Environmental management – What gets you started?

Even more popular in the recession, incorporating environmental management into core business practices gives commercial benefits, including cost savings, risk reduction and winning new business.


Organisations start out on their environmental journey for a variety of reasons. Some of my clients gave the following reasons:


Customers require it – customers expect suppliers to reflect their own commitment. Often through tender documents, they ask for carbon footprint data, policy or certification to ISO 14001. Cleaning company Citrica won a government contract after passing the Carbon Trust Standard.


Competitive edge – be ahead of the game. KPMG were proud to be the first of the Big Four accountancy firms to be certified to ISO 14001.


Legal requirements – on the Environment Agency’s radar, or under current or forthcoming legislation, e.g. new mandatory carbon reporting. One manufacturer was visited by the Agency and now complies with Environmental Permitting. QHotels manages its CRC reporting requirements and reduces carbon allowance costs.


Cost savings – rather than simply passing on increased overhead costs to customers, start to find efficiencies and savings. One bus company hopes to save £370,000 through driver efficiency training. A Knightsbridge store expected to take £43,000 off its energy bills.


Personal commitmentan international clearing house became carbon neutral because of the personal interests of its CEO.


Understanding why a company gets started on environmental management, helps it plan how to proceed, making success and the commercial benefits more likely.


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This article was published in GDB Members’ Newsletter (Jan 13) and on Sussex Enterprise’s blog site (Feb 13).


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