If sustainability is on your agenda for 2023, it's important to consider the practical steps that will help lower the environmental impacts of your business. In this article, one of Ruddocks' trusted partners, Sustainable Business Consultant Claire Lea talks about how she helps businesses assess and improve their environmental performance and discusses how she has helped Ruddocks on their journey so far.
'I’ve worked in environmental management and sustainability for over 20 years, spending the most recent 8+ years working independently, directly supporting businesses in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands, helping them to achieve their environmental goals. This includes looking at several areas, from environmental legislation compliance; calculating carbon footprints; developing plans for net zero; setting environmental objectives and targets, to developing an environmental policy.
It’s great to work with so many organisations that want to do right by the environment, or that want to be more sustainable and recognise the importance of environmental issues going forward, and not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because they see it as strategically important for their business. Organisations recognise the need, as well as the opportunity to build business resilience, reduce resource use (and costs) and make their business more competitive and sustainable.
I support businesses as they begin their journey. An initial environmental review (looking at where a business is now) to help me understand more about what the business does, the site(s), products, services and therefore how it interacts with the environment, provides the insight needed to develop a plan to manage and minimise (ideally eliminate) the business impacts on the environment.
Many organisations implement an Environmental Management System (EMS). An EMS is a framework and the specific processes an organisation puts in place to understand how it interacts with the environment, its environmental impacts and the practical steps needed to manage these on an ongoing basis. An EMS is often a pre-requisite for tenders and pre-qualification questionnaires, particularly in some sectors e.g., construction.
My partnership with Ruddocks is all around helping them to maintain and develop their EMS – for which they have a third-party accredited certification (ISO14001: 2015) – through internal environmental audits, as well as supporting the work around their management system development. Ruddocks has very clear objectives about their environmental performance and some of the additional work I do is to help communicate their aims and current progress through environmental training and updates for staff, checking compliance against relevant environmental legislation, and reporting back to the management team to reassure all is as expected on site while offering ideas that help them find better solutions.
Through the internal audit process, I aim to answer questions such as: Are staff competent in their environmental responsibilities? Is the organisation implementing the environmental policy? Have the environmental objectives been set and delivered? I feel privileged to work with some great local businesses that truly understand the importance of sustainability, for the present and the future.'
If you want to understand more about how your operations affect the environment and how you can implement changes to reduce negative impacts, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Claire Lea.
And of course, the Ruddocks team is always happy to support you on your journey! Please click this link to let us know how we can help.