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Environmental operational guidance

Environmental issues are having an increasing effect on contractors' business. While some of these issues can pose practical problems, there are considerable opportunities. For example, while it is increasingly costly to dispose of waste, there are plenty of ways for you to minimise operational waste and cut operating costs.

 

Please view the sub-categories below for specific environmental operational information.

If you have any queries relating to operational environmental issues, please contact the ECA Energy & Environment team via the 'support' button. 

In this Section

Environmental Management

It is increasingly important to monitor and reduce the environmental impacts of company operations. The ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard provides a good template for an EMS, however management procedures that are geared towards environmental performance can be integrated into mainstream management procedures. For example environmental audits can be part of the wider operational audit, and environmental training can be part of core staff induction and training.

An important aspect of integrating environmental management into your organisation is encouraging a culture of good environmental practice among employees. This requires regular communication and strong commitment.

Other areas you may wish to consider under your environmental management responsibilities include:

  • Supply chain engagement
  • Waste management
  • Vehicle management
  • Risk management

How we can help

Members have free access to the following resources for further information:

Contact Paul Reeve, Head of Business Policy and Practice on paul.reeve@eca.co.uk or phone 0207 313 4854.

  • Waste reduction and improved efficiency

There are financial opportunities linked to waste minimisation (based on re-use, recycling and reduction of raw material use), but it is also becoming a 'licence to operate' and ‘duty of care’ requirement.

  • Planning for your EMS and developing an environmental policy

The defining cycle (SEE BELOW) of an EMS is as follows; plan what you are going to do, do what you planned to do, check whether you did what you planned to do, and act to make improvements.

  • Waste Management

You have a duty of care to deal with waste responsibly. For more information on complying with waste legislation, see the Waste Compliance section on the website and visit the WEEE section of the website for member’s guidance on this.

  • Vehicle Management

There are many ways in which you can manage you van fleet to be the most efficient possible. This can again help with bottom line savings.

  • Risk Management

The ECA has developed a sample of what could be included in a environmental risk assessment for members.

Downloads

ECA response to BEIS on Energy Efficiency
ECA has replied to a call for evidence from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on an energy efficiency scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. ECA welcomes BEIS’ focus on encouraging and supporting energy efficiency measures.
 
Sample Environmental Policy
Environmental policy template for ECA members.
 

Practical Guidance on the WEE Reguations

Securing free recovery of 'business end-user' waste lamps

Under the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) Regulations 2006, there is a national regime to ensure the recovery of lamps from non-household premises.

Under the Regulations, lamps (fluorescent tubes and CFLs) are classified as a specific sub-category of WEEE (note they are also hazardous waste). This means they must be recovered not sent to landfill.

Essentially, an organisation has a legal duty to ensure that waste lamps are recovered under the WEEE Regulationsm if they are the:

  • Producer (for lamps sold after August 2005* or if any lamps (no matter how old) are being replaced 'like for like'; or the

Compliance schemes

A levy on all new lamps is intended to finance the national waste lamp recovery regime. 'Compliance schemes' were set up with funding from the levy to facilitate free lamp recovery in two basic situations:

  • return of lamps to a distributor affiliated to a 'compliance scheme'
  • large lamp replacement jobs

Recolight is the leading national compliance scheme for lamps.

How the ECA can help

If you have any queries about WEEE, please contact Paul Reeve, Head of Business Policy and Practice, on paul.reeve@eca.co.uk or phone 0207 313 4854.

Sustainable Solutions

Many electrotechnical contractors are already being asked, when pre-qualifying or tendering for work, for details of their approach to environmental issues.

Some of the larger ECA member companies have responded by achieving certification to environmental management standards (notably ISO 14001). Some are taking a proactive approach to minimizing waste materials and energy throughout their projects. The ECA is well regarded for its approach quality and safety, and latterly to green issues. A responsible, professional and cost-effective approach to environmental performance can add value for our members and our customers and clients.

*For many companies, 'sustainability' can be described as the ability to operate successfully without harming the environment or society, either in the short or long term.  For ECA members, the contribution of contractors to a more sustainable built environment, through for example energy reduction and microgeneration techniques, is vital.  Governments are keen to persuade companies of all sizes, through taxes, incentives, changes to the law or other methods, to ensure they act in a more sustainable way.
 
ECA response to BEIS on Energy Efficiency
ECA has replied to a call for evidence from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on an energy efficiency scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. ECA welcomes BEIS’ focus on encouraging and supporting energy efficiency measures.
 
Making the Case for Energy Saving Measures
This guide is for ECA Registered Members working with domestic and small commercial clients (e.g. in small office or retail environments). It describes how to carry out, and put forward, basic financial calculations to help illustrate the financial benefits of installing energy saving measures.This guide is for ECA Registered Members working with domestic and small commercial clients (e.g. in small office or retail environments). It describes how to carry out, and put forward, basic financial calculations to help illustrate the financial benefits of installing energy saving measures.
 

The business benefits of engaging with green issues

Many ECA members can win more business and/or improve margins by:

  • 1. Exploiting new installation business

In general, installing and upgrading energy efficient lighting etc means more work and added value for members (applying good practice solutions as part of the job). In addition to being known for quality and safety, ECA members can increasingly be regarded as innovative and 'green'.

  • 2. Improving waste reduction and improved efficiency

There are financial opportunities linked to waste minimisation (based on the re-use, recycling and reduction of raw material use), but it is also becoming a 'licence to operate' issue. Clients, particularly those engaged in integrated working, increasingly require improved resource efficiency and less waste. There are also benefits for general maintenance contractors. A practical guidance sheet has recently been developed for members, through the M&E Sustainability joint initiative between ECA and HVCA on winning the business benefits of waste minimisation.  This includes guidance on resource efficiency, legislation, benefits of Environmental Management Systems and how they can all relate to bottom line savings.  ECA members are encouraged to view this M&E Waste minimisation document so please e-mail paul.reeve@eca.co.uk for a copy and take advantage of it.  Why not print a few copies out and circulate them internally?

  • 3. 'Green Case Studies' to lead the industry by example

To help ensure that ECA members are the consultees of choice for energy efficient and renewable installations, it is important that members come forward so we can showcase achievements.  Our team at Lincoln House needs your help to develop a library of examples (both domestic and commercial) which members have worked on or were involved in, relating to reducing energy usage.  This can cover lighting controls, energy efficient lamps, smart metering and installing microgeneration technologies such as PV. 

In addition other possible benefits may arise for your business from engaging with the environmental agenda:

  • Environmental 'know how' can help companies when tendering
  • Operational 'eco-efficiency' measures (savings on waste etc) add to the bottom line, with short or no payback time
  • Members' 'green' credentials – such as being seen as a source of advice on issues such as energy efficiency and ways of dealing properly with waste equipment – can provide further demarcation between ECA members and other electrical contractors.

If this interests you and you would like your work to be used to demonstrate the ECA's membership expertise and commitment to sustainability, please e-mail bill.wright2@eca.co.uk or phone on 0207 313 4867 to discuss further. 

Don’t forget no matter how small it is, let us know and we'll work with you to develop your particular story, or if you have case studies already prepared, please share them with us. 

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