Celebrating Eshcon’s 15th Anniversary

Celebrating Eshcon’s 15th Anniversary Help me celebrate! 15 years ago, I set up Eshcon to develop and deliver my mission – to make environmental management THE business norm. 2006 seems an age ago now. It’s strange to look back and think about how I, and the business, have developed. Eshcon became full-time in 2012, previously working one day per week. I’ve had a rollercoaster of a ride – learning how to set up and run a business (never done that before), developing new services that clients really value, getting out and about to raise the profile of environmental management to a whole new audience. This is no mean feat seeing as most SMEs don’t last more than five years.   Anniversary party? Of course, I wanted to mark the anniversary. Pre Covid, it would be normal for companies to hold a little soirée - inviting clients, colleagues and partners for drinks and canapés. Parties aren’t really my thing, even if we were allowed to meet in person. I...
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3 Top Tips on Networking from a GDB Ambassador

3 Top Tips on Networking from a GDB Ambassador I recently finished my two terms as the Chair of Gatwick Diamond Business (GDB), the most notable business membership organisation in the region. I was delighted when they invited me to stay connected and become a GDB Ambassador. I have seen the organisation grow, adapt and flourish with new services and membership options, always with networking at its core. Face-to-face or virtual, it’s great to meet other GDB members - useful and interesting people - to discuss their objectives, opportunities and ideal clients. Being a GDB member has been extremely worthwhile both for my business and for me personally. Eshcon thrives on partnerships and recommendations – GDB is the place to be.   GDB Ambassadors I join a group of five other Ambassadors, representing a range of business type, size and sector. We’ve all been members of GDB for many years and see the value of networking, while supporting other members. Back when GDB just did in-person events,...
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Seize the Net Zero Opportunity Webinar

Seize the Net Zero Opportunity Webinar In my latest webinar for Gatwick Diamond Business, I teamed up with Zoë Osmond of University of Brighton to show how businesses can Seize the Net Zero Opportunity. I started with an introduction to climate change and #ShowYourStripes, plus the benefits organisations see when embedding the environment into their business practices. Zoë spoke about the Green Growth Platform (delivered nationally now via Clean Growth UK) and the support available to businesses to drive green innovation. Advice, seminars, grants and events – all aimed at driving the local carbon sector. Your Net Zero Journey I finished with Your Net Zero Journey. It can be complex so I’ve distilled it down to a five-stage process, that’ll ensure your journey is straight-forward, achievable and successful. For more details on this, see here. Check out the webinar here on YouTube: My sections are at 0.49 and 33.09 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyMPqwGq6j4&t=3s If you’d like green innovation support, check out Clean Growth UK services here.   _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the...
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The impacts of air pollution on our health & the economy

The impacts of air pollution on our health & the economy We don’t think enough about the impact of air pollution – on our health, on society and indeed the economy. Air pollution loses 3 million working days Research from the CBI and the Clean Air Fund has found that poor air quality in the UK causes 3 million lost working days, costing the economy about £600m per year. This is down to people getting sick or taking time off to care for sick children. Improving air quality standards could help improve productivity, actually benefitting the economy by about £1.6bn a year and preventing a staggering 17,000 premature deaths of working age people. Then there’s the benefit to the NHS from lower sickness rates. During the Covid-19 lockdown, we saw how reduced traffic levels can improve air quality. Data from the Clean Air Fund found a 25% reduction in NO2 emissions in London during the morning rush hour and a 34% fall at evening commuting...
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Green business is a growing priority

Green business is a growing priority New research from the Carbon Trust has found that sustainability is becoming more important to large companies as a result of Covid-19. The research into ‘Corporate attitudes towards sustainability’ covered 450 large companies (all over 1,000 staff & >25% more than 5,000) in Germany, France, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and the UK. More of a priority Nearly three-quarters said environmental management is likely to become 'somewhat' or 'significantly’ more important for them as a result of Covid-19. It’s not just those that are thriving. 70% of those experiencing substantial disruption from the pandemic expect sustainability to become somewhat or significantly more important. It is interesting to note that three-quarters of organisations interviewed had been negatively impacted by Covid - 32% significantly and 4% saying it represented an existential threat to their organisation. Other research (e.g. by Capgemini) shows that consumers are also interested more in environmental and social issues – this is true both after the Covid lockdown and in the preceding...
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Chair of GDB – What it means to me

Chair of GDB – What it means to me After completing my two terms, I recently stepped down as Chair of GDB. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, with ups & downs, some challenges and a lot of enjoyable experiences. I’ve been a member of GDB Gatwick Diamond Business since I first set up my business Eshcon. I knew that networking would be an important part of my business and marketing strategy. I get nearly all of my work through referrals, so having an active network of contacts is really important. People need to know me, like me, trust me. And I use my GDB network for just that. In addition to the paid staff, GDB has an Executive Council made up of members, lead by the Chair and Directors. I first joined the Executive in 2013 and became Chair in 2016. My GDB objectives My objectives when I became Chair were to show strong leadership, of both the Executive and the whole organisation. GDB was...
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Hear me speak

Hear me speak I do quite a lot of public speaking at conferences, seminars, webinars & networking events. I speak mainly about environmental management, but also about business issues. I love sharing my experiences, stories & know how with others - how can I help you with your event?   Hear me speak - coming up I have a number of speaking engagements over the next couple of months, including the following: Seize the Net Zero Opportunity - webinar with GDB 6 November, 11 am In this Ask the Expert session for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business, Zoë Osmond of the Green Growth Platform and I will explore the opportunities and benefits of embracing low carbon innovation. Book here East Sussex Assembly Annual Conference - The main theme is: Climate change: how can we all adapt to meet the challenges of a changing environment 23 November, 9.00 I will be hosting a series of break-out sessions covering Your Net Zero Journey. More info here   Past events I’ve been busy – here are some of my...
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GDB Diamond Sept 20

Read my Chairman’s Column in the GDB Diamond My regular column in Diamond – the magazine for Gatwick Diamond Business.   Welcome to my last Chairman’s Column. I stayed on for an extra couple of months during the pandemic until the AGM, postponed until September. It’s been a privilege to be Chair of gdb & I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself, indeed the years have flown by. I’ve seen a lot of change, with new staff coming on board, of course the pandemic, but also now our more formalised, strategic approach for the business. We have developed new services, partnerships with key organisations, learning & development programmes, quality publications, structured membership options & attracted more diverse organisations, in terms of size, sector & location. All these truly demonstrate the great value of gdb membership. With lockdown easing, we now have a great opportunity to change the way we live, work & operate as a nation – to Build Back Better, with greater benefits for society, the environment and economy. I am...
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#IamCEnv

#IamCEnv - Supporting the SocEnv Campaign #iamCEnv – What does it mean to be a Chartered Environmentalist? I'm really pleased to support the Society of the Environment (SocEnv) campaign to promote the Chartered Environmentalist professional qualification. I am a CEnv and Fellow of IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment). Being CEnv demonstrates a commitment to the environmental industry & leadership to others - clients, partners & other professionals. CEnv SocEnv asked me to share my story - how I developed my career, why to went for CEnv and any tips for others. See here for my short video (be kind, it's my first You Tube video!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8_8hrH-dB7Y&feature=emb_logo I became CEnv back in 2005. As the environmental industry was still emerging, I wanted to gain the professional qualification to highlight my skills & knowledge, to show that environmental management was a credible and recognised field. I have a mission to make environmental management the business norm. My work on ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS), SECR carbon reporting & ESOS energy...
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Support the Sussex Crisis Fund

Support the Sussex Crisis Fund In these Covid-19 times, it’s important to think of others – neighbours, acquaintances, businesses and charities. It’s wonderful to see how people have become visibly kinder and more generous. For many years, the Sussex Community Foundation (SCF) has been the chosen charity of Eshcon for both financial and voluntary support. The SCF raises funds for charities and community groups across Sussex. I particularly like the SCF as it directs funding towards small charities that would not normally be on the radar of businesses looking for their ‘charity of the year’ to support. As well as making donations, I have been a regular volunteer for the SCF, helping during the grants allocations process. The usual timetable involves grants applications being submitted three times per year. I am involved in the initial assessments of incoming grant forms, against the criteria for each fund. It is honestly quite a humbling experience reading the applications – to see the variety of organisations out there,...
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Adapting my business during Covid-19

Adapting my business during Covid-19 How have businesses adapted during the Covid-19 crisis? Are female entrepreneurs thriving during these difficult times? What changes need to be made to existing business models? I was pleased to discuss these issues in the SINC Female Founders webinar run jointly by with Sussex Innovation Centre & Gatwick Diamond Business, as part of their Survive & Thrive series. I shared the screen with 2 other female founders - Daniela Carl, Deputy Chief Executive of the Regional Studies Association, and Oanh Brophy, head of a circular economy start up. The objective of the session was to introduce our businesses & discuss how we had adapted during the pandemic. Here’s what I covered.   Effective Environmental Management during Covid-19 I shared my story – my why, my business, my services. I started with ‘My Why’ – my love for our beautiful, complex & wonderful world. It’s important to me & what drives my career in environmental management. Indeed, many more people nowadays feel the same. Recent research by...
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My Story, My Mission, My Vision

My Story, My Mission, My Vision On this World Environment Day, I wanted to share my story. Much environmental messaging comes across as (slightly) negative – we’ve got to stop doing / reduce / prevent XYZ or it’ll devastating for us / the planet / wildlife / oceans. And yes, this is true. It is important to change. But negativity & fear don’t motivate most people. It can be much more inspiring to focus on the positive… to have something wonderful to aim for. So, I thought I’d share how I got involved in environmental management (My Story), what I’m trying to achieve (My Vision) and how I go about this (My Mission).   My Story 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. We are so lucky to live here & benefit from...
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Build Back Better

Build Back Better During the Covid lockdown some positives have come out. Many of us appear more kind & compassionate – people offering to be NHS Volunteers & helping neighbours with food shopping. We consider our health & wellbeing - families cycling down once busy roads & a significant reduction in air pollution (clearer skies with fewer cars & planes). Not just individuals, businesses are making masks & visors for NHS staff, raising money for charities or donating services to local companies or groups in need. Why should we simple return to the 'old ways' as we start to reopen? We have an opportunity now to change things with greater benefits for society, the planet and the economy – to build back better. You may have seen #BuildBackBetter trending. Just think how much better it could be – healthy, clean, just. We will all benefit! This reflects the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – 17 goals to achieve by 2030 for an environmental, social &...
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Nature & Wellbeing

How Nature can Improve your Wellbeing I’m a firm believer of the benefits of connecting with nature, for both mental & physical wellbeing. Since joining the Sussex Wildlife Trust as a corporate member, I’ve been keen to promote this concept to my business contacts. During the Covid-19 lockdown, people are taking the opportunity to explore their local surroundings & enjoy nature nearby. They’ve found that you don’t have to go all the way to national park or nature reserve to connect with nature. Personally, I see a great variety of flowers, shrubs, trees, birds, mammals & insects on my regular walks or runs around the neighbouring roads (see this photo). I love it! Use Nature in your Business to Improve Wellbeing So, once we’re all back at work again in the future, think about how we can help our colleagues to connect with nature – to the benefit of the person & the business. The Trust gives this advice: Daily contact with nature is linked to...
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GDB Diamond May 20

Read my Chairman’s Column in the GDB Diamond My regular column in Diamond - the magazine for GDB Gatwick Diamond Business.   Firstly, I hope you are all well & managing to get through the initial shock of the Covid-19 lockdown. In these fast-moving times, it is difficult to write a piece which may be rather dated by the time of publication. As I write this, it’s a beautiful sunny Monday morning & I’ve been working from home for I don’t know how many weeks. The gdb Steering Group has been meeting regularly to assess risk & plan budgets & strategy. The first difficult decision was the postpone the Awards, without government guidance at the time we wanted to show leadership. I look forward to the ceremony later in the year & at least the entrants can continue to use the ‘gdb Awards 2020 Finalist’ strapline on their emails! Similarly, we have decided to postpone the AGM until September. This way we can have an engaging &...
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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...
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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.  ...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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