BG Sustainability Stories
Local Energy Plan with COBEN: an update
We enjoyed our first visits to Brae and Drumnadrochit to meet those involved in the COBEN Local Energy Plan project., despite the weather’s best efforts! Now it’s time for the first workshop, ‘Local Energy Needs, Challenges and Opportunities”. Each location has different infrastructures, environment, and social issues so it will be vital to learn all we can that will impact the Local Energy Plans. Most importantly we want to engage with the communities in a way that inspires them to take ownership of the project. In delivering such a challenging initiative, we are pleased to be collaborating with four experts. (read more here).
Active travel target
We are excited to begin another active year! After a full-on start to 2018, we have monitored our travel time during January to create new targets for the year ahead. Through a combination of walking, running, and cycling, the five BGs have committed to achieving a total of 3,591 miles of active travel. That’s the same as travelling the – ‘West Highland Way’ – around 37.5 times!
To help us achieve our ambitious target, we’ve recently been certified as a Cycle Friendly Employer at our new office by Cycling Scotland.
IOM sought help from Beyond Green to put in place the necessary changes to our existing Environmental Management System (EMS) to achieve certification to ISO 14001:2015 standard. Beyond Green provided us with the expertise from start to finish, from securing funding from Scottish Enterprise to ensuring all the documentation was in place to achieve the certification in January. It was great to have their help to ensure a successful outcome on time.Chris Owens, Director of Central Services & Finance/Company Secretary
We are thrilled to see IOM successfully building capacity, including receiving ISO 14001:2015, and are excited to help them tackle their next sustainability challenges!
With GHI’s help, we were able to connect General & Technical Flooring Systems with Melville Housing Association and find a good use for 500 pre-used carpet tiles. Melville Housing Association is hoping to fit the carpet tiles in the homes of tenants, improving comfort levels for them and reducing carbon emissions from waste going to landfill.
SEPA is embracing sustainability
With its Sustainable Growth Agreements (SGAs), SEPA provides a tangible tool to implement its ambitious ‘One Planet prosperity’ strategy by supporting regulated businesses beyond compliance. With three SGAs signed in 2017 (Superglass Insulation Limited, 2050 Climate Group, Venture Trust) the environmental regulator demonstrates that innovation and competitive advantage go hand in hand with sustainability best practice.
SDGs and Scotland National Performance Framework
Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) is getting a facelift thanks to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The current NPF is a vision of how wellbeing in Scotland should look, including health, education, communities, etc. To be published in June 2018, the new NPF will include links to coordinating SDGs, connecting Scotland’s aspirations to global goals. Scotland was one of the first countries to adopt the global goals on a national level, and the new connection to the NPF shows the Government’s commitment to achieving them.
Inspiring everyone to be part of the conversation
Is there an image problem with sustainability, as a recent article in the Huffington Post suggests? Research shows that men are generally less engaged with women with sustainability, because some men perceive eco-friendly as being feminine. If men have a sense of exclusion, as with all inequalities, this will affect our progress. That’s why we go outside the comfort of sustainability networks to inspire a wider public to talk about it. For Climate Week, McKenna and Paul ran an open discussion with 15 male construction workers from our client Castle Group Scotland, and their client Kier Group, using the publicly available Climate Conversations guide. It was heartening to hear their views. They had space to voice their opinions, agree or disagree with climate change and, importantly, help each other understand the issue from their peers rather than ‘experts’. That’s engagement!
Another business sector dominated by men and not commonly associated with climate change is Accountancy. This month Paul, with Pam Candea from The Surefoot Effect, facilitated a ‘Lunch and Learn’ with ACCA members. For both groups, we were uplifted by the richness and honesty of the conversations, and by how comfortable people soon feel to talk about the impacts of climate change. One participant commented, “It’s not that I disbelieve the issue, it’s about what can I do? The problem is too big, and my little bit will have no impact on it”. These feelings are real, but by being part of the conversation we often contribute more than we realise.
Now that the office is fully installed with unlimited broadband (say goodbye to data monitoring spreadsheets!), we have opened up spaces for co-working desks. Three desks are available for new occupants to make use of the great location, our lovely company, and the occasional cake baked by Paul!
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