Renewables – Traveling with the tide

Journalist Mike Scott interviews managing director of Dorset-based Eco Sustainable Solutions, Trelawney Dampney and the company’s COO Justin Dampney, as they talk about ‘traveling with the tide’, focusing on renewables and plans for a new energy recovery facility (ERF) in Bournemouth.

“You want to make sure you are travelling with the tide, not fighting it,” says Trelawney Dampney, managing director of Dorset-based Eco Sustainable Solutions, when asked what inspired him to start his composting business a quarter of a century ago.

“After completing an MBA, I realised the importance of having a business that was prepared for the future. A friend who was a tree surgeon came back from a trip to Germany and told me about how they collected and shredded green waste and turned it into compost. I did a bit
of research and thought it could be a good idea to do that here.”

Here being Parley in Dorset, where his family have farmed for 70 years. “We had the land for it and the skills for it. But nothing like that was happening here in the UK. Everything went to landfill.”

However, the business landscape was starting to change. The Environmental Protection Act of 1990 had established new responsibilities for dealing with waste and the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 paved the way for the sustainability movement – encouraging us all to ‘think global, act local’ which became the company’s mantra. Just a year after Eco was born, the UK’s landfill tax was introduced, creating a steady supply of green waste for the company to turn into compost.

I realised the importance of having a business that was prepared for the future.

One of Eco’s initial backers was a local garden centre, which sold the compost the firm produced. “It taught us the importance of selling end products,” he says. “We charged a gate fee of £7, just below the landfill gate fee at the time.” And so, creating a great product was key to creating a margin.

While gaining planning permission was not too problematic because the initial business was on such a small scale (it now treats 250,000 tonnes of waste a year), “it was difficult being in a business that no-one else was doing and having to learn as we went along,” says Trelawny. “When we started it was all very ‘Heath Robinson’. There was mud everywhere because we didn’t need to – and certainly couldn’t afford to – put concrete down.”

As the business expanded, it moved into soil recycling, and in 2003, it won the contract to process Dorset County Council’s wood waste and started in-vessel composting to comply with animal by-products regulations following the start of commingled food and garden waste collections by local authorities.

Three years later, Eco was awarded PAS:100 Accreditation for compost soil improver, demonstrating the quality of the product.

Renewable energy focus

Since the turn of the millennium, the company has also added a focus on renewable energy to its waste processing capabilities. With government support growing for the use of anaerobic digestion alongside challenges presented by in-vessel composting, Eco developed a site at Piddlehinton near Dorchester, which opened in 2012. The site processes around 35,000 tonnes of food waste a year, including waste that used to be processed at Parley, producing 1.6MW of electricity.

The fully enclosed, negative-pressure food waste reception hall at Parley now operates as a food waste transfer station for local kerbside collected food waste, reducing waste miles. At Eco, nothing goes to waste – and as the company reaches the quarter-century mark, Eco is also marking the milestone of having prevented 1.5 million tonnes of carbon being emitted.

Four years later, the company opened the final phase of a 77MW solar farm, the biggest in the UK at the time, which provides enough power for 20,000 homes. A couple of years after that, the firm opened a biomass combined heat and power (CHP) plant, powered by some of the wood waste it processes.

We’ve always been very focused on scanning the horizon and looking for the next big issue that we can help to address.

This means Eco is a carbon-positive operation. The electricity produced by the plant powers the site during the day and is exported to the grid at night, while the heat is used to dry typically low value and tricky to deal with compost oversize, which is processed into fuel for a larger CHP site in South Wales.

“We never move too far away from our core skills,” says Trelawney, 62, who helped to found, and for a number of years chaired, the Composting Association, which is now REA: Organics. “But we’ve always been very focused on scanning the horizon and looking for the next big issue that we can help to address.

“We have very strong roots in caring for the environment and the solar park and the Biomass CHP plant are ways we can not only decarbonise our own operations but also the local power supply as well,” says Trelawney’s 35-year-old son, Justin, who is now the company’s Chief Operating Officer, having started out litter-picking during school holidays at the age of 11!

“We see our role now as helping other organisations to manage their waste and become carbon-neutral,” Justin says. “As Dad says, we keep our eyes open so we can spot the next opportunity and position ourselves to continue addressing environmental challenges for the next 25 years.”

Energy recovery

With the background of the UK as a whole and the local BCP (Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole) Council declaring a climate emergency, plus the government introducing the world’s first net zero carbon law, planning is already under way for the company’s next project – an energy recovery facility (ERF) for local residual waste.

The new scheme ticks a lot of boxes, Justin says. “There is still a huge amount of waste going to landfill, and that is having to be transported out of the county because all of Dorset’s landfills have shut. That increases emissions and ‘waste miles’ and goes against the ‘Proximity Principle’ that local communities should manage their own waste not only to reduce the burden on neighbouring authorities but also to create local economic growth and employment.”

Eco’s proposed ERF will process 60,000 tonnes of residual waste – a small proportion will be extracted for recycling, with the rest used to produce more low-carbon energy.

The proposed site for the ERF, at the company’s Eco Park near Bournemouth Airport, is already identified in the local authority waste plan and already has planning permission for a biofuel facility. “We’re proposing a small increase in the size of the biofuel facility, a change to the fuel it will use and an increase in the amount of clean energy it will produce,” Justin says.

“The 60,000 tonnes is less than half of the tonnage capacity suggested in the site’s allocation in the local councils’ waste Plan, and around a quarter of the residual waste that the waste Plan has identified a need for new facilities to treat. We did consider options for building a bigger plant, but this size fits the local community and the Waste Plan, it has a lower impact and it takes into account the fact that in future, people will hopefully produce far less waste.”

[…] This size fits the local community and the Waste Plan, it has a lower impact and it takes into account the fact that in future, people will hopefully produce far less waste

While the electricity can be fed into the Grid, Eco is looking for local outlets for the heat. “A 250-home development is planned nearby and we have been in discussion with the developers about using heat, and we have had outline talks with the airport, next door, about providing heat for some of their tenants as part of their redevelopment plans. The area around Bournemouth Airport is earmarked as a huge economic growth area.”

The ERF is all part of the horizon-scanning that Trelawney mentions. Yet he is cautious about outlining a vision for the company’s second 25 years. “I don’t think anyone really knows what the site will look like in 25 years. I don’t think we should have a specific long-term vision because you never know what will happen – who could have predicted the impact of this pandemic, for example?” he says.

Nonetheless, some of the challenges of the future are already clear, Justin says. “We’ve made a great start on helping to decarbonise power, but there’s a long way to go on transport and heat. Soil health is also going to be a huge challenge – getting good organic carbon into the ground will be really important, both to restore soils and to sequester carbon.”

As the baton passes from one generation to the next, Trelawney is proud of Eco’s role in developing the composting industry and branching out into clean energy – developments that led it to be named Pioneer of the Year by the Renewable Energy Association in 2018, a decade after being named Company of the Year by the Dorset Business Awards. “We’ve built a really solid, sustainable business in a sector that still has tremendous growth to come. We hope to play a central role in that.”    https://www.thisiseco.co.uk/

The Big Sustainability Expo will be an Electric Experience

EV Express is delighted to be a lead exhibitor at the Big Sustainability Expo 2020 at Hilton Hotel, Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Tuesday October 6th.

Co-founder and Director, Paul Thorley, explains what is in store for visiting delegates: “We are excited to share with businesses and organisations the simple truth that switching to EV saves money immediately across all business types.”

Paul explains further: “When you look at the true-life cost of a vehicle, including running costs and tax, then people quickly see that the recent government changes to zero tax for company vehicles makes an incredible difference.”

EV Express work with a range of leading manufacturers, so discover at the event a selection of 8 EVs from brands including Renault, Nissan, Kia. There will also a jaw-dropping prestige vehicle, but that is being kept under wraps at the moment.

 At the event, EV Express will also be explaining options and incentives around EV charging in the workplace and at home, with a range of charging units on display. EV Express will also deliver some quick-fire classroom sessions, as an introduction to EV, with Q & A opportunities.

Event Director, Anita Potten, shared her delight at EV Express involvement: “We have seen how EV Express have been engaging with businesses around electric vehicles and charging, and so are thrilled that they are playing such a prominent and informative role at this event.”

COVID-19: Event organisers have adopted one of the most comprehensive event models to ensure the safety of their delegates and exhibitors.  Some of those plans include: Track and Trace, temperature checks and the EventReady with CleanStay through their venue, the Hilton Ageas Bowl. 

The Big Sustainability Expo 2020 is free for delegates to attend. For event details visit: https://evexpress.co.uk/big-sustainability-expo

 

Electric Vehicles cheaper to own than petrol or diesel

23rd July 2020:  Energy Live News today reported that during their lifetime Electric Vehicles can cost an average of around £107 every year less than petrol or diesel cars, according to a new survey. 

Buying and owning an electric vehicle, or EV as they are known, is now more cost-effective than getting a new petrol or diesel car according to new research from Direct Line, which suggests EVs are now cheaper to own over their whole lifetime – they can cost an average of around £107 every year less than petrol or diesel cars. 

The average total cost of buying a new EV and driving it for about 14 years has been calculated as £52,133, compared to £53,625 for an equivalent petrol-fuelled model.

This means the EV would cost the owner £3,752 a year during the course of its life, while the annual total for a petrol car amounts to £3,858.

The findings of the analysis also point out the annual running costs for an EV are 21% lower, with an average of £1,742, or £33.50 per week, compared to £2,205 per year or £42.40 per week for a diesel car.

Read more…

Sustainability Expo Health & Safety re Covid-19

Big Sustainability Expo Venue 2020
Hilton Ageas Bowl Event Ready with CleanStay

Hilton has developed EventReady, a global meeting and events programme designed to create event experiences that are clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible. Hilton EventReady with CleanStay will provide curated solutions with creative food and beverage, thoughtful technology resources, elevated standards and practices with redesigned spaces for physical distancing, and reimagined ways to meet and gather. The goal is to create a safe and comfortable environment for event planners and their attendees.

KEY FEATURES

CleanStay Standards

Hilton CleanStay Standards provide elevated cleanliness and sanitation across the entire attendee journey. A cleaning protocol checklist is completed to verify an event space is sanitised and disinfected thirty minutes prior to meeting start. Top 10 high touch areas including tables, chairs, door handles, podium, AV equipment, etc. will have additional sanitisation and disinfection protocols.

The global Hilton CleanStay programme is setting the new standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection in Hilton properties around the world. Hilton has partnered with RB, maker of Lysol & Dettol to develop Hilton CleanStay so guests can enjoy a worry-free stay.

WHY HILTON EVENTREADY?

Our Commitment

Partnering with customers to deliver an elevated standard for events across the attendee journey: CleanStay Standards, Flexible, Safe and Socially Responsible

  • Sanitising stations will have prominence in primary entryways as well as key high traffic areas including inside and outside event space(s), meal and beverage service areas, public restrooms and congregating area.

  • Vendor compliance to all standards and floor plans must be submitted to hotel for approval in advance of meeting.

  • EventReady Inspection Checklists provided to planners. Flexible

  • Sales and Customer Partnerships grounded in transparency and in the importance of shared objectives. Providing flexible pricing, space options and contract terms.

  • Responsive to meet the evolving needs of customers. Meetings offer with simplified EXPRESS* agreements.

  • Hilton EventReady Playbook delivering expert guidance and curated resources for topics such as: Hybrid Meetings/Technology, Wellness, Creative Networking, Transportation/Logistics and Community Service.

    * Available from opted-in hotels

    Safe and Socially Responsible

    • Respecting physical distancing with creative and customised meeting sets and meal service.

    • Inspiring food and beverage menus: thoughtfully served, timely and flexible. Meals, services and operational procedures adhering to physical distancing regional regulations, amplified hygiene & sanitation requirements, additional space to accommodate attendee flow.

    • Contactless experiences with digital check-in and check-out, digital key for guestrooms and contactless communication.

    • Environmental impact solutions measured by LightStay.

    • Community service experiences to support and uplift the local community.

Meeting planners and attendees are expecting a higher standard of cleanliness than ever before. Our sales, catering and event teams are committed to working with customers to achieve their business objectives through delivering event experiences that provide peace of mind from start to finish.

71% ARE EAGERLY AWAITING TO TRAVEL

68% WILL JUDGE COMFORT LEVEL BASED ON CLEAN PROTOCOLS

HOW IS HILTON EVENTREADY UNIQUE?

Hilton’s EventReady with CleanStay will deliver clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible events supported by our proprietary EventReady Playbook which provides expert guidance and curated resources for topics including hybrid meetings, creative meeting sets and sustainable practices for the entire attendee journey – all backed by Hilton Hospitality from dedicated Team Members.

For more information contact your expo organisers
01202 971186 or via info@southernsustainability.co.uk

COVID-19 The Green Recovery

The Guardian Newspaper Focusses on how Renewable Energy could Power Britain’s Economic Recovery

Harnessing power from sun, wind and sea could spur UK’s post-pandemic economy while tackling climate crisis, say experts…

The companies harnessing energy from the sun, wind and sea hold the potential to spur the UK’s economy by attracting billions in investment and creating thousands of green jobs across the UK’s regions while accelerating Britain’s climate ambitions.

19th May 2020

A floating solar farm on Godley Reservoir in Hyde, Manchester.

Read the full article here 

5th Anniversary of South Coast’s Leading Corporate Sustainability Expo

2020 marks the 5th anniversary of the South Coast’s leading Expo dedicated to addressing corporate sustainability. Based in Southampton, The Big Sustainability Expo 2020 will open its doors again on the 6th October to a packed itinerary of products, services, technologies, experts and innovations making their mark today.

Organisers “The expo provides the most powerful argument in the region for following a corporate sustainability strategy, for both the public and private sectors. It has never been more important to the continued success of an organisation to put corporate sustainability at the top of the agenda. Customer expectation has changed, radically. It began with large organisations and meeting the demands of legislation. Today, the business case is proven for organisations of all size and type, or risk the future of your organisation as the need for supply chain transparency applies to businesses of all size and type.

The Expo is where organisations will learn how to significantly reduce running costs, improve processes, boost the perception of their brand and reduce their impact on the environment.  

Free to attend, the Expo continues to attract exhibitors and visitors from across the UK, with its easy to reach location and ample free parking. To get in front of leading experts in a full programme of workshops in the 2020 LearnZone and to meet up to 100 different suppliers with solutions and expertise to support your own step by step strategy towards future-proofing your organisation. 

You can register to join the Hilton Ageas Bowl, between 9.30am and 4.00pm at www.southernsustainabilty.co.uk

REGISTER HERE

Learn how this pub is going green with its festive meals

As published by Dorset Echo 

DORSET, UK brewers Hall & Woodhouse has invested in plastic-free Christmas crackers this festive season.

Duchess of Cornwall, a Hall & Woodhouse pub in Poundbury Picture: Jake Eastham

The Christmas crackers and its contents to be used at parties in pubs owned by the Blandford brewery – including the Duchess of Cornwall Inn in Poundbury, Dorset are made from FSC accredited sustainable sources and are fully recyclable.

This is part of a larger and ongoing strategy that the leading independent Dorset brewer has implemented in all of its pubs across the south, with the aim of working towards being a carbon neutral business.

So far the brewers have prevented more than two million plastic straws and stirrers going to landfill since introducing paper straws in 2017. Last year Hall & Woodhouse launched a range of reusable, collapsible Stojo coffee cups that are available for customers to buy.

Mark James, director at Hall & Woodhouse, said: “Over the past couple of years, we have made a number of changes to our business to become ‘greener’ and help to reduce our carbon footprint. This ranges from solar panels at our Brewery, to LED lights in our pubs. This is about doing the right thing, and our plastic-free Christmas crackers are another small step in our green journey.”

https://www.hall-woodhousepartnerships.co.uk/join-us

Save Money? Cut Carbon?

The go-to people for homes and organisations that want to reduce the cost of energy and water bills are on stand 53 in hall one of the 4th The Big Sustainability Expo 2019.

Everywhere in the UK people are looking for ways to reduce utility costs and their impact on the planet. SaveMoneyCutCarbon exists to help them do that.

Their promise is in their name and reflects the clear, no-nonsense way they go about our work. At SaveMoneyCutCarbon, they deliver on that promise simply by being experts in helping people to use water and energy in more sustainable ways.

They help everyone through the products and expertise we provide; because when you save money and cut carbon, everyone benefits. Find out more – they are on stand 53 in Hall 1 with Hansgrohe and Signify.

Their customers all want to take real, practical steps towards sustainable solutions for their homes and their businesses, they’re just not sure how. Save Money Cut Carbon provide clarity and confidence; one number to call and one provider to deliver everything required to save money and cut carbon.

For businesses and organisations, SaveMoneyCutCarbon offer UK-wide consultancy services, including energy efficiency audits, investment ready proposals and installation.

SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s Capital Free funding solution enables businesses to achieve sustainability agendas, without requiring the upfront capital.

Cut water use

They’re also demonstrating ways to cut water use with Propelair at the Expo (Stand 23  Hall 2) – with a chance to win a free installation. Propelair is a high-performance, water-efficient UK manufactured toilet. As the principle UK partner SaveMoneyCutCarbon have installed over 1,000 toilets and maintain over 25 sites.

The Propelair toilet uses an impressive 1.5 litres of water per flush compared to the UK average of 9, saving up to 84% water and using up to 80% less energy, as well as improving hygiene with its SteriTouch protected lid and handle.

You can win a fully funded Propelair installation of up to 4 toilet, subject to a free drainage survey and site sustainability. Propelair and SaveMoneyCutCarbon will have a show floor stand as well as a bespoke visual demonstration experience at the Expo entrance just outside main hall.

Free savers pack

They’re also offering a free savers pack if you sign up to our Learn & Save newsletter.

Their Learn & Save knowledge hub provides hundreds of articles and case studies to discover how others have saved, purchased online, or worked in partnership with our field team from first appraisal through to final fit.

As SaveMoneyCutCarbon CEO Mark Sait says: “Ultimately, we make it easy for our customers to act now; to save money and cut carbon. We have completed 1,000+ successful water and energy saving projects, across a range of clients, including hospitality, distribution, schools, theme parks and corporate offices.”

JOIN Mark in the Keynote Speaker Theatre at 11.30am on the second floor media suite.

JOIN Save Money Cut Carbon in the Thought Leadership Hub at 2.30pm in Hall 1.

Is your position in the supply chain under threat?

This is a question every SME should be asking, says Lynda Daniels, director of The Southern Sustainability Partnership consultancy – and organisers of The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton).

Just as every organisation before us, we strive to build a reputation for quality and customer service to ensure our place in the supply chain. Is this enough, in a fast-evolving commercial landscape?  In my experience, the simple answer is no and, in part, this is why.

I am referring to the ‘new kid on the block’, one that poses a very real threat to our businesses and is making its way through the supply chain, link by link to you.  What do the words ‘sustainability’, ‘environmental management’ or ‘social value’ mean to your business?  No longer simply buzz words associated with large corporations, if they are not already on your agenda they need be and this is true whether you operate in the B2C or the B2B arena.

Large corporations have been working under the weight of environmental legislation for decades, with particular emphasis placed on waste and energy management.  Often based on reaching a certain number of employees – or on turnover it has forced these issues onto the agenda. The burden of legislation is never easy and nor is environmental compliance, however, it is proving to be a game-changer for many of these organisations and that’s why it has gained such momentum.

Organisations soon began to recognise there were enormous benefits to compliance and, when those benefits included significantly reduced running costs, it’s hardly surprising people began to take notice.  And, it doesn’t stop there, improvements were seen across processes and, by no means of less importance a more positive perception of their brand. Additional benefits that will themselves manifest in monetary gain over time.

With tens – and in many cases – hundreds of thousands of pounds being saved came greater scrutiny of the entire process in pursuit of further ways to reduce costs and increase those game-changing media headlines.  Organisations began to create dedicated job titles to facilitate this process within their organisations, an investment in legislation – certainly – and in the creation of further financial gain and carbon saving opportunities.

Organisations around the globe began to adopt the international standard ISO 14001. Now a family of standards launched as far back as 1996, it provides practical tools for organisations of all type, shape and size looking to improve – and manage their environmental responsibility.

Back then ISO 14001 helped organisations adhere to legislation, as well as gain an understanding of what the term ‘environmental management’ actually expected of them with an all-important road map. Today, organisations view it as a standard that simply makes good, practical business sense – one that supports their infrastructure and running costs and helps set their business apart from the competition.

As an SME is this even relevant to us?

When I hear this – and I hear it often, I am reminded of another business growth limiting expression: “We have always done it this way.”

In the absence of actual environmental legislation knocking on the door – there is a comfortable feeling out there that environmental issues are not something SMEs need to concern themselves with. Yes, they may have read the media headlines that talk about large organisations reducing their carbon impact or making running shoes out of waste plastic from the ocean – but, they are not their customers and never likely to be. And, who they are and what they do seems a world apart.

I get it. I do. Running a small to medium-sized business is not easy.  There is enough to concern yourself with, why would you add anything else?

This is why it pains me to relay; this assumption is no longer a valid one.

The supply chain does start at the top, yes, with the largest organisation and their suppliers. However, don’t they have suppliers, who have suppliers who have suppliers? You get my gist. There can be no such thing as denial here, that train is on the track and its stopping at a station near you – it’s just a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

So, what can you do about it?  Well, you can find that nail in your tyre? You know the tyre is going down so do you act now and avoid what could be at best an inconvenience – or worse still an accident? Or, you can wait – after all – it’s not flat yet is it?

Let’s imagine for now you work for one of those large organisations

You are head of sustainability at a large organisation, one that strives to meet legislation and has adopted ISO 14001. You have already experienced the monetary benefits of adhering to an environmental management strategy and you have made sure as many of your processes now reflect even further saving opportunities. You have ensured your customers understand they are now working with an ethically based supplier and, its been a highly lucrative strategy. Perhaps you have also gained some of those coveted, positive media headlines for your organisation.

You now run as clean a process as you can and you are continuing down this road, learning with the rest of those large organisations as you go. You offer your customers complete transparency of your organisation and its processes. Why not, you are confident they will stack up to scrutiny.

Here is the one I want you to think about. How long will you wait before asking for that same transparency from your own suppliers? After all, if they are not working to some kind of environmental policy what does that say about them or their processes?  What does it say about how much they care about their community or their workforce? Or, you the customer and your ethics – they must have seen those headlines – right?

Worse still, could this supplier actually damage your brand if it comes to light you buy from them. After all,  what you buy from them is now part of ‘your’ more ethical process.

We are safe, large organisations don’t buy from us

We come back to this argument and it’s true, of course, for most of the SMEs I speak to. However, I still need to hit home that if the first link on the supply chain is rattled won’t the effects continue to ripple through the chain. Will it stop before it reaches you? Are you prepared to take that risk?

It’s simply a matter of understanding your customer, albeit in a slightly different way than you have before.  It’s about asking different questions. Or, to be honest, it’s simply about reading their brochure or scanning their website and that way you may not even have to ask.

Going back to the term ‘risk’ I alluded to earlier – I would like to elaborate on what I actually meant by risk?

Let me plant a further scenario for you.  Let’s imagine an average Wednesday at 2.30pm in the afternoon.  The phone rings, it’s one of your most lucrative accounts and one you have worked hard to earn and even harder to retain for more than five years. “Do you have an environmental management policy,” they ask.  Your stomach turns over; you remember reading an article somewhere about the supply chain – you did nothing.  “It’s on the ‘to-do’ list” you reply.  “We’ve just been so busy.”

How do you expect this to play out?  Will they reply “we were only asking, after all, you’ve been a great supplier for five years, providing the best products and customer service.”  If that was the case – why would they be asking?

Whether you have now lost the customer, or not, you are now facing the prospect of other customers asking the same question. It’s time act to protect your business.  To shift your mindset. It’s time to look at this as a positive for your business too. Like so many businesses we meet day in, day out, we can promise the best outcome when you simply give in to this inevitability.

As well all know, playing catch up is far more expensive – in time and money – than putting a planned step by step strategy in place.  It just makes good business sense.

Just before I stop labouring the point

Are you on plan to grow your business? If so, it would be wise to consider environmental legislation and at what point you will need to comply.  Are you planning on tendering for business? A testament to the points I have been making already is the fact that tenders now feature your environmental policy. It comes back to transparency again – and the type of company those larger organisations choose to work with.

What does a step by step plan look like?

The good news is it’s not as daunting as you might think and, almost certainly, you will notice the enormous savings from a greener way of thinking – and operating within your business. No one is suggesting you install fifty solar panels on your roof – unless you want to, of course.  Or, go plastic-free in two weeks.

No one is expecting you to have all the answers, even the large corporations will admit they don’t have all the answers.  As we find through running our Expo new solutions are coming on board all the time.

It’s not really about having all the answers, or about how much you spend, it’s about demonstrating that your organisation is taking some kind of action.  That it cares enough to put the issue on the agenda. It’s addressing the fact that we do have finite resources – buying smarter and, therefore, reducing wastage. And, what does this mean – ultimately? It means saving money in the process.  I told you this was going to be a positive move, didn’t I?

The most important place to start?

Your team. You need your management team on board first and they need to understand exactly why you need them to scrutinise processes that have ‘always been done that way’. It’s good to remember that people respond well to being able to take ownership of something. In my opinion, it’s wise to also explain that you are completely open to what they might find and that you understand there may currently be processes costing more than they need to. For instance: Energy usage, unnecessary waste, water leaks etc. Why mention this? I can demonstrate areas where tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds could have been saved yet never implemented, simply because team members did not have the confidence in those above them to admit the system is flawed.

Don’t go it alone – you don’t need to

Once you have made a commitment to future-proof your organisation and protect your position in the supply chain you will find you are by no means alone on this journey. There are support and networking groups and companies out there designed specifically to support you through the process.  There are dedicated Expos such as The Big Sustainability Expo held each October at the Hilton Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Free to attend and free to park, it’s a practical resource of products and education all under one roof.

Start looking at what other organisations are doing for ideas, or, better still contact them. Success breeds success and people love to share what they are proud to have done well.

Let’s wind back and look at your team again for a moment

How much do you value your team?  How much does your team value the company they work for? How important is it for them to work for a more ethical organisation or one with higher social values? The ones most likely to consider these values are the members of your team more likely to be motivated, dedicated and highly valued. And, if you shout about what you are doing, you may well attract others just like them.

I’ll leave that thought with you.

The benefits are not all about reducing your costs 

This is the time to shine. Make the most of this new strategy by shouting about it.  Firstly, build an environmental policy page (https://southernsustainability.co.uk/meet-the-team-2/

for your website, make it prominent – don’t bury it and keep it up to date.   Include each small success in your social media feed, PR, newsletters, brochures, leaflets and advertising.  Contact your customers and tell them what you are doing – don’t wait to be asked. Follow groups for more ideas – talk to people and to experts in your region who will be only too happy to help.

This movement has become a dynamic community – join it.

Why not become an influencer?

 Share each small success – it’s great for your business and for inspiring others. Put your company forward to present what you are doing at networking groups, chamber events and other business groups where being known for good practice will be great for attracting new business.

Make a real impact in your region by becoming an organisation that is not only known for great products and customer service – but for best practice too.

Summary

My hope is that your mindset will now change. That I have not scared the living daylights out of you – but helped you realise what a positive move this will be. If you are one of our invaluable pool of SMEs and, arguably the backbone of our economy, do act now and protect what you have worked hard to build. You will very soon find out this has the opportunity of becoming a huge advantage – an actual game changer for your company.

My advice is to take advantage of all the help and support that is out there, both locally, regionally and nationally.  Involve your management team and your staff.  There are smart ways to do this and it will mean the final outcome is far more rewarding. This is not a strategy meeting twice a year, it’s an item for the agenda at every meeting you have. Consider it alongside every process and every element of running your business because it has the ability to positively impact on them all.

This may not be a pool you are used to swimming in, but trust me when I say the water is fine and the natives are extremely friendly.

The Southern Sustainability Partnership

Organisers of The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton) 2019

01202 971186

https://southernsustainability.co.uk/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndadaniels/

Expo Invites Energy Thought Leaders to Join 2019 event

The Big Sustainability Expo (Southampton) opens its doors for the fourth year on October 8th at the home of Hampshire Cricket. The Expo, located at the Hilton Ageas Bowl is a highly focussed look at Corporate Sustainability and Environmental Management with up to 100 exhibitors, a keynote speaker theatre and a LearnZone programme of workshops held throughout the day.  Organisers and sustainability consultancy, The Southern Sustainability Partnership, has now agreed the plans to launch an Energy Thought Leadership Hub for the 2019 event. The Hub will support organisations serving the renewable energy, energy management and energy reduction solutions marketplace, inviting them to take a thought leadership role on the day.

Director, Lynda Daniels: “Energy remains a consideration for many organisations. However, it also comes with one one of their biggest question marks due to the perceived size of the investment and its payback time. For this reason, we need to provide greater clarity on the subject and with it invite those who will take a leadership role.  The Hub creates a 30-minute keynote address for each participating company, coupled with a space on the Hub show floor to aid collaboration and to keep these important conversations going.”
With its easy air, road and rail links, the Expo continues to attract delegates from large corporations, the public and private sectors and SMEs from across the UK.  Delegate places and all workshops and keynote presentations are free, as is parking on site.
Contact Number:    01202 971 186