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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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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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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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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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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Why use UKAS accredited certification bodies

Certification - Why you should use UKAS accredited certification bodies You know I often extol the virtues of an Environmental Management System (EMS), using the ISO 14001 standard. It is a great way to manage your impacts & costs, comply with the law & engage with your customers & staff on issues that are important to them. Although you don’t need to get it certified, it is good practice to do so. Externally certification gives validity to the EMS, demonstrates you are serious about the quality of your system & helps identify where to improve. UKAS accredited certification bodies You would bring in auditors from a certification body to do this. 'Cert bodies' may cover a range of standards (ISO 14001, 9001, 27001 etc) and/or industry sectors. Certification bodies are themselves overseen by UKAS, the National Accreditation Body, which is responsible for determining the technical competence & integrity of these organisations. Maybe surprisingly it is not mandatory to use a UKAS accredited certification body, even...
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Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero

Using ISO 14001 to go Net Zero Net Zero is the new buzzword. With so much more interest in climate change nowadays, from individuals & companies alike, it is not surprising that many businesses are committing to reduce & even neutralise their carbon emissions. The trouble is, most people don’t know where to start. It’s exciting to set the goal, but to achieve it requires a considered approach. Luckily, that’s where ISO 14001 comes in. ISO 14001, the Environmental Management Systems (EMS) standard, offers a formalised framework for identifying your environmental impacts, including climate risks & carbon emissions.   ISO 14001 EMS & Climate Change My latest webinar for IEMA was attended by nearly 200 people. I shared the virtual stage with Marek Bidwell, Nick Blyth of IEMA & also Kirit Patel of DHL Supply Chain, who gave an overview of DHL’s Environmental Management System & approach to risks & opportunities. I spoke about how ISO 14001 can be used to turn climate aspirations into reality. Climate...
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Adapting my business during Covid-19

Adapting my business during Covid-19 How have businesses adapted during the Covid-19 crisis? Are female entrepreneurs thriving during these difficult times? What changes need to be made to existing business models? I was pleased to discuss these issues in the SINC Female Founders webinar run jointly by with Sussex Innovation Centre & Gatwick Diamond Business, as part of their Survive & Thrive series. I shared the screen with 2 other female founders - Daniela Carl, Deputy Chief Executive of the Regional Studies Association, and Oanh Brophy, head of a circular economy start up. The objective of the session was to introduce our businesses & discuss how we had adapted during the pandemic. Here’s what I covered.   Effective Environmental Management during Covid-19 I shared my story – my why, my business, my services. I started with ‘My Why’ – my love for our beautiful, complex & wonderful world. It’s important to me & what drives my career in environmental management. Indeed, many more people nowadays feel the same. Recent research by...
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Tell me your Environmental Stories

Tell me your Environmental Stories “Where do your machines go when they die, Daddy?” A talk with his young daughter prompted the MD of medical manufacturing company to start their environmental journey, managing energy, materials & waste – all done through their ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. With the ongoing pandemic, I’m making use of the time I used to spend travelling. Rather than learning a new language or baking sourdough bread, I’m finally getting round to writing my book. It’s all about how, why & when to put in an Environmental Management System.   Do you have environmental stories to share? For my research, I want to speak to businesses, particularly SMEs, who have an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Why did they get started? How involved is senior management? Did they use a consultant? How long do staff spend each month? What motivates staff to be part of environmental projects? What’s the weirdest thing found in the audit? Anecdotes & stories are really useful, especially when...
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10 Top Tips for a great Environmental Policy

10 Top Tips for a great Environmental Policy All organisations should have an Environmental Policy. It’s a great way to communicate with customers; particularly in the B2B supply chain, they often ask for the policy & supporting data. The benefits of having a policy include: Shows commitment to good environmental management Embeds the environment into core business practices - finding efficiencies & cost savings, reducing pollution, saving energy & addressing climate change Shows leadership & links to executive responsibility Simply communicates to stakeholders (including staff & customers) Helps drive change & keep up momentum. Your Environmental Policy is often people’s first introduction to your environmental activities. So, remember to make it interesting, relevant and available. But where do you start?   Here are my 10 Top Tips on how to write a great Environmental Policy: 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. Keep it short - one A4 sheet...
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10 Golden Rules of Remote Auditing

10 Golden Rules of Remote Auditing 400 webinar delegates asked for more help With the continued Covid-19 disruption, the use of remote environmental audits is now common place. Remote audits allow organisations to continue with the established audit programme, ensure the EMS works well & staff are properly engaged. This is relevant for internal audits & especially important for third party audits (annual surveillance visits & certification audits). I was recently part of the expert panel on a webinar for IEMA – we gave advice on how to prepare for & conduct remote audits, from the perspective of both auditors & auditees. We had over 400 people on the webinar, with lots of great questions asked. And the feedback was – more help please! So, the panel sat down & wrote a short guide - The 10 Golden Rules of Remote Auditing. Again helping auditors & auditees prepare & get the best out of their audits. The Golden Rules are supported by simple pieces of...
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My Story, My Mission, My Vision

My Story, My Mission, My Vision On this World Environment Day, I wanted to share my story. Much environmental messaging comes across as (slightly) negative – we’ve got to stop doing / reduce / prevent XYZ or it’ll devastating for us / the planet / wildlife / oceans. And yes, this is true. It is important to change. But negativity & fear don’t motivate most people. It can be much more inspiring to focus on the positive… to have something wonderful to aim for. So, I thought I’d share how I got involved in environmental management (My Story), what I’m trying to achieve (My Vision) and how I go about this (My Mission).   My Story My Story begins with me, aged 10, sitting on the floor in front of the TV watching the wonderful David Attenborough’s Life on Earth. This series was so inspirational to me, seeing the beautiful world around us, its diversity & fragility. We are so lucky to live here & benefit from...
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Build Back Better

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 &...
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