Companies and organisations are coming under increasing legal and economic pressure to reduce their energy consumption and the impact of their operations on the environment. These are two separate issues but will often overlap.
Addressing these responsibilities can have huge benefits in terms of cost savings but will also improve the image of an organisation in the eyes of its partners, staff and clients.
Before you can begin to improve you must first identify the areas that are problematic. You can do this by conducting an Energy Audit or an Environmental Audit. These two separate audits have different focuses but can often be combined for smaller sites and organisations. Larger sites and those that have a significant impact on the environment, such as manufacturing, should conduct the two different audits independently of each other.
As a larger company, with significant impact on the environment, you may be required under the regulations to have an Environmental Management System in place. Conducting an audit would be the first step to creating this.
Key environmental issues affecting business include industrial waste, sustainable development of raw materials and also water, land, air and noise emissions.
Many larger companies have had audit procedures for some time but are now demanding similar focus from those further down the supply chain. Whilst it was originally the chemical and manufacturing industries that recognised the benefits of auditing, the practice is gaining ground within the public sector and local authorities.
The Benefits of Auditing
An audit is designed to identify where your operations have detrimental impact on the environment. Addressing these issues can help you to:
- meet statutory requirements under local, national and international law
- anticipate risks and problems and to plan responses
- comply with the Waste Hierarchy’s requirement to Prevent waste by reducing the amount of waste generated, reducing the hazardous content and reducing its impact on the environment. The creation of less waste means that fewer resources have been consumed and less finance is required to recycle or dispose of the waste
- use resources more efficiently
- reduce costs
- improve your image amongst your stakeholders - customers, suppliers, staff and the public
- build and comply with an Environmental Management System (EMS) standard
- possibly reduce insurance costs
- Improve storage of waste and things such as fuels
We can assist you with creating or updating your Environmental Policy depending on your level of need and also with building an Environmental Management System (EMS).
Energy audits survey and analyse energy usage in buildings, areas, processes or systems. The audits are designed to provide practical advice on how to reduce costs and carbon footprint (The total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities) without negatively affecting output.
In addition to assessing the impact that a company’s activities have on the environment a qualified auditor can also gauge how energy is used and make recommendations to reduce consumption and costs.
Key areas of interest are:
- Lighting types used throughout the site and whether more energy efficient alternatives are available
- Heating and cooling systems - whether control systems and settings can be improved
- Reduction of heat loss through improved insulation
- Type of energy being used and whether a less expensive and/or lower carbon fuel or renewable is available.
- Whether equipment, lighting and/or machinery can be used more efficiently
By reviewing all these aspects of your site and comparing its performance to others that are similar the auditor will be able to recommend measures to save money. These measures will be prioritised according to the time that it takes to offset the cost of implementation through energy bill savings - the “payback” period. This will be the result of a calculation of the initial cost to make changes versus the total savings.
Our energy audits are carried out by qualified Assessors registered with Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment
Their audit report will include all aspects of energy use in your premises including, lighting, heating and insulation; building construction and usage and measurements and photographs.
As well as cost savings an audit can also help you to reduce your water usage. Analysis of your utility bills can be used to calculate the usage per person and can even detect leaks.
Detecting leaks is an important aspect of this process as companies have a statutory obligation under the Waters Industry Act 1990 to ensure that their premises are free from water leaks as much as practicably possible.
The ultimate aim of these audits is to help you reduce your long term costs.