Eshcon’s EMS – ISO 14001 Environmental Management System
I have worked with so many clients to put in their own EMS – most of them medium or large organisations. Not many of them are as small as Eshcon!
The scope of my EMS covers the whole of the company. However, given that this is a micro business, with just myself on the staff, working from an office at home, it is clear that Eshcon’s own environmental impacts are particularly limited.
My objectives all relate to environmental protection and reducing carbon (GHG greenhouse gas) emissions:
- Energy and water consumption – focussing on energy efficiency practices and purchase of renewable electricity
- Business travel – reducing the need to travel and choosing lower-carbon options where possible
- Procurement of low impact goods and services – aiming to work with suppliers with high environmental standards
- The services I offer to clients – this shows the positive environmental impact I can have, in influencing my clients and partners to make environmental management THE business norm.
Each year I calculate the company’s carbon footprint. I track emissions in both absolute terms and relative, compared to business activity.
Eshcon’s emissions in the baseline year 2019-20 amounted to 2.86 tCO2e. 75% of emissions arise from business travel. The year was a very busy one – business travel amounted to 11,386 miles (the equivalent of London to Edinburgh 27 times!). Over half of this was by train, I clocked up a lot of driving and even two flights but still cycled to local meetings. As a comparison in 2020 during Covid, business travel dropping to nearly zero (just 36 miles).
Emissions in 22-23 are unfortunately rising again with more travel again and necessary travel for the services needed (ESOS requires on-site energy audits). Total emissions (excluding the use of green electricity) were 1.87 tCO2e, up 67% from last year. When compared to turnover (reflecting business activitiy), relative emissions were down 7%.
I arrange for my unavoidable emissions to be offset. Indeed, I have offset all emissions arising from the past 9 years. I have purchased carbon credits from Climate Care, who support projects around the world that cut global carbon emissions and improve people’s lives. One example is Lifestraw Water Filters – Providing Safe Water in Kenya. This project provides simple, gravity fed water filters for families in Kenya. Not only does it provide safe drinking water to 4 million people, it also cuts carbon emissions by removing the need to boil water in order to make it safe to drink. In addition to this, I donate monthly to Ecologi to plant trees to (more than) cover the company’s emissions.
I have also signed the Pledge to Net Zero, joining other companies in the environmental industry in tackling climate change. I have set a science-based target to align with a 1.5o scenario, reducing emissions by 63% over a 15-year period and using carbon offsets now to compensate for unavoidable emissions – so my target year is not 2030, 2040 or 2050 (as other companies do), Net Zero is now.
As you may know I am particularly committed to ISO 14001 – I have used the standard for over 25 years and I actually represent the UK to the International Standards Organisation, leading on Environmental Management System standards.
I thoroughly recommend other businesses implement their own ISO 14001 EMS – it really is a driver for commercial benefits, showing your staff and customers your commitment to managing your impacts.
For a copy of Eshcon’s Environmental Policy, click here.
If you’d like to put in your own ISO 14001 EMS, I can help you – more info is here.