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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Global Goals

Global Goals

Making Global Goals Local Business I attended a seminar recently with the United Nations on The Global Goals - the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. The Goals are going to transform our world, so creating opportunities for businesses to use new models, deliver new products & services into new markets.   The 17 SDGs have been adopted by the UK & the other 192 Member States of the UN. They call for economic growth, innovation, affordable energy & upgraded infrastructure, as well as providing a path to end extreme poverty, fighting inequality & protecting the environment. The Goals are to be adopted and delivered by governments, partnerships, businesses & individuals - relevant at the national, regional and local level.   Environmental management compliments well many of the Goals. This is clear in areas like Goal 13 Climate Action & Goal 11 Sustainable Cities & Communities. But it is also integral to Goal 8 Good Jobs & Economic Growth, Goal 3 Good Health and Goal 12...
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Getting started – EMS

Getting started – EMS

Top Tips on Getting Started - EMS I see a lot of great speakers at environmental conferences, sharing their experiences & inspiring us to do the same. However I find most companies out there are right at the beginning of their environmental management journey and need help with the basics. They can’t identify with the work done by say M&S and Unilever, it’s just way out of their league.   Hence my support of them to put in an Environmental Management System. It may not be ground breaking to some of us, but to them it’s invaluable.   How to get started…   Get your data together and understand your baseline - energy, waste, water, transport.   Calculate your carbon footprint - it’s a great way to communicate with staff & customers, plus you set your targets from this.   Write an Environmental Policy - show your commitment to managing your impacts.   Develop an Environmental Management System - the processes to manage impacts, find cost savings & comply...
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Chair at edie Live

Chair at edie Live

Chair at edieLive Last week I chaired two sessions at edieLive, the UK's leading two day energy, sustainability and resource efficiency event for businesses. Taking place at the NEC, it welcomed thousands of people interested in environmental & energy management - businesses, consultants, suppliers, students alike. We were all there to learn, to network & improve our industry.   In the afternoon, I chaired the Resource Efficiency theatre session “Putting the O in H2O - Where is the opportunity in water?”. We had great presentations from L’Oréal & IHG - Intercontinental Hotels Group, about the work they’d done to integrate water efficiency into their businesses. At the hotels, clearly water in kitchens & bathrooms was key. Whereas for L’Oréal it was the water within the products & in the manufacturing processes. See my blog for edie.net earlier this year on this.   Earlier in the day at edieLive, I chaired the “Getting under the skin of an energy manager” session (photo above is a view from...
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Case Study – ISO 14001:2015 Readiness Assessment – University of Reading

Case Study - ISO 14001:2015 Readiness Assessment University of Reading The University of Reading, ranked in the top 1% in the world, is situated mainly on two campuses: London Road and the main Whiteknights campus which occupies 130 hectares with approximately 200 buildings. The University has approximately 18,000 students and nearly 4,000 members of staff.   Eshcon conducted a Readiness Assessment of the University’s Environmental Management System to help prepare for the certification audit to achieve ISO 14001:2015.   The University has had an Environmental Management System (EMS) in place for a number of years, certified to ISO 14001:2004, and also holds EcoCampus platinum status. There is strong commitment to the EMS, with involvement across the organisation and at all levels.   A lot of work had been done by the Sustainability Team to transition the EMS to the requirements of the new standard. The team wanted reassurance that everything was on track for the upcoming certification audit.   Eshcon conducted a Readiness Assessment with the requirements of the...
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Green Growth 2017

Green Growth 2017

Green Growth 2017 - Report from the Chair I was very pleased to chair the recent Green Growth 17 Conference in Brighton. Green Growth 17 was organised by the Green Growth Platform, an initiative run by the University of Brighton to promote the environmental & low carbon sector. Zoe Osmond, Director, told us that since starting in June 2014, the GGP has attracted 740 members – a mixture of supplier of environmental products & services, & other businesses who wish to improve their environmental management. 130 new green sector jobs have been created, plus 70 students & graduates are working with members, on projects, research & marketing. The objective of Green Growth 17 was to inspire & enable members to connect, innovate & grow. Slides from the conference speakers are available, but I thought I’d share some of the key points I noted during the day. Tara Dean, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton gave the welcome, sharing some of the UoB’s...
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Case Study – ISO 14001:2015 Transition – Roband Electronics

Case Study - ISO 14001:2015 Transition Roband Electronics Based in Charlwood near Gatwick Airport, Roband Electronics is an independent British company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and support of electronic power supplies. In 2016, Roband celebrated its 60th anniversary.   Eshcon helped Roband achieve ISO 14001:2015 certification, with a Gap Analysis of its EMS and then updating the system to transition to the new standard.   Roband has a history of good environmental practice and decided to formalise this into an Environmental Management System (EMS). ESHCon has worked with Roband for a number of years, initially to develop & implement the EMS and their first certification to ISO 14001.   As the EMS has progressed, Eshcon has lead internal audits, attended certification audits and provided support to the environment team, where knowledge or experience needed a boost.   In 2016 Roband decided to transition the EMS to ISO 14001:2015 in time for the scheduled recertification audit.   Work started with a Gap Analysis to identify where the EMS needed to...
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Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management

Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management

Overcoming the Challenges to Environmental Management There are many challenges to environmental management in business, some external but more often coming from within. Here are my thoughts on overcoming some of these challenges.   Make it your USP and gain competitive advantage Customers and clients expect their suppliers to do an element of environmental management, from carbon footprint calculations to ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management Systems. So take the initiative: use it as your USP to differentiate yourself from your competitors; show customers you reflect their values, and use this to win business.   Overcome your short-termism Most organisations (private & public) tend to focus on the short-term - budgets, pay-back periods, share price, terms of office, KPIs etc. To truly understand the risks & opportunities for your business, thinking a bit longer term makes sense.   A sustainable business should engage with everyone it works with to look at, and reward, longer-term results. Why exclude energy efficiency projects that have a pay-back period of 2 years? Why aren’t the...
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ISO 14001 Success

  Roband demonstrates environmental leadership Roband Electronics is pleased to announce that its Environmental Management Systems (EMS) has been successfully recertified to ISO 14001 - and this time to the new ISO 14001:2015 standard.   The EMS is used to manage impacts, reduce risk, identify opportunities for cost savings and address customers’ needs. Carbon emissions have been reduced by 2%, waste by 5% and electricity by 9%.   The new ISO 14001 standard has extra requirements, including a strong focus on leadership & alignment to the business strategy. ESHCon guided Roband through the transition process starting with an ISO 14001 Gap Analysis.   Based in Charlwood near Gatwick Airport, Roband is an independent British company specialising in the design, development, manufacture and support of electronic power supplies. Roband is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.   Andrew Gold, Managing Director of Roband, said: “Our ISO 14001 system has been useful in getting our staff involved & showing our commitment to environmental protection. I am delighted with the team’s achievements.” ESHCon’s Director...
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ISO 14001 Survey

ISO 14001 Survey

ISO 14001 Survey Every year the ISO (International Standards Organisation) conducts a survey on usage of the various standards. The results for 2015 have recently been released.   In the UK the total number of ISO 14001 certifications stood at 17,824, a rise of 8% over the previous year. The trend has overall been a steady increase, although there was a small fall in 2014. A 17% rise has been seen since 2010. Worldwide, there are 319,754 certifications, a 1% rise.   As the new 2015 standard had only been introduced in September 15, there are understandably very few certifications to this (46 compared to 17,778 for ISO 14001:2004).   ISO 50001, the standard for Energy Management Systems, has seen a dramatic increase in 2015, up by 289% to 1,464 certifications. This was no doubt due to ESOS where ISO 50001 was one route to compliance with the legislation.   Both standards lag far behind the standard for quality ISO 9001, which has a total of 1,033,936 certifications worldwide...
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Save Water

Free Water Saving Devices for SMEs Southern Water are offering non-domestic customers (including SME businesses, schools, charities, parish councils) to whom they supply water, free water saving devices.   A free visit is offered from an experienced water expert who’ll assess your water use and prescribe a number of water efficient products that will be fitted for free.   These include automatic urinal controls, water-efficient shower heads, dual flush mechanisms & Save-a-flush bags for toilets, and tap flow regulators.   Controlling water use in urinals, so that it only flushes after use (and not each time the cistern fills), saves around £100 per year in water costs.   The programme is being focused on certain target areas within our supply area and each visit will be for a period of four hours. All products that are fitted will work with existing taps, showers and toilets and alongside behaviour change advice will lead to ongoing savings on utility bills.   To register an interest and to find out if you are in...
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What is an EMS?

What is an EMS?

ISO 14001 - What is an Environmental Management System? All companies should be thinking about embedding environmental management into their business processes. An environmental management system (EMS) is a system to actively manage your impacts and comply with the law. This can be a simple system, or something more formal, developed to the international standard ISO 14001.   With over 300,000 certificates issued across the world, ISO 14001 is the best known standard.   Organisations start out on this for a variety of reasons: Customer expectation - Customers now expect suppliers to demonstrate commitment to their own values.  Often, through tender documents, they will ask for carbon footprint, policy or ISO 14001. Competitive edge - Showing how their EMS makes them better than their competitors. Legal requirements – They may come under legal reporting requirements, be on the Environment Agency’s radar or are simply aware of the range of legislation that applies to them. Cost savings - With ever increasing costs and pressures on the...
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Case Study – Training – Mid Sussex Council

Case Study - Training Mid Sussex District Council Mid Sussex District Council serves a population of around 125,000 over an area of 128 square miles of West Sussex. Council services include Planning, Refuse and Leisure.   Eshcon delivered environmental awareness training to the newly established Environmental Challenge Officers (ECOs).   During the implementation of its EMS, MSDC established the ECO Network to engage and inform staff. One ECO from each department was appointed. ECOs needed a good understanding of environmental issues to give them the confidence to conduct their duties.   Eshcon helped in this by delivering the CIEH Level 2 Environmental Principles & Best Practice training course. Delegates were able to obtain CIEH qualifications on successful completion of assessment.   Running in-house training sessions allowed the course to be tailored to the audience, covering issues and activities specific to the Council, thus making it more relevant to the delegates and the organisation.   The benefits of this included: The ECOs gained a good understanding of environmental issues. It gave...
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Water Deregulation

Water Deregulation

Water - The Choice is Yours In 2017 the water industry is being deregulated in England and Wales. So, as with electricity and gas supply, businesses will be able to choose their own water provider.   Large business customers (consuming >50,000m3 of water a year) already have that supply choice and indeed businesses in Scotland have had retail competition since 2008.   By having a choice of provider, it is expected that business customers will see savings, discounts and more attractive payment terms, plus providers are likely to help you improve water efficiency.   All businesses and other organisations (not households) will be able to shop around for their water and sewerage suppliers from April 2017. The water coming out of your pipes doesn’t change, it’s really just who you pay!   Water users with high spends or lots of sites with low spend are likely to see the biggest potential gains.   What you should do now   You may be able to switch supplier now - review your current water...
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Ecodriving training

Ecodriving training

Ecodriving training To save money when driving it’s not just down to your choice of vehicle – your driving techniques make a big difference in fuel efficiency.   Being heavy on the pedals. Not thinking ahead. Not using gears correctly. All these increase fuel consumption and make for a less smooth ride.   Can your company benefit from ecodriving training?   Ecodriving training can help provide: reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions increased MPG by up to 15% reduced risk of vehicle accidents reduced vehicle wear and tear get your staff involved in your environmental work.   “Since the training took place, fuel consumption has reduced across our fleet by more than 20 per cent. Some of which is from efficiencies gained from our vehicle replacement programme, which accounts for about 8% of the fleet per annum, but the remainder is generally felt to be from better driving practices. When a fleet uses about 200,000 litres of fuel a year, as we do, this soon adds up.” Rob Newman, Service...
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