Go Green Workshop: Business Benefits through Strategic Sustainability

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Lunchtime in the Future Economy Centre was much more exciting than usual on Wednesday 30th November as Go Green hosted a sustainability workshop in partnership with Traci Lewis of Sustain-Live Consulting and Tania Palk of SEM Solutions.

The event started out on the right note with guests helping themselves to a beautiful vegan lunch from Green Tomato Kitchen.

The aim of the workshop was to inform businesses about how the Go Green Action Plan and other environmental frameworks such as ISO 14001 and The Natural Step can help to embed sustainability in a company’s core business strategy.

Tania Palk from SEM Solutions outlined some of the strategic changes included in the ISO 14001:2015 standard. She discussed the possibility of an organisation’s Go Green Action Plan possibly becoming a compliance obligation for those that were certified to ISO 14001. It was outlined that the 2015 standard now has additional leadership requirements, top management are required to take accountability for the effectiveness of the environmental management system (EMS) by ensuring that environmental policy and objectives are in line with strategic direction and context of the organisation. Top Management are also asked to ensure that the EMS is integrated into business process and that relevant resources are made available. In addition to supporting the various aspects of the EMS they are also asked to promote continual improvement on an ongoing basis.

To find out more about implementing ISO14001:2015 or transitioning to the new standard, please contact Tania at tania.palk@sem-solutions.co.uk or 07791011492.

Traci Lewis from Sustain-Live Consulting – an advisor for international sustainable development agency The Natural Step (TNS) – gave a presentation about their framework, as another useful tool to embed sustainability into your business.

TNS supports leaders in developing the knowledge, skills and tools they need to take bold steps toward sustainability. Through a comprehensive science-based framework that helps people answer the question “How do I know when my organisation is sustainable?” and take step-by-step actions to get there.

If you would like to find out more about how you could apply these tools to your business or project please contact Traci Lewis, Sustain-Live Consulting, traci@sustainlive.org  www.sustainlive.org  @Sustain_Live  @TraciLewis79

The Natural Step, www.thenaturalstep.org  @TheNaturalStep

Quantify. Simplify. Implement. Simon Forsyth from Carbon Lens did a quick on-screen demo of a piece of software called the qsiTracker. This quantifies raw data from a business about what its activities consume and cost, simplifies these data into graphical reports, and uses these to show where it will be financially effective to implement actions.

The system’s currency is emitted carbon, calculated continuously from the raw data (using the UK government’s standard conversion-factors). Carbon is the only metric that can be applied to all elements of business activity – and quantifying it for everything allows efficiency of all activities to be compared directly in the same units. This makes it possible to rank numerically all the possible actions in a Go Green Action Plan, or prioritise all the environmental aspects in an ISO14001 Aspects Register. Quantifying the carbon allows you to see the most promising actions and the most significant aspects to target for improvement.

The workshop segment at the end of the session provoked a lively debate and outlined that communications, senior management buy in and awareness were all key issues that a range of Go Green members could identify with. The consensus of the group was that ISO 14001, the Natural Step and the Go Green Action Plan are all viable tools to help overcome these hurdles and progress.

If you want to know more about Go Green and how you can get involved in future events, please contact us at info@gogreenbusiness.co.uk!