Green Achiever – Silver in sight
March 3, 2008
The Green Achiever Scheme attracted my attention enough to contact them. Mandy Stokes, Director of E4environment Ltd which runs the Scheme, provided some answers to my initial questions, and has now provided more, increasingly overcoming my initial cynicism.
I was curious to know about the impact that the Scheme makes on the public or its uptake by organisations. Really it’s so new that it’s hard to tell at this point – the scheme only started in November 2007. Mandy says, “The interest has increased exponentially to the point I’m awash with registration forms. We are of course delighted.”
The publicly available database of companies and their award level gave me a private cause for concern – there were only four even registered when I looked. But now the Scheme’s been running for a short while, as Mandy says above there’s plenty of interest.
By the time I wrote to her again I’d got a better sense of what I wanted to know about how companies will be assessed and how that will be made public.
Registered Award companies will have the date of registration against their entry. So although they won’t be reassessed, we’ll know whether they’re just riding the registration without making an effort. This could offer a good chance for people who know the company in some way to move them into a little more action.
Silver Award companies, once they’ve had the site/company check (carried out by an experienced auditor), will have their results published with a copy of their Environmental Policy. To achieve the Silver Award, companies will have to comply with relevant legislation, meet DEFRA’s carbon footprint code of best practice (in advance of industrial standards being set), and make commitments for further improvements within a specified (and close) timeframe.
Some companies are expected to convert to audited Silver levels in the next month or so.
Gold Award companies are those who’ve made and achieved a public commitment through the Scheme to doing extra. The results of the audited commitment will be published. An aspiring Gold Award company could commit to:
- reduce it’s overall carbon footprint
- recycle 90% of the weight of waste generated
- use only recycled paper for documents/letters
- replace lightbulbs
- install movement-sensitive on/off switches
- replace or purchase new electrical equipment which is more energy-efficient.
We consumers have our role here – asking organisations what they’re doing, and encouraging them to put up the award logos they’ve earned.