Build Back Better

During the Covid lockdown some positives have come out. Many of us appear more kind & compassionate – people offering to be NHS Volunteers & helping neighbours with food shopping. We consider our health & wellbeing – families cycling down once busy roads & a significant reduction in air pollution (clearer skies with fewer cars & planes). Not just individuals, businesses are making masks & visors for NHS staff, raising money for charities or donating services to local companies or groups in need.

Why should we simple return to the ‘old ways’ as we start to reopen? We have an opportunity now to change things with greater benefits for society, the planet and the economy – to build back better. You may have seen #BuildBackBetter trending.

Just think how much better it could be – healthy, clean, just. We will all benefit!

This reflects the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – 17 goals to achieve by 2030 for an environmental, social & economic balance across the world. Governments have signed up & it’s up to all of us – individuals, public & private sector alike – to deliver them.

People will ask later “What did you do during the pandemic?“. To be radically innovative is scary – most companies aren’t ready for this type of change, particularly if they’ve struggled to survive.


Using Environmental Management to #BuildBackBetter

So start small. Environmental management is just one way to help build back better – here are some top tips:

1. Be clear about your purpose. Articulate your company’s values & set ambitious goals to Be Better. Senior management must lead on this, a credible ‘champion’ to broadcast the message.

2. If you don’t know where to start, then put in an Environmental Management System. An EMS provides a formalised structure for a) understanding your impacts and b) actively managing them, through your policy, targets & processes. Use the ISO 14001 standard for the EMS or if you prefer a simpler approach an Environmental Action Plan.

3. Engage with your staff and suppliers. Staff need to understand to support you on this, plus can provide ideas of their own. Your suppliers can put in their own EMS & contribute to your own processes. Both parties have the opportunity to be creative. Partnerships will be important – be part of the business community.

4. Communicate with your customers – this is incredibly important now. Show them you care about them, their families, their commitments & their own values. Customers are discerning, so you need to stand out to them.


So, all this gives you a good basis to benefit society and your business. Not just a knee jerk reaction, this gives you an opportunity to change your business and challenge the existing economic models, which have proved to be so vulnerable.

We must Build Back Better – how wonderful would that be for you, your family and your business?


Here is more information on:

Eshcon info – ISO 14001 EMS

Eshcon info – Environmental Action Plan


See also my blog on using ISO 14001 to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).




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