Beehive sponsorship – Eshcon is buzzing!

Bee sponsorship - Eshcon is buzzing! Everybody loves bees, don’t they? We know how important they are for pollinating key plants and flowers. But, they are vulnerable, affected by our highly impactful lifestyles, use of pesticides and spreading urbanisation. Beehive sponsor I am pleased to sponsor a beehive with SW Honey Farms. Set up by Stuart Weekes in 2019 with 10 hives, SW Honey Farms is still growing. Their apiaries are located on the south coast in West Sussex from Worthing to Chichester. Stuart contacted me to offer the chance of sponsorship and I was intrigued. The idea certainly reflects my own environmental aspirations and I’m also pleased to support a local micro-business. If you’re interested in adopting your own hive – check out their website, which also has a shop for goodies. As a welcome gift I received a package of beeswax candles and two jars of delicious honey… these will go down very well in my family.   Bees in the garden We love bees close to home...
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Getting on top of the Plastic Packaging Tax

Getting on top of the Plastic Packaging Tax Are you affected by the new UK Plastic Packaging Tax? Any plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic content may be subject to the tax, at a rate of £200 per metric tonne of plastic used. What is the plastic packaging tax? Introduced in April 2022, the tax covers plastic packaging products that do not contain at least 30% recycled content. Products &/or businesses will be charged £200 per metric tonne of plastic used in the packaging. The tax affects both UK producers and importers of plastic packaging of over 10 tonnes per year, but also (maybe surprisingly) covers packaging that is already ‘filled’ when being imported into the UK. It is astounding to think that 5 million tonnes of plastic are used in the UK every year. Half of this is packaging and very little is actually recycled. The thinking behind the new tax is that it will actively encourage businesses to...
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Eshcon’s ISO 14001 Success

Eshcon’s ISO 14001 Success Hooray! Another successful ISO 14001 audit. Rather than for my clients, this one was for me! Eshcon is certified to ISO 14001 and has just sailed through the annual surveillance visit with the certification auditor.   Why should a single person business put in an EMS, let alone go to the trouble of certifying to ISO 14001? Well, it allows me to properly understand my environmental impacts, risks and importantly the opportunities arising for the business.   I’ve put in a framework to do this – it doesn’t have to be overly onerous, given the size and nature of the business. No endless procedures, nice concise records. Having the goal of the annual audits gives me something to aim for, keeps me on track – yes, even committed environmental consultants sometimes get diverted away from their beloved EMS! All in all, a worthwhile exercise for the business… plus of course my clients expect it.   This year’s highlights include: - With business travel by far the...
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GDB Awards Finalist

Fantastic News - GDB Awards Finalist I am thrilled to have become a Finalist in the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. These are the most prestigious awards in the region, recognising business excellence. The category is the Award for Environmental Culture, recognising companies that have raised awareness in their business and made environmental improvements. Being a one-person company it’s difficult to show a ‘change of culture’, particularly when it’s core to the business since inception. So in addition to what goes in within the company, my entry focussed on three further elements showing that Eshcon’s environmental culture goes far beyond its boundaries: Improve own performance – I have set Science-Based Targets, offset to become carbon neutral and have a certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. I have reduced the company’s relative carbon footprint by 85% since 2013-14. I have supported >150 organisations to reduce their impacts, obtain certification & comply with the law. Net Zero targets for clients this year alone cover emissions of >46,000...
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Read my ISO 14005 White Paper

ISO 14005 - Read my White Paper I’m very pleased to say the expert white paper that I wrote for BSI (the British Standards Institute) has recently been published. This covers the standard ISO 14005 detailing a phased approach to implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). Instead of jumping straight in and doing it all at once, this phased approach helps an organisation develop their EMS, allowing it to mature. This can be particularly useful for small or micro businesses that have limited internal resources (time, knowledge, budget, etc.). Ultimately the EMS can mature enough to be, if required, certified to ISO 14001. This white paper examines the phased approach methodology – where each element of the EMS undergoes a gap analysis, identifying and the delivering specific improvements. A maturity matrix is given to help with the analysis. This matrix goes through each clause of ISO 14001 and its requirements, showing what is required for extra maturity. To help the reader, the white paper details two case...
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Eshcon Newsletter Jan 22

Read the latest Eshcon Newsletter - Jan 22   The latest copy of the new Eshcon newsletter – Blue Skies – is out now – with info on Getting to Net Zero, the new Environment Act, 5 Top Tips for Carbon Footprinting and, even, How Bad are Bananas? Here is the link. Hope you enjoy it!         _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter Blue Skies. ...
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Eshcon Newsletter Oct 21

Eshcon Newsletter Oct 21   The latest copy of the new Eshcon newsletter - Blue Skies – is out now – with info on COP 26, Climate Stripes, Net Zero, B Corp & ISO 14001 25 year anniversary. Here is the link. Hope you enjoy it!         _____________________ Liked this post? Sign up for the Eshcon Newsletter Blue Skies.  ...
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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: 25 years of ISO 14001 and what the future holds - webinar with BSI (British Standards Institute) 1 November, 13.00 Twenty-five years after it was first published, ISO 14001 is the world’s most popular environmental standard with nearly 350,000 certifications. This webinar will cover the standard’s impact and look forward to how ISO 14001 is going to help organisations tackle the future challenges of environmental management. I will speak about the role of ISO 14001 in tackling climate change. More info here Counting down to Zero - webinar with the IoD 12 November, 12.30 Hear about the opportunities of embracing...
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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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ISO 14001 User Survey

ISO 14001 User Survey 2021 Calling all users (and those familiar with) the international standard on Environmental Management Systems ISO 14001. We’re seeking your views on the standard – how it works for you (or doesn’t), what do you like about it, what problems do you encounter and what future challenges do you expect (in relation to changing business practices)? Here is the link to the survey. Survey should take ~20 mins to complete. The survey takes place across the world - it's good to hear views of people from different countries, industry sectors and size of organisation.   Why get involved? - Have your voice heard - Share your experiences - Help inform the revisions of ISO 14001 and its host of supporting standards - And it’s a good opportunity to have a good look at your own EMS.   Why are we doing the ISO 14001 User Survey? Standards are periodically reviewed to ensure they work correctly, deliver value to the user and help them meet their objectives. This user survey supports the...
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Plant For Our Planet

Plant For Our Planet campaign We love listening to buzzing bees, watching the birds flit around the air, inhaling the aroma of roses and monitoring the snuffling of hedgehogs. You don’t have to live in the country or go out to national parks to realise that wildlife is important to us. Even urban areas benefit from a range of plants, birds, insects and animals. But the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. So, what can you do to help wildlife recover at your home, neighbourhood or business? The new Plant For Our Planet campaign encourages to plant trees and flowers in order to help tackle biodiversity loss with nature-based solutions.   Plant For Our Planet The campaign, launched by the UK government, is backed by The Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, National Trust, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Horticultural Society. It asks individuals and communities to support nature in planting flowers and trees – this obviously helps bees, birds and insects, but will...
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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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Top Tips to go Peat Free

Top Tips to go Peat Free There is no good enough reason to use peat in your garden or workplace. Of course you’d expect me to say that – as an environmental consultant. But even the top gardeners agree – TV gardener Monty Don has described using peat in your garden as an act of eco-vandalism! Go Peat Free For years, gardeners have used peat-based compost to help plants grow big and strong. Unfortunately, this is bad environmentally on a number of fronts. It is using non-renewable resources, depleting some of the last remaining peat-lands – indeed over 90% of the UK’s lowland peat bogs have been destroyed or damaged. It decimates wild ecosystems and a wealth of wildlife has disappeared. Additionally, peat bogs store large amounts of carbon dioxide, so its release accelerates climate change. Peat-free growing media, like compost and soil conditioners, are available at many garden centres and DIY stores. But they do still sell products using peat as their organic ingredient to a...
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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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How to Plan Environmental Audits

How to Plan Environmental Audits I was pleased to share my experiences of environmental auditing again recently on a very well attended IEMA webinar. I was joined by Gillian Gibson (Gibson Training), Ben Goodwin (IEMA) and Matthew Goldberg (National Grid). We are all part of IEMA’s Environmental Auditing Committee, a working group of experts ranging from consultants, in-house auditors and UKAS the organisation that oversees certification bodies. We are reviewing the IEMA Register of Environmental Auditors and prepared briefing papers on the value of environmental auditing. The committee has also developed a series of webinars, some for experienced auditors and others for those new to the industry – the latter, the Environmental Auditing 101 series, examines different elements of auditing and the ISO 14001 standard. This, our most recent webinar, was titled ‘Planning, scoping & resourcing for successful audits’. This was obviously a subject of great interest as we had over 500 people join us. Pitfalls of not planning Why should you prepare for an environmental...
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ISO 50001 Gap Analysis

Mind the Gap – are you Ready for ISO 50001? We know that energy efficiency is good for your business – save energy, save money. If you want to have a deeper focus on energy, why not expand your existing ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and get ISO 50001?   What is ISO 50001? With their soaring energy costs, I see that more and more companies are interested in Energy Management Systems (EnMS). The system helps them understand and manage energy consumption and budgets, in a formalised way. It can then be certified to the international standard ISO 50001. But why start from scratch? It’s much easier to build upon an existing management system. All significant management systems standards follow the same ‘high level structure’ so that the core framework for each is the same. This makes it more straight-forward to expand existing systems (e.g. ISO 14001 Environmental Management System or ISO 9001 Quality) to incorporate energy and the requirements of ISO 50001. The cyclic process of the ISO...
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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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CEnv – My Webinar with SocEnv

CEnv - My Webinar with SocEnv 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. In my recent webinar with SocEnv, I joined 2 other Chartered Environmentalists to discuss ‘How CEnv has helped me and my career’. SocEnv webinar How CEnv registration has helped me and my career - that's what we asked three Chartered Environmentalists in this special webinar. In this webinar CEnv professionals join us to share their experiences of securing the designation, the opportunities which obtaining the qualification have presented and the positive impacts achieving CEnv has had on their work. Our special guests: Anya Ledwith - Director at Eshcon Ltd. Sophie Harris - Environmental Regulation and Response Manager at Thames Water. Chandra Kripa Dwarakanath - Principal Consultant at Jacobs. My slot starts at...
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