ISO 14001 Deadline Looming

The ISO 14001 Deadline is Looming - Turning hassle into success If you have an ISO 14001 EMS you need to think now about updating to the new standard. The deadline for this is September 2018. I see that many organisations are worried about the doing the transition - they don’t know what’s involved, how to do it or whether they have the commitment from their bosses. You know what it feels like - it's a hassle, like pushing a boulder up a hill. So they leave it for now … then suddenly it’s mass panic to get it done in time! Take one company I helped recently, they first put in their EMS to show their customers just how committed to the environment they are. They already did lots of good green stuff but it was a bit sporadic & they wanted to shout about their successes - hence a formal ISO 14001 system. But their certification audit was looming - they were feeling...
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Combining your EMS & QMS

Combining your EMS & QMS Got quality, now want environment? A number of my clients have a functioning Quality Management System, often certified to ISO 9001, and now want to manage their environmental impacts. Rather than starting with a blank piece of paper, it would make sense to use the existing system & adapt it to meet the needs of ISO 14001. Many of the ISO standards have changed recently, deliberately using the same high level structure (HLS) so that management systems can now be more easily merged – processes, responsibilities & documentation can be fully integrated. This reduces the amount of time and effort needed to fulfil the requirements. While there are differences between the two standards (such as environment-specific requirements in ISO 14001), they revolve around 10 common clauses: Clause 1 – Scope Clause 2 – Normative references Clause 3 – Terms and definitions Clause 4 – Context of the organisation Clause 5 – Leadership Clause 6 – Planning Clause 7 – Support Clause 8 – Operation Clause 9 – Performance...
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Clean Air Day 2018

Clean Air Day 2018 It’s important to get your colleagues involved in your Environmental Management System. Running a campaign (ideally reflecting national or international ones) provides a good focus. 21st June is Clean Air Day. Run by Global Action Plan, this year the campaign’s theme is cutting one pollution source – traffic. Achieving clean air requires millions of people to decide to travel differently around our cities and towns; make it easy for them to change with this one first step. I ran my first transport campaign years ago, with a Car Free Breakfast for people coming on foot, by public transport, bike or motorcycle. Once we even got someone come along in a husky sledge! Here are some more ideas you might try: Take it EV. Get electric car drivers to take a colleague or a neighbour for a spin, so that they are encouraged to choose an EV (electric vehicle) when they upgrade. Meet virtually. Do you really need to travel to...
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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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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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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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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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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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ISO 14001 Countdown

ISO 14001 Countdown

Countdown to ISO 14001 Many businesses have put in an Environmental Management System (EMS) to manage impacts, reduce costs & increase efficiency. It can help win business too, as many customers expect their suppliers to have one in place.   If your EMS is certified to the international standard, you need to update it to the new ISO 14001:2015 standard by September 2018. See here for more details of the main requirements of the new standard.   Here are my top tips for the countdown to the ISO 14001 deadline:   5 - Mind the Gap Start with a Gap Analysis of your current EMS to find out where you need to focus your attention.   4 - Don’t Do it Alone You may be isolated, so engage with colleagues from across the organisation & senior management to get a leadership boost.   3 - Know your Risks & Opportunities Use a PESTLE Analysis to help plan your strategy; it’s important to know the risks & opportunities facing your business in the future.   2 -...
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