Marking 25 years of ISO 14001

Marking 25 years of ISO 14001 I am looking forward to speaking at the BSI webinar ‘25 years of ISO 14001 and what the future holds’. Wow, the silver anniversary! ISO 14001 is the world’s most popular environmental standard with nearly 350,000 certifications and it’s been around since 1996…. indeed this is the year I started working in environmental management. As you know I’m a great advocate of ISO 14001 – it provides the best framework for understanding and managing your environmental impacts, risks and opportunities. The webinar will cover the standard’s impact since 1996, but more importantly look forward to how ISO 14001 is going to help organisations tackle the future challenges of environmental management. I am joining a great panel of expert speakers. I will talk about the role of ISO 14001 in tackling climate change – a particularly relevant topic given the widespread interest in Net Zero nowadays. Book now – here is the link. Monday 1st November 1-3pm (UK time).       _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up...
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B Corp certification – how EMS improves your chances

B Corp certification - how EMS improves your chances I’m getting a lot of enquiries from companies wanting to go for B Corp, but they need help with environmental management. It’s been an interesting development for me. Most of my clients want an EMS because their customers demand ISO 14001 certification or they use it for legal compliance issues. The new companies aren't coming to me for help with the application itself (although I do have a partner consultant who does this) – they actually need me to help them with the environmental section.   What is a B Corp? B Corp is quite a challenge and a great achievement. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability. Instead of just driving profits, they have a strong purpose (indeed it’s written into their Articles of Association). Their aim is to redefine business and develop a more inclusive and sustainable economy. There are currently over 3,700...
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ISO 14090 – 14001 White Paper

ISO 14090 – 14001 White Paper As well as reducing carbon emissions, we should all be including climate adaptation in our EMS. I recently wrote an article for IEMA on a new white paper to help people do just that.   In Perfect Alignment - Embedding Climate Adaptation into your EMS A new white paper from ISO covers the ISO 14090 ‘Adaptation to climate change’ standard and helps users address these issues in their own Environmental Management Systems. Anya Ledwith and John Dora take a closer look. IEMA members can’t help to be aware of the climate emergency and, in the run-up to COP26, it seems the wider world is taking notice as well. Climate change is already affecting us with different weather patterns, more extreme weather events, sea-level rise, flooding, storm surges, drought and erosion. We are seeing biodiversity loss, poor air quality, effects on employee health and safety, disruptions to operations and value chains. This is triggering changes to the way we vote,...
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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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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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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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Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero

Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero Net Zero is the new buzzword. With so much more interest in climate change nowadays, from individuals & companies alike, it is not surprising that many businesses are committing to reduce & even neutralise their carbon emissions. The trouble is, most people don’t know where to start. It’s exciting to set the goal, but to achieve it requires a considered approach. Luckily, that’s where ISO 14001 comes in. ISO 14001, the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) standard, offers a formalised framework for identifying your environmental impacts, including climate risks & carbon emissions.   ISO 14001 EMS & Climate Change My latest webinar for IEMA was attended by nearly 200 people. I shared the virtual stage with Marek Bidwell, Nick Blyth of IEMA & also Kirit Patel of DHL Supply Chain, who gave an overview of DHL’s Environmental Management System & approach to risks & opportunities. I spoke about how ISO 14001 can be used to turn climate aspirations into reality. Climate...
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3 Top Tips for smooth SECR carbon reporting

3 Top Tips for smooth SECR carbon reporting Are you feeling confident about SECR? SECR (the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations) requires quoted & large unquoted companies & LLPs to include carbon & energy information in their Annual Report. If you’re worried about getting your SECR project done, here are some top tips to help:   3 top tips for smooth SECR 1. Good preparation Because this is your first SECR project it’s important to prepare well so that you get everything together on time. Set out your plan for what, where, when & whom. Start the conversations now – whether you’re in finance or facilities, you will need to liaise with your colleagues on this. Agree the timetable & who is responsible to collecting & providing the data. Don’t forget to check what period you’re covering. If it’s the standard financial year, you need to get going ASAP as you’re covering April 19 – March 20; for calendar year, you have some breathing space as it covers...
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#ShowYourStripes – my Climate Stripes face mask

#ShowYourStripes - Check out my Climate Stripes face mask It stops the spread of Covid-19. And it helps share information about climate change.   Everyone’s wearing a mask nowadays with the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. (Well actually, I see too few people wearing one, but that’s another story… Please, everyone, wear a mask to help prevent a second wave!) Some people have disposable masks, while others are choosing more colourful cloth masks. You see all kinds of designs – animal faces (I love the zebras!), famous paintings (I’ve got The Starry Night by van Gogh) or simple abstracts. But when I saw the climate stripes mask, I just had to have one! The climate stripes were developed by Ed Hawkins, Professor of Climate Science at the University of Reading. They are a simple visualisation of complex climate data, showing the average global temperatures since 1850. Each stripe represents one year, blues are cooler years, reds are warmer. This clearly showing the warming of the planet in recent years...
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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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Jargon Buster

From Access Economy to Zero Carbon – here’s the Jargon Buster 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 environmental news site edie has helpfully put together a Jargon Buster. This is a useful tool if you can’t tell the difference between carbon neutral & net zero; can’t get your head around biomimicry or biodiversity; want to get to grips with ISO 14001 & ISO 50001; or to differentiate between supply chain & value chain. This helps you cut through complexity and get straight...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Get ready for SECR reporting

Get ready for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) New carbon reporting regulations are coming. The government recently announced its plans for new carbon reporting, starting in April 2019. The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations require carbon & energy information to be included in the company’s Annual Report. SECR applies to quoted and large unquoted companies registered in the UK (as defined by the Companies Act 2006 and fulfilling at least 2 of the following conditions in the financial year: >250 employees, annual turnover >£36m, annual balance sheet >£18m). The following information needs to be included in the Annual Report for that year: Greenhouse gas emissions - Scope 1 and 2 emissions arising from energy use in buildings & transport, including electricity, gas, vehicles & refrigerants (scope 3 remain voluntary). Large companies should report on UK activities; quoted companies will continue to be required to report on global energy use and carbon emissions. Details of the methodology for calculating emissions and a...
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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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Case Study – GHG Reporting – Hogg Robinson

Case Study - Mandatory GHG Reporting Hogg Robinson Group Hogg Robinson Group is a global corporate services provider, specialising in travel, expense, payments and data management underpinned by proprietary technology.   Hogg Robinson Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and comes under the mandatory GHG reporting requirements of the Companies Act 2006.   Eshcon carries out annual calculations of Hogg Robinson Group’s Scope 1 & 2 GHG emissions for all its sites, to be included in the company’s Annual Report.   Hogg Robinson Group has offices in 88 cities in 24 countries around the world. Collecting this data can be a significant task. Eshcon and the Hogg Robinson Group finance team work together to collect the data from each site (or ‘entity’), ensuring that it is all returned on time, complete and accurate.   A selection of sites is chosen for deeper analysis and validation of the data.   Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas GHG emissions are calculated arising from energy in the buildings (gas, electricity etc),...
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Case Study – Carbon Trust Standard – Go-Ahead Group

Case Study - Carbon Trust Standard Go-Ahead Group The Go-Ahead Group is one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport services, comprising of 11 bus companies and 5 rail franchises. It employs around 23,000 people across the country, with over one billion passenger journeys taken each year.   Eshcon helped the Go-Ahead Group achieve the Carbon Trust Standard.   Go-Ahead first certified to the Carbon Trust Standard (CTS) in 2010, to help with positioning on the Carbon Reduction Commitment CRC league table and to raise its profile of good carbon management.   Because of the size of the group, number of companies involved and the complexity of the data, Go-Ahead opted for an Assisted Certification of the CTS. ESHCon provided additional support in preparing the submission, as well as conducting the assessment.   Eshcon worked with the Group’s Environment and Energy Manager to take Go-Ahead smoothly through the certification process. This involved: Gathering the required data, reviewing for completeness & accuracy, and ensuring sufficient carbon reductions were...
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Case Study – Carbon Footprinting – JSM

Case Study - Carbon Footprinting JSM Construction   JSM Construction offers a wide range of services to the power, telecoms and civil engineering sectors.   As JSM’s customers were asking for carbon emissions data and reduction targets to be included in tender applications, Anya Ledwith developed their carbon management system.   Although JSM had an EMS in place, they had not considered calculating their carbon emissions until requested by key customers. Now they find it common that environmental and carbon criteria are included in tender specifications.   Working with the SQE Director and his team, Anya supported JSM throughout the carbon management process. A comprehensive carbon footprint was calculated, covering the company’s organisational activities (e.g. energy, fuel, waste & water) and also those arising from the civil engineering projects (considering the embodied carbon within the materials used, such as sand, tarmac, aggregate and concrete).   Using the footprint data to focus on significant areas, an interactive staff workshop identified improvement opportunities and set reduction targets, so developing the carbon management...
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Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Calculate your Carbon Footprint The carbon footprint is used as the first step in your carbon management processes. It is a tool to help you understand your carbon emissions, identifying the most significant emissions reduction opportunities.   There are recognised standards for calculating a carbon footprint, such as ISO 14064 or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Your footprint, given in tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e), shows your company’s emissions for a one-year period.   How to get started: First, from your objectives, identify the scope of the footprint.   Next gather your data for the previous 12 months: - energy consumption (kWh of electricity or gas), - company vehicles (miles or litres of diesel or petrol), - business journeys (miles by air, car, train, bus or taxi), - materials used (reams of paper or tonnes of raw material) - and other activities (refrigerant gases, waste, water, hotel stays or deliveries).   Use the data gathered to monitor and manage the activity on an ongoing basis.   Calculating emissions for each activity shows where to focus your attention...
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