Plastic Packaging Tax Consultation​

The Government is currently consulting on the design of a new tax on the production and import of plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled content. The aim of the tax is to make plastic packaging a more cost effective option than new plastic. It is proposed that the tax will be introduced before April 2022 and will be charged, at the moment the packaging is “made available for use or onward sale”. Plastic packaging containing at least 30% recycled material will be exempt from the tax. If packaging manufactured by a different company than the one filling the packaging with goods, the manufacturer is the one who will have to pay the tax. For imported packaging or packing materials, the tax will be charged as soon as the packaging hits the UK market. To ensure UK manufacturers are not disadvantaged in foreign markets, an export tax credit system is proposed, where businesses that manufacture and export will be credited if the tax has already been paid. A “joint and several” basis will be applied to other businesses in supply chain. This means that the tax would be charged on businesses that knew or had reasonable grounds to suspect the tax had not been accounted for. For small manufacturers, there will be a de minimus threshold, for those considered too small to have a material impact on demand for recycled plastic. The Consultation Closes on Sunday 12th May 2019 #plastics #producerresponsibility #environmentaltax #environmentalmanagement To receive the latest legal requirements and changes in legislation relative to your business, sign up for our quarterly legal updating service. At ESP we pride ourselves in creating bespoke services which can be tailored to business’ needs including the quarterly legal updating service and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to various ISO standards (including 14001:2015 and EMAS). For further information please contact us by clicking here.

‘Natural capital’ and What it Means to Society

In February, I attended an enlightening talk on natural capital presented by Nick Grayson at WSP. Nick demonstrated the impact small changes in our environment can have and the capacity at which they can negatively affect the earth’s ecosystem. The term refers to the earth’s ‘natural’ assets such as soil, air, water and plants. It concerns all aspects that we as humans depend and survive upon and is measured through looking at a city’s gross ecosystem product (GEP), therefore, it is important that we start to recognise and mitigate such changes. This is monitored through measuring the total value of ecological goods and services used per annum (Ouyang, 2017).

Conus geographus, also known as cone shells, live across the Great Barrier Reef. When approached by small fish, or other organisms such as worms and molluscs, they release a toxic venom which paralyses its victim within seconds, which they then consume. Research has revealed that the different peptides this tiny species releases have medicinal uses. These include potential anaesthetics, drugs for Parkinson’s disease and as pain relievers to name a few. As you may already be aware, the coral reefs are extremely vulnerable to global warming. It is estimated that if global warming continues and increases by 1.5◦C by 2031, then we could lose 60% of the coral reefs and, as a result, ground-breaking drugs! Especially, as each species secretes 100 different peptides and there are 140 different species of cone shells alone.

Nick presented this as a key and very interesting example that signifies the interconnectedness of unsustainable actions that can amalgamate to affect other parts of the world which could eventually affect and lead back to us in ways we are not aware of.

(Mann, 2019)

Birmingham has recognised this and is the first city in the UK to become a ‘natural capital city’, measure its GEP and reduce emissions by 60% by 2027. An issue Birmingham and its planners are currently facing, is the issue of space for housing. To address this, Nick highlighted a shift is taking place in planning practises. Rather than compartmentalising sectors of society, we need a more integrated approach which in turn will improve the quality of space. The integration of natural capital into planning practises alongside housing, community, education, leisure and businesses so that spaces within a city are all connected by green space rather it being in single designated places. The integration of green space will not only increase interconnectedness within a city but also improve mobility, air quality, reduced traffic and noise pollution. In the long term it is more economically, socially and culturally viable to develop an integrated space which balances all needs and sectors of society.

The notion of natural capital and the emphasis placed upon the value of green space plays a vital part in ESP’s approach towards restoration plans and rural planning processes. This ensures that we are producing good quality landscapes post mineral extraction.

1. Mann, G. R. (2019). Cone Snail. Retrieved from “Ocean Treasures” Memorial Library:
2. Ouyang, Z. (2017). Gross Ecosystem Product and Ecological Asset Accounting for Eco-Compensation: Methodology and Pilots in Qinghai, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces. Retrieved from ADB Knowledge Event Repositary:

Safe In the Knowledge: The 2019 SBEN Environmental Legislation Update Event

By Judith Dix (Environmental Consultant and Trainer at ESP Ltd)

I’d like to thank all of the delegates who came out to take part in the 2019 SBEN  Environmental Legislation Update Event at the gorgeous Rodbaston Hall in Staffordshire. This is the second year in a row I have run this event and, though nerve-wracking, I really enjoy delivering it, and also getting your opinions on how law affects your business.

It was unseasonably warm, and compared to last year’s presentation, it felt positively tropical! Peacocks were sunning themselves outside the window next to where I was presenting and it did give me a fright to look out of the window and see a peacock staring in. I hope he got something out of the morning and feels comfortable that he is fulfilling his environmental compliance obligations.

Last year’s presentation was a white out!

As always, I tried to incorporate workshops and competitions in to the morning (law can be a bit dry!), and hopefully this year the delegates enjoyed the mock up of a spill which they needed to respond to. This was part of a wider focus on emergency preparedness and the crossover between health & safety and the environment. As auditors and consultants, we are finding more and more that external 14001 auditors are choosing to ask questions which can be seen as being part of a health & safety management system, but we explained during the course of the morning that there is a large amount of crossover, and that risk to the environment can also pose a risk to humans.


At the end of the session, I asked each table what they would be actioning after leaving the session, and a few areas of legislation sparked concern, in particular the upcoming SECR reporting requirements for large companies, and the implication for the REACH Regulations after we leave the European Union. It is estimated that the REACH Regulations and their upkeep could cost the UK chemicals industry around £400 million in the case of a no-deal Brexit. Other concerns included the new WEEE compliance requirements for small producers to register with the Environment Agency.

Thank you again to all who attended, and to the SBEN team. I look forward to seeing you all in 2020!

How are you going to undertake SECR? We’d love to hear how you are preparing for  legislation changes, so please let us know in the comments section of LinkedIn, or on Twitter (@ESP_Ltd).

ESP also provide a quarterly legal updating service, which includes a supplement detailing all legislation changes, case law and consultations, as well as focal pieces on compliance news, and an updating service to your companies environmental legal register by one of our PIEMA-qualified environmental consultants. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a quotation.

Environmental Compliance: Have you checked your insurance?

Recently, it came to our attention that a client had suffered a fire at inside their property due to waste self-combusting over night during the summer. When the client tried to claim for the damage caused, their insurers directed them to a clause within their contents insurance that stated that waste had to be removed daily from their premises. Evidence presented that it was obvious that the waste had not been removed on a daily basis.

When implementing a system to accord to 14001, an organisation has to determine its appropriate compliance obligations. These are defined as “requirements that an organisation has to or chooses to comply with”. Whilst an insurance policy is not a law in its own right, an insurance policy has to be complied with. In this case it also directly relates to waste that is related to environmental management.

When reviewing our own office policy, we found a similarly worded clause, which states “Any rubbish/waste should be removed from the premises at the end of each day’s business; keep the areas immediately surrounding the premises free of …waste material”.

Therefore, ESP recommends that organisations look through their insurance policies to identify if there are any similar clauses. If so, then processes must be put in place to ensure ongoing compliance, along with the inclusion of the detail of the insurance policy within a compliance obligation register.

Yorkshire Dales National Park grants deepening of Swinden Quarry!

In December 2018, we were very excited to hear that the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority planning committee resolved to grant planning consent for the deepening of Swinden Quarry (subject to a S106 agreement). ESP conducted the Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA) for this project. Swinden Quarry, near Cracoe in North Yorkshire, has developed over many years and is owned and operated by Tarmac. It is a source of roadstone, asphalt and concrete among other resources, which are supplied across Yorkshire. This new planning consent would extend the quarry’s life by 9 years which is great news for the local economy, providing over £9 million in salaries over the period, Tarmac estimate. The success of this project proves that it is possible to get planning consent for a major development in a National Park when the EIA / design process is well executed. ESP are proud to be part of the team!

ESP: Being an IEMA Training Centre

How does a person who is going to book onto an environmental course distinguish between just a training company and one that is:

  • Professional
  • Has a background in environmental expertise
  • Can assure good value?


All of these qualities can be achieved by booking with an “IEMA Training Centre”.


To provide high standards of quality assurance, IEMA Approved Courses must be delivered by IEMA Registered Trainers.



As an IEMA registered training centre, ESP delivers IEMA approved Internal Environmental Auditor course. Over the course of three days our course covers the essential competencies to become an internal environmental auditor and ensure that an environmental management system is meeting the requirements of the business.

The course covers:

Day 1

  • Introduction
  • EMS Auditing
  • Environmental Aspects and Impacts
  • Environmental Management Systems
  • Auditors attributes roles and responsibilities

Day 2

  • Environmental Legislation, Regulations and Other requirements
  • The Principles of Auditing

Day 3

  • The Internal audit process
  • Introduction to the Auditagon© an eight stage process for auditing
  • Classroom auditing role play
  • Future information and advice
  • End of course open book assessment

Our Services

We also cater bespoke courses to achieve your companies needs as we have previously done for an international facilities management company. Our bespoke course helped the company achieve UK wide 15014001:2015 accreditation.

ESP took their requirements and then, to distinguish within the Company that the courses have true value, applied to IEMA to approve the two courses.

The courses comprised of “Operational ” and “Senior Management” levels.

Operational Level Course:

The operational level course is facilitated around a workbook that provides scenarios and workshops. It also has an immersive aspects and impacts module so by the end of the course learners are able to understand and compile an aspects and impacts register.

Senior Management Level Course:

The Senior Management level is more strategic and provides an opportunity to learn the questions they need to ask of their teams in order to ensure that the high performance of the EMS that they expect.

Our Team:

Following assessment and approval by IEMA, ESP has delivered these courses to nearly 500 learners in London, East and West Midlands and Scotland…and a few bits in between! The Company is also on track to achieve ISO14001 on all its UK operations by March 2019.

When applying for “course approval” from IEMA, all trainers must be assessed for their competency to deliver a course. This is based on their respective level of membership of IEMA i.e. competency to deliver a course. Therefore, in ESP, we have trainers that are appropriately qualified to deliver the courses. In fact, all our trainers are Associate members of IEMA or above!

Andrew Fletcher                          Richard Goodwin

Director                                        Principal Environmental Auditor

BSc (Hons) CEnv MRICS                  BSc (Hons) PIEMA PEA








ESP are proud of being an IEMA training provider and will continue to meet the challenge of providing high quality training experiences for its learners.

Check out our upcoming courses running on the:

12th – 14th February 2019

14th – 16th May 2019

10th – 12th September 2019

19th – 21st November 2019

Don’t miss out! 

Spotlight on Internal Environmental Auditing Course

An environmental management system (EMS) is a formal framework for improving environmental performance, managing risk and providing thought-out processes for efficient and leaner operations. When being proactive about management, the right thing for the environment doesn’t have to be the wrong thing for a business. An EMS is a powerful tool for reducing waste, energy, risk and improving efficiency, without sacrificing the “bottom-line”.

So the business you work for has implemented an EMS or has an existing EMS. Do you know how well it is working?

Fundamental to continual improvement and a dynamic EMS is an effective internal audit process carried out by a competent person(s).

Competency can be “bought-in” – by employing a professional environmental auditor, such as one from the ESP Team, or having one of your in-house team “up-skilled”.

Competency is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently and it usually comprises of the combination of training, skills, experience and knowledge. Leaving aside experience at this juncture;

How do you gain training, skills and knowledge (expertise)?

In order to carry out an internal environmental audit, a competent person must efficiently plan, implement, report and communicate a critical examination of an organisation’s EMS.

So how is expertise gained?

Expertise is commonly learnt via signing-up for and participating in an appropriate course. For the past 5 years ESP has delivered numerous three day IEMA approved Internal Environmental Auditing courses. In my opinion, this is a fundamentally important course for becoming an Internal Environmental Auditor.

What is unique is that the course is run by environmental practitioners and auditors, who use techniques found when performing official audits. The course is scenario based throughout and highly interactive. It has been highly acclaimed by its participants. Here are some of the great things our learners found most useful about the course:

“It is hard to say which part I found most useful – as I felt it all was. Looking at the entire audit process was probably the most useful for me as this will now enable me to review the Groups current audit procedure to ensure it is most effective.” (Large Social Housing Organisation)

“The balance between theory and workshops.” (Rail Infrastructure Maintenance Company)

“The opportunity to discuss elements of auditing that I had experienced but did not know the background. Discussions with the trainer” (International construction, property and infrastructure Company)

“The process and how to actually conduct an audit – I had no experience of it before, so breaking it down and role playing was very helpful” (Major construction company)

Most courses have been held in our training suite at Wolverhampton Science Park although we have presented the course at client’s sites and undertaken “live” audits. On all the occasions, learners have been able to immediately practice the techniques learnt on their own site and raise real issues!

On successful completion of the course at our IEMA Approved Training Centre, a delegate will be awarded a certificate for their career portfolio to evidence that they have sufficient expertise to implement internal environmental audits. This certificate is also helpful when evidencing competence to an external certification company.

After that, it is all about the delegate gaining audit experience back at their business!

If you would like more detail on the IEMA Internal Environmental Audit Course run by ESP, please contact 01902 771 311 or email We will be happy to discuss this with you. Alternatively, go to to take a look at the courses we offer.

Andrew Fletcher BSc CEnv MRICS PIEMA

Director at ESP Ltd

My Day-to-Day Life at an Environmental Consultancy

ESP has been the perfect stepping stone towards fulfilling my career aspiration of becoming a Chartered Urban Planner since graduating from the University of Leicester with a 2.1 Honours Degree in Geography. Studying a Bachelor of Arts degree, I considered specialising in urban development and attained a place at the University of Birmingham in the Regional and Urban planning Masters programme alongside my role at ESP.

My perception of the planning sector was limited to urban planning and my role at an environmental consultancy has enlightened me to the complexity of planning processes and to the world of design particularly in the landscape architecture sector. Since beginning my role as an Environment and Landscape Assistant with both the environmental and landscape consultancy teams, I have decided to take a year out and gain some hands-on experience to apply my current skillset and knowledge in the ‘real world’.

I have been able to advance and diversify my GIS skills from university, through learning how to use specialist software such as QGIS, CorelDraw and AutoCAD in order to assist in the creation of landscape restoration and development designs for our clients. I have also contributed to the graphic design work for the Company’s marketing materials. My role is not limited to design, however. Working in a multi-faceted company like ESP, I have been given the responsibility to contribute to landscape and visual impact assessments and to the Company’s quarterly newsletter and legal update system for clients. Working in a small firm like ESP means I have to be flexible!

I have been given the opportunity to work with different clients on different tasks whether it is for landscape designs or for the environmental side of the business. This has greatly developed my time management skills. As a plus, the company has been flexible and allowed me to work around my other job and commitments which of course is reciprocated to cater for business demands.

This mutual relationship has been enhanced by being invited to and acknowledged in Board meetings and landscape visits. In addition, I have attended events in the environmental sector, such as the Staffordshire Business Environmental Network (SBEN) networking event where we discussed plastics in the circular economy – over warm chocolate brownies!

I have also assisted with an environmental audit as part of an ISO 14001:2015 compliance obligation evaluation to ensure that the client Company was adhering to the appropriate Regulations. To support this particular client, I also created a drainage plan from survey through to plan production, in order to complement the emergency preparedness processes that the Company was developing.

ESP provides numerous opportunities for growth and development on a personal and professional level whether it is through working with Chartered Landscape Architects, IEMA registered auditors or just conversing over lunch. I have been able to smoothly transition into my role and the team mainly due to our discussions in the office, as it is open plan so everyone joins in. I have my workstation and to make it personal, Judith has donated me a family of ceramic owls!

If you think this could be the workplace for you, why not take a look at our careers page at, where you will find information on our Student and Graduate placements, as well as other career opportunities.

Aarti Chamba
Environment and Landscape Assistant

New Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

As of April 2019, companies who hire a minimum of 250 employees or exceed an annual income of £360m and an annual balance sheet of £18m are legally required to announce their energy usage and carbon emissions.


The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) regulations have been designed to simplify carbon and energy reporting along with expanding the number of companies who comply to report compliance by nearly ten times as much from 1200 to 11,900. Organisations that use fewer than 40,000kWh of energy in a year will be free from charges.


Organisations will be expected to report carbon emissions in the annual reports in order to reduce administrative burdens in line with the Taskforce on Climate related Financial Disclosures. Scope 1 (direct) and 2 (indirect emissions from purchased energy) emissions will have to be recorded with Scope 3 (indirect not mentioned above) emissions being optional. Energy usage will be reported inclusive of electricity, gas and transport such as roads, rail, air and shipping.


IEMA consider this a “significant step forward” after providing extensive research towards the initial carbon reporting consultation in 2012 and dedicating ten years to the issue at hand. The contribution of these new companies will subsidise towards an increase in energy efficiency of 20% by the year 2030. The government’s response document commended IEMA for organising workshops with energy professionals as part of their consultations over the past year. Nick Blyth, IEMA policy lead responded “We are very pleased to see some of our central recommendations adopted.


The government’s commitment towards a reporting requirement for all large businesses is a significant step forward. “Mandatory reporting will support improved energy management and provide a helpful level playing field for businesses.” According to The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the new SECR framework could potentially replace the “rigid” CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. As a result, the government states that the policy package of introducing the SECR framework, closing the CRC scheme and increasing climate change levy rates would accumulate an estimated net societal benefit of £1.5bn.


Furthermore, the SECR also complies with:

  • Climate Change Levy (CCL)
  • Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting (MGHGR)
  • Task Force for Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)


Nick Blyth also added “We will continue to support BEIS with professional evidence on the important contribution of mandatory reporting and offer practical support and guidance”.

Karen Brewer Joins ESP as our Principal Quality Consultant

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

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

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’

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


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.

A Practical guide for achieving CEnv Status – Book Review

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 & Appoint 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”.

Free ISO 14001 environmental management in social housing

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_jpgSandwell 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.

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