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Karen Brewer Joins ESP as our Principal Quality Consultant

31st October 2017

We are very pleased to announce that Karen Brewer has joined our Environment Team as our Principal Quality Consultant. Karen is a highly experienced and competent consultant and auditor, with over 30 years experience of quality management in a local housing group. Karen has been an associate for ESP for several years, supporting our consultants in quality management services and we are now excited to have her fully join our team as we expand our quality management provision.

Welcome to our Environment and Landscape Assistant 2017-2018

15th June 2017

ESP is proud to welcome our Environment and Landscape Assistant for 2017-2018, Keren Bucknall. Keren is studying BSc Geography at Coventry University and will be assisting both our landscape and environmental departments through a variety of projects over the coming year.

ESP Welcomes New Business Development Manager

9th February 2017

This month we are pleased to welcome Judith Dix to our team. Judith has an MSc in Environmental Consultancy and a BSc in Geology, as well as experience in the waste and minerals sectors. She joins the team to manage business development for ESP, cultivating opportunities and partnerships to support our Landscape and Environmental departments.

Wedgwood Achieves ISO 14001:2015

ESP has been working closely alongside Wedgwood who have been aiming to achieve ISO 14001:2015 and are proud to congratulate them on achieving their goal. This month, Wedgwood officially became ISO 14001:2015 certified and as such, can call their company environmentally friendly and save on running costs. Due to the scale of Wedgwood being a prestigious, global company, developing the correct Environmental Management Scheme (EMS) was complex, but ESP endeavoured to meet the challenge.


We’d like to congratulate all members of the Wedgwood company for working in partnership in order to achieve the standard. The standard denotes not only an improvement on the previous standard but also signifies the great work staff throughout Wedgwood are willing to put in for the environment and the company.

IEMA Auditing to ISO 14001:2015 Course

The revision of ISO 14001 in September 2015 provides an opportunity for organisations to further enhance environmental and sustainability performance. This one day course is specially designed for experienced environmental management systems (EMS) auditors, both internal and external, so they are able to undertake effective EMS audits. This will help organisations achieve the full benefits of the transition to the revised standard.


IEMA certification is currently subject to IEMA approval.


Our upcoming courses include the 15th of December and the 17th of January. Please click the following link to find out more:


SBEN Launches LCBEP Providing ‘Free Specialist Low Carbon Advice’

28th September 2016

Staffordshire Business Environmental Network (SBEN) has launched the ‘Low Carbon Business Evolution Programme’ (LCBEP) which is designed to help businesses across Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire reduce their carbon footprint and increase energy efficiency.


The project is part funded by the ERDF programme and delivered by Staffordshire County Council in partnership with Keel University and Staffordshire University.


Following a successful tendering process,  ESP has begun to deliver a series of ‘2-day business assists’ to SMEs across the region to address Energy & Environmental performance as well as performing Gap Analyses for ISO 14001:2015.  


Eligible businesses have the opportunity to apply for LCBEP Low Carbon Enterprise Grant of £2000-£10000. 


For more information and eligibility criteria visit the SBEN LCBEP page.


ESP launches UK’s first environmental sustainability course

The course, which covers everything from environmental risk to the opportunities of energy efficiency measures, is run through City & Guilds, with the help of Andrew Fletcher from partner organisation, Environmental Solutions through Partnership (ESP).

The launch of the course has been described by industry experts as “a game-changer for sustainable business and a sustainable economy, reportedGreener Business.

The course, forms part of IEMA’s All Jobs Greener scheme, which also features a Level 4 for managers course and strategy session for decision-makers, will be run under the umbrella of whg’s Leamore-based Skills Centre, which already runs City & Guilds accredited vocational qualifications. It is the first time environmental sustainability has been recognised as a formal City & Guilds qualification.

Jane Preece, director of organisational development, said: “We are delighted that the Skills Centre has been accepted to deliver this qualification, which is the first of its kind in the UK. It shows our commitment to partnership working with ESP and is in line with our corporate aim for the impact of our work on the environment to reduce year on year.

“Helping to create sustainable communities is hugely important to us and it is something we continue to invest in substantially.

“This award is another feather in our cap following on from our recent national award to recognise our commitment and we continue to lead the way as a sustainable housing provider.”

Andrew Fletcher, director of environmental systems and training at Environmental Solutions through Partnership (ESP), ran the first course at whg’s offices at 100 Hatherton Street, which has itself been recognised for sustainability as it uses solar panels and rainwater harvesting.

He said: “This is a really important course and is yet another indication that whg leads the way in terms of being a sustainable landlord.

“Prior to this there has not been a course which formally recognises sustainability as a qualification so the Skills Centre being chosen to host this is a real accolade for whg.

“The first course went very well and we had some great feedback. Everyone passed so they will become the first people in the UK to get the Level 2 Working with Environmental Sustainability qualification.”

ESP Restoration scheme wins award

The ESP designed shceme at Ardley recently won the Overall Winner of the Innovation category in the MPA Biodiversity Awards for the work in partnership with Smiths Bletchington.

DEFRA Minister, Lord de Mauley, praised members of the Mineral Products Association (MPA) for their valuable contribution to nature conservation at MPA’s prestigious Restoration and Biodiversity Awards at the Royal Society in London.

The event, which had the theme ‘Realising the Potential…Progress and Partnership’, celebrated and shared excellence in restoration and biodiversity enhancement and highlighted the value of working in partnership.

A full room of almost 200 delegates attended, which comprised over 50 environmental and other stakeholder organisations, along with those from industry, Government departments, academia and local authorities.

DEFRA Minister, Lord de Mauley, said: “These awards demonstrate the close relationship MPA and its members have built with wildlife organisations to enhance and protect biodiversity and will deliver a lasting legacy for wildlife.”

For more information read our case study or watch this video.

Book Review: Promoting Sustainable Behaviour

This 62 page e-book is a concise and thoughtful explanation as to how sustainable behaviour can be achieved in households, whilst commuting and within organisations. Its chapters take you through a considered thought process, and by doing so, gives the reader an understanding as to why sustainability is not adopted, on the whole, intrinsically as a personal or organisational core value.

A particular insight is chapter 5 which looks at the physiological way of bringing about change without using “scare tactics”. It advocates that images of nature being harmed are not an effective way of promoting sustainability and that positive actions relating to peoples’ everyday activities are far more effective.

Throughout the book, real examples are cited (or links to websites) to explain particular theorems. This brings the book to life.

You can download the e-book to many different e-readers or you can read the book directly on your computer through the website of Do Sustainability. However, I have two small gripes; the first is that I couldn’t directly download this to my Kindle from the website but I am assured you can from Amazon. The second is that whilst the book is insightful I think the cost of either buying or renting the books may be a prohibitive barrier.

If you would like a thought provoking 2 hour (max) read – I would recommend this.

Free ISO 14001 Environmental Management in Social Housing – Briefing Event – 7th June 2013

The briefing will explain how a certified EMS can create efficiency savings and drivenvironmental performance in social housing organisations. A key feature of the event will be a business case presentation on ISO 14001 from Sandwell MBC, as well as insights into certification from SGS. The event will be held on Friday 7th June 2013 at Wolverhampton Science Park, 10.00 – 13.00 with complementary buffet lunch.

This event has limited numbers, so to reserve your place and for more information, please contact Olly Kyte on 01902 771311 /


ISO 14001 Cuts Costs

A survey of 100 firms by certification body NQA has revealed that working towards ISO 14001 certification helps organisations to cut costs by encouraging them to be more resource efficient.

More than 80% of those surveyed confirm that they have benefited financially from actions to certify their environmental management system (EMS), including introducing recycling regimes, improving energy efficiency and reducing water consumption. More than half the firms polled confirm they would recoup the cost of certification within 12 months.

Book Review: Plan for the Planet

Plan for the Planet looks at the Global threats to the planet and advocates the use of an interconnective plan to address these issues – wow! The attention to detail that the authors have taken in describing the mechanism of the plan and then how government, business and people can take part in the plan is certainly an interesting approach and theoretically (I have no doubt) the way in which the threats to the planet can be solved. The case studies within the paperback detailing countries and organisations approaches to counter some of the threats provide insightful examples of where the advocated methodology has been used successfully.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand the global threats we are facing particularly those with a systemic outlook. I found the illustrations throughout the book particularly useful in elucidating the barrage of explanation and statistics.

This book certainly should be read front to back by those who operate at the macro level. Those who are perhaps work at a more of a micro level will find the statistics useful for introduction into say an environmental management or a sustainability system in order to gain commitment for “doing their bit” from stakeholders in organisations and companies.

If we as a planet do become truly interconnected I am sure that this book will become the way in which population growth, climate change, energy, water and food, biodiversity, poverty, global heath, education, conflict and finance (all dealt with in the book) are dealt with from a sustainable perspective.

Book Review: A Practical Guide for Achieving Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) Status

There are many ways of becoming a Chartered Environmentalist through a diverse array of “environmental” Institutions all licensed to award CEnv by the Society for the Environment. This is a guide through one of the application process’ via the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

The e-book is a very easy read and it is a cross between a manual and a self-help guide. At the same time Rupert’s enthusiasm for the environmental profession shines through. For those people who may not have colleagues who have gone through the CEnv process this is an ideal overview to accompany the application Guides that the respective Institutes and Institutions provide.

I reviewed this publication on the Kindle and whilst the book was presented well, the small text on the diagrams and some of the tables was virtually unreadable. This is not a criticism of the author but of the way diagrams are loaded as pictures and then cannot be made bigger like in an I-Pad application. Rupert has identified this issue and does reference them so that a reader can overcome this by accessing various websites.

In conclusion; excellent essential reading for the would-be CEnv – via any application route.

ESP shortlisted as Best Sustainable Consultancy & Appointment of New Chairman

ESP (Environmental Solutions through Partnership), the Environmental Consultancy based at Wolverhampton Science Park, is celebrating two events. Firstly, the Company has been shortlisted in the “Best Sustainable Consultancy of the Year” category at the National Inside Housing Sustainable Housing Awards to take place on the 21st October. Secondly, John Sharpe, the experienced leader of Environmental Management & Sustainability in the West Midlands, has agreed to become Chairman of ESP.

ESP was set up in 2004 by Andrew Fletcher and Keith Hampshire and has become one of the leading environmental consultancies providing bespoke solutions, enabling its clients to gain the International Environmental standard ISO 14001 and the European standard EMAS. They have developed innovative methods of engaging organisations to “mainstream” environmental management whilst providing mechanisms for identifying risks and cost saving opportunities. Whilst providing assistance to a diverse client base, ESP has specialised in the social housing sector and has become renowned for a practical and straightforward approach.

John Sharpe brings his knowledge and expertise of working at the highest level of corporate life and running a successful consultancy whilst influencing regional and national change.

Andrew Fletcher (Environmental Systems Director) said “We are delighted to be shortlisted in the Best Sustainable Consultancy Awards and at the same time be able to announce that John Sharpe, a friend and colleague, over some 20 years, has agreed to work with us to help build on this success”.

*UPDATED* Sandwell Homes Nominated for EMAS Award

ESP are proud to announce that Sandwell Homes have been nominated for an EMAS award as the UK representative in recognition for the work they have carried out on resource efficiency in the Large Public Administration Category.

The European EMAS Awards is the most prestigious award in environmental management and has been handed to top companies and local authorities since 2005.

Len Gibbs, Chair of the Sandwell Homes Board, said: “We have already been in the headlines this year after achieving a place on the Sunday Times Greenest Companies list for a second year running, whilst also receiving a commendation at the West Midlands Low Carbon Economy Awards. However, to be recognized on the European stage really demonstrates Sandwell Homes’ ambition.”


It has since been announced that Sandwell Homes have won the award.

Sandwell Homes is 21st in Sunday Times Best Green Companies List 2010

Sandwell Homes has improved on their success of gaining 27th place in the 2009 Best Green Companies Award by gaining 21st place in the 2010 list. The list also demonstrated that they were also second in their sector of bigger companies with a lower impact.

The list, which was published on this week, demonstrates how the compnay has improved over the last 12 months due to the gainoing of EMAS and manditory Environmental Awareness Training for all staff, which was delivered by ESP.

The list also showed that Sandwell Homes were greener than the Building Research Establishment, BBC Worldwide, B & Q and the BT Group.

All at ESP would like to congratulate all who have helped to achieve this status as we believe that it demonstrates just how green they are.

*UPDATED* SME’s gain 14001 standard EMS

ESP has recently worked both Lift & Engineering Services and Danescourt Roofing to help them to get an EMS to the standard of ISO 14001.

These are both companies which went through the Going Green process at Sandwell Homes and were keen to make their processes even better and manage their risks in a more formal manner.

Both companies used a new innovate way to get SME’s to a level where they could achieve ISO 14001 accreditation.

ESP were very impressed with how much both companies were already doing to manage their risks and are proud to have been involved with both.


ESP are proud to confirm that Lift & Engineering Services have now recieved external certification of their EMS. The external certification, which was carried out by Bureau Veritas looked at all parts of the EMS.

ESP think this is a fantastic achievement as it symbolises all the hard work which the company has put into the project.

Eco Champions Gains Speed

express_star_jpg Sandwell Homes‘ innovative Eco Champions campaign is starting to gain momentum.

The campaign aims to highlight what residents can do to become more environmentally friendly.

The project involves getting the volunteer residents to try out different environmental friendly technology to see what difference it has on their utility bills and the way they carry out their daily lives.

The purpose of the project is to highlight what simple things can be done to help the environment in the hope that other people may also take up the ideas.

The campaign seems to have caught the eye of the media as local news papers from around the region have highlighted the work carried out, including the extract on the right form the Express & Star.

Wolverhampton Homes Gains ISO 14001

Bateswood ESP are please to announce that Wolverhampton Homes has had their Environmental Management System (EMS) accredited to the international standard, ISO 14001:2001.

This standard recognises the great work which Wolverhampton Homes has carried out to reduce their environmental risks and to comply with environmental legislation.

It is thought that this recognition will have a dramatic effect on the environment as Wolverhampton Homes manage over 23,000 homes and employ over 700 personnel.

Our congratulations go out to all involved as we recognise the tremendous commitment that has been shown throughout the organisation.

ESP Freecycles

Whilst making room in the office for new staff ESP has used an innovative website to dispose of some old furniture.

Freecycle is a website where people can post unwanted items which other people collect free of charge. this means that the unwanted furniture can be disposed of in a more sustainable way.

To make room for a new desk ESP used the website to dispose a plan chest, this was collected by a part-time furniture designer who said he will use it to store tools and drawings.

ESP are delighted that the plan chest will continue to be used by somebody in a very practical way instead of taking up valuable landfill resources.

ESP Gains More Staff

ESP has employed another graduate, this time to help with the development of the landscape architecture part of the business.

Lynsey Brough, a recent graduate of Oxford Brookes University, will work with Keith Hampshire on all aspects of landscape architecture.

ESP believe Lynsey, a part-time landcape student at Birmingham City University, will become an invaluable asset to all parts of the business.

Accord Gain EMAS

Accord Housing Association, a client of ESP’s, has announced at their AGM that they have achieved the European standard for Environmental Management Systems(EMS) by being verified to be part of the Eco Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).

This is achievement is a large step for both Accord and ESP as it is the highest level of accreditation that can be achieved.

Although EMAS is similar to ISO 14001, due to the fact it uses it as it’s base, the main difference between the standards is that EMAS requires a verifiable statement to be produced. This statement is a publicly available document where every fact within it has been verified by an external auditor to be correct.

ESP are very pleased that Accord have achieved this recognition as it shows how Accord has worked to continually improve their system.

ESP Offsets Emissions

ESP have again offset the CO2 emissions from the business mileage although this year we have also offset the emissions from the energy use [full detail within pdf].

Using the Carbon Calculator on CO2 Balance we calculated our CO2 emissions to be 11.242 tonnes, the majority of which came from our business mileage.

Unlike a lot of offsetting, CO2 Balance allows you to choose projects to help mitigate your CO2 rather than just planting trees. This year we decided to help two project in underdeveloped countries. The first project chosen is one which supplies families in Kenya with energy efficient, locally made cheap stoves. This reduces the need to burn firewood or rubbish and also reduces the families CO2 emissions. The other project chosen will help develop a 7.25MW wind farm in the Tamilnadu region of India. This will help the local communities not only by providing clean electricity but also by creating jobs during the construction and helping the nations economy become less reliant on fossil fuels.

Sandwell Homes wins WMCEE Awards

Sandwell Homes were runners up at the West Midlands Centre for Construction Excellence (WMCEE) Construction Excellence Awards 2008 in the category of Integration and Collaborative Working for Sustainability. ESP, who were instrumental in the development of Sandwell Homes’ EMS, congratulate them on their well deserved success.

Moss Construction, another of ESP’s customers, were also short listed in the same category for Monkmoor Campus, a special needs school redevelopment in Shrewsbury. ESP designed the landscape proposals on this project, on behalf of Thorne Architecture and Moss Construction. The Campus incorporates Wilfred Owen Primary School, Severndale Special School, Poppies Nursery and the multi agency Child and Families Support Service in a single location that will benefit the whole community.

Wolverhampton Homes

ESP in partnership with Bates Wood have been commissioned to develop an Environmental Management System (EMS) to ISO 14000 standard for Wolverhampton Homes. This system will be set up to integrate with the ISO 9000 quality system which is already in place at the ALMO. Wolverhampton Homes was constituted as an ALMO in 2005 out of the City Council to manage its social housing stock. It manages over 23,000 properties and employs over 700 personnel.

Sandwell Homes gains three stars

Sandwell Homes, a major client of ESP’s, has recently been awarded the highest possible rating for an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) by the audit commission. This is recognised as a major milestone within the life of Sandwell Homes which was formed out of Sandwell Council in 2004. ESP would like to congratulate Brian Oakley, the chief executive, and all involved in the process for this fantastic achievement.

ESP has worked in partnership with Sandwell Homes to develop the Environmental Management System and improve the health and safety of the repairs personnel. This work has included an involvement in Sandwell Homes’ Cross Divisional Environmental Forum, a group with representatives from across the organisation design to manage environmental issues.

ESP has also helped to develop the health and safety of the Stores department after its relocation. This has meant working closely with personnel at Sandwell Homes to ensure that all potential problems are identified and made safe for all who work there.

ESP Expands

In another step forwards, ESP has employed a university graduate to help with environmental management. Richard Goodwin is a recent graduate of University of Wolverhampton where he gained a 2:1 in Environmental Science.

Richard joined in late June 2008 as part of a graduate training scheme designed to provide him with all the skills to become an accomplished environmental consultant. This year long scheme has involved him learning about all sides of the business as well as becoming a qualified internal environmental auditor and developing his client related skills.