to attend on environmental management, energy & resource efficiency. I chaired & presented at two sessions - Getting Boardroom Buy-In and the Energy Management Landscape. See my report here. 4th May: Burgess Hill Business Parks Association I shared 3 learning points, relating to my career, making best use of networking...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Awards winning tips

Awards winning tips

Tips on How to Win Awards - A View from the Judges' Table What's the best way to promote your company's achievements on the local, regional or national stage? There are many, many business awards around now; do you take advantage of them?   Just entering an award scheme has many benefits. It’s an excellent learning experience & satisfying too putting the application together - show the best parts of your business & share your achievements. Also it’s a good opportunity to look outwards, at the competition, what customers are looking for, what best practice is. Position yourself as a leader.   At the awards ceremony, finalists get their name up on screen in front of the numerous guests. Why not bring your staff along to say thank you for their hard work? For the winners - not just a glittering trophy, it’s the prestige, the recognition for all of the company & it’s great to be able to use the strapline ‘award winning company’.   I've...
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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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Chair at edie Live

Chair at edie Live

Chair at edieLive Last week I chaired two sessions at edieLive, the UK's leading two day energy, sustainability and resource efficiency event for businesses. Taking place at the NEC, it welcomed thousands of people interested in environmental & energy management - businesses, consultants, suppliers, students alike. We were all there to learn, to network & improve our industry.   In the afternoon, I chaired the Resource Efficiency theatre session “Putting the O in H2O - Where is the opportunity in water?”. We had great presentations from L’Oréal & IHG - Intercontinental Hotels Group, about the work they’d done to integrate water efficiency into their businesses. At the hotels, clearly water in kitchens & bathrooms was key. Whereas for L’Oréal it was the water within the products & in the manufacturing processes. See my blog for edie.net earlier this year on this.   Earlier in the day at edieLive, I chaired the “Getting under the skin of an energy manager” session (photo above is a view from...
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Green Growth 2017

Green Growth 2017

Green Growth 2017 - Report from the Chair I was very pleased to chair the recent Green Growth 17 Conference in Brighton. Green Growth 17 was organised by the Green Growth Platform, an initiative run by the University of Brighton to promote the environmental & low carbon sector. Zoe Osmond, Director, told us that since starting in June 2014, the GGP has attracted 740 members – a mixture of supplier of environmental products & services, & other businesses who wish to improve their environmental management. 130 new green sector jobs have been created, plus 70 students & graduates are working with members, on projects, research & marketing. The objective of Green Growth 17 was to inspire & enable members to connect, innovate & grow. Slides from the conference speakers are available, but I thought I’d share some of the key points I noted during the day. Tara Dean, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton gave the welcome, sharing some of the UoB’s...
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AQUAPAX

AQUAPAX - Pure, Fresh, Natural Mineral Water (in paper cartons) After first meeting several years ago, I recently bumped into Neil Tomlinson, founder of AQUAPAX, at a business event. He was guest speaker, sharing his story of his career, business & product.   With all the talk recently about plastics ending up in our oceans and the issue of single-use plastics, it’s great to hear of a product with alternative packaging.   Building on his career with 30,000+ hours water sector experience, Neil sources AQUAPAX natural mineral water from beneath a protected nature reserve in Germany.   Why that site location for a brand with the strapline 'a pure thirst for the environment'? "Well it's the same distance as the Highlands, yet we've been able to locate a filling plant with a perfect water source, which runs on biogas, and we're then carbon balancing all our energy use in addition to ‘gifting’ 1% of our entire sales turnover for environmental restoration" says Neil.   The most important aspect...
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Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management

Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management

Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management There are many challenges to environmental management in business, some external but more often coming from within. Here are my thoughts on overcoming some of these challenges.   Make it your USP and gain competitive advantage Customers and clients expect their suppliers to do an element of environmental management, from carbon footprint calculations to ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management Systems. So take the initiative: use it as your USP to differentiate yourself from your competitors; show customers you reflect their values, and use this to win business.   Overcome your short-termism Most organisations (private & public) tend to focus on the short-term - budgets, pay-back periods, share price, terms of office, KPIs etc. To truly understand the risks & opportunities for your business, thinking a bit longer term makes sense.   A sustainable business should engage with everyone it works with to look at, and reward, longer-term results. Why exclude energy efficiency projects that have a pay-back period of 2 years? Why aren’t the...
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ISO 14001 Success

  Roband demonstrates environmental leadership Roband Electronics is pleased to announce that its Environmental Management Systems (EMS) has been successfully recertified to ISO 14001 - and this time to the new ISO 14001:2015 standard.   The EMS is used to manage impacts, reduce risk, identify opportunities for cost savings and address customers’ needs. Carbon emissions have been reduced by 2%, waste by 5% and electricity by 9%.   The new ISO 14001 standard has extra requirements, including a strong focus on leadership & alignment to the business strategy. ESHCon guided Roband through the transition process starting with an ISO 14001 Gap Analysis.   Based in Charlwood near Gatwick Airport, Roband is an independent British company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and support of electronic power supplies. Roband is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.   Andrew Gold, Managing Director of Roband, said: “Our ISO 14001 system has been useful in getting our staff involved & showing our commitment to environmental protection. I am delighted with the team’s achievements.” ESHCon’s Director...
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Save Water

Free Water Saving Devices for SMEs Southern Water are offering non-domestic customers (including SME businesses, schools, charities, parish councils) to whom they supply water, free water saving devices.   A free visit is offered from an experienced water expert who’ll assess your water use and prescribe a number of water efficient products that will be fitted for free.   These include automatic urinal controls, water-efficient shower heads, dual flush mechanisms & Save-a-flush bags for toilets, and tap flow regulators.   Controlling water use in urinals, so that it only flushes after use (and not each time the cistern fills), saves around £100 per year in water costs.   The programme is being focused on certain target areas within our supply area and each visit will be for a period of four hours. All products that are fitted will work with existing taps, showers and toilets and alongside behaviour change advice will lead to ongoing savings on utility bills.   To register an interest and to find out if you are in...
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What is an EMS?

What is an EMS?

ISO 14001 - What is an Environmental Management System? All companies should be thinking about embedding environmental management into their business processes. An environmental management system (EMS) is a system to actively manage your impacts and comply with the law. This can be a simple system, or something more formal, developed to the international standard ISO 14001.   With over 300,000 certificates issued across the world, ISO 14001 is the best known standard.   Organisations start out on this for a variety of reasons: Customer expectation - Customers now expect suppliers to demonstrate commitment to their own values.  Often, through tender documents, they will ask for carbon footprint, policy or ISO 14001. Competitive edge - Showing how their EMS makes them better than their competitors. Legal requirements – They may come under legal reporting requirements, be on the Environment Agency’s radar or are simply aware of the range of legislation that applies to them. Cost savings - With ever increasing costs and pressures on the...
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ISO 14001 Slow So Far

ISO 14001 Slow So Far

Slow uptake of new ISO 14001 standard (so far!) It has been one year since the release of the new ISO 14001 standard. How are businesses and organisations getting on with it?  I’ve been speaking to certification bodies recently & they confirmed that there seems to be a slightly slower than expected uptake of new standard.   ISO 14001:2015 was released last September and organisations have up to three years to transition their existing Environmental Management Systems and certify to the new standard. This must be completed by 14th September 2018.   While many trailblazers have already done so (Northern Rail certified on the day the standard was released!), most are taking a more leisurely approach.   But while we’re all guilty of a bit of procrastination, don’t let it drag on too long.   The certifiers’ advice is to get started now. It does take time to make the transition and ensure the new requirements are embedded into your EMS properly.   Even if you do choose to certify to the...
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GDB Chairman

GDB Chairman

GDB Chairman Gatwick Diamond Business - Supporting & empowering local business Established for over 60 years, Gatwick Diamond Business GDB has been the leading voice for business and commerce in Sussex and Surrey. Representing business across the South East, we provide a united voice to influence local and central government issues.   A member of GDB for a number of years, I still find it is the best membership group for businesses, always meeting new & interesting people, making useful contacts and finding great opportunities.   For the past 3 years I have served on the Executive Board and now I am very pleased to be made Chairman.   Our plans for GDB are to build on existing successes, to expand upon the real value of membership, make connections between members & provide a voice and lead on important regional issues.   I am also pleased to welcome Debra Vice-Holt of the University of Brighton as Vice-Chairman. With the Executive in place and now welcoming the new staff to the...
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