October the 15th 2013, saw Isis Environmental Ltd return to a contributory role in presenting the joint Argyll Environmental Limited and Brighton University Foundation Course on Environmental Auditing, which was delivered at Brighton University School of Environment & Technology.
It was a strange case of Deja vu with our Principal Consultant – Mark Hadley having developed the original course with Brighton University back in the 1990’s when running Environmental Auditors Limited, so it was lovely to contribute to the new course Handbook and re-work a section of the course that looked at the importance of environmental management systems, ISO 14001 and EMAS in providing structured systems to assess continual environmental assessment.
All seemed to go well with the new course students, aided and abetted by a fantastic team from Argyll Environmental Limited one of our clients and with whom we have shared many projects, and of course have worked with a number of their directors for well over 15 years.
This all ties in well with our role going back to setting up the forerunner of IEMA back in the early 1990’s, so it has been fantastic to see the culmination of these efforts delivered by one of the largest environmental professional bodies in the world, to see that Brighton University continues to hold an exemplary position in the training and development of professional environmental auditors.
It was refreshing to be asked to participate in the new course by leading environmental practitioners Argyll Environmental who are based in Brighton, but of course to have access to unsurpassed environmental databases and a full range of key staff involved in the course delivery.
Anyone interested in taking the course should send us a notification and we will pass directly to Argyll Environmental Limited prior to the further courses that are being arranged. Alternatively anyone interested can send a direct enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a line on the contact form to http://www.argyllenvironmental.co.uk/contact-us/
Isis Environmental’s ongoing work with specialised environmentally-driven secure shredding client – Shredded Neat Ltd., started up a new mission to educate the business sector about ensuring advanced data security for all physical and electronic data media whilst meeting ‘Zero Waste to Landfill’ in their own operations. October 2013 represents the 1st anniversary of our involvement with Shredded Neat, a year that has substantially changed its objectives and led to sound commercial improvement.
Shredded Neat has during our first years involvement seen the successful achievement of ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, branched out from pure secure paper shredding and cardboard recycling into being a more rounded recycling company and under our guidance the business now recycles all categories of WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment); batteries and fluorescent lamps and looks certain to move into additional new sectors.
We developed a number of key resources to ensure the business shows off its environmental credentials, whilst securing new market share in its geographical area. This has included a structured, bespoke telemarketing campaign, new literature, coupled with educational lectures, presentations and seminars such as the one recently undertaken at Basepoint Newhaven in Sussex, a great networking hub in the South-East http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations/newhaven. This approach has resulted in a number of substantial new clients for the business impressed by the Company’s green credentials, high service levels and improved profile on a number of different social media platforms.
This was a unique opportunity for Fellows to see at close quarters, the current developments that are taking place in the digital and creative space, which utilize cutting edge environmental data FRSA Mark Hadley long time associate of Argyll Environmental invited Fellows to Argyll Environmentals offices in Central Brighton to see how some of the UK’s leading environmental databases had been harnessed by this innovative company to produce bespoke environmental reports for UK conveyancing professionals.
The proceedings were opened with a presentation from Chris Taylor Product Development Director for Argyll Environmental’s Parent Company Landmark Information Group who explained the vast range of data products being produced by the energetic, professional team based in Brighton. These reports cover environmental due diligence data to assist the property market and the public with key information on issues that might affect property – contaminated land, flood risks, development risks, restrictive designations, the location of pollution incidents etc.
We were then treated to a gallop through two presentations by Ben Furlong and Jez Nicholson using PechaKucha techniques to deliver their presentations on UK Flood Risk developments, and how UK Infrastructure developments such as HighSpeed2 might affect our environment.
All this was amply aided and abetted by local wine specialists Henry Butler owner of Butlers Wine Cellar, a local Brighton specialist who ensured fellows had his own unique view on how to explore the refreshment break.
The meeting followed up with a short film that looked at how the world for business and society might look in 2018,challenged by the ever growing issues surrounding climate change, resource depletion and over-population.
Time for a break, so Fellows, and local invitees including Tom Wellings of Emotive Systems, CEO Kay Phillips and Mike Hobbs of Hobbs Law turned up for a look at what was being discussed. There were more entrepreneurs in the room than you could shake a stick at, luckily we had Chair of the Fellowship Council Irene Campbell to keep us all in check.
Our thanks to AEL and Landmark Group for making this a stimulating and thought provoking event, and for the eclectic mixture of RSA Fellows and camp followers to contributed to the success of the event.
It has now been six months since Isis became properly involved with Shredded Neat Limited. Our goal to improve overall business development has taken in a number of challenges, including following through with them to the successful conclusion of their ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification; the design and launch of a tailored telemarketing campaign with local marketing specialists – Kay Phillips Associates http://www.kayphillips.co.uk/ reconstruction and recruitment of a new sales team together with a defined programme of improvement, which has included a number of substantial new clients and income for the business from several new material recycling streams.
2012 was a busy year for Isis Environmental Ltd., with a number of key presentations made during the year. These included our first presentation on the 13.03.2012 entitled ‘WEEE a Short Post -Implementation Review’ which was delivered at the London law offices of Norton Rose LLB http://www.nortonrose.com on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) http://www.ciwem.org where we serve on the Waste Management Panel as technical advisers. CIWEM WEEE Presentation
This was followed by our participation in the innovative inaugural meeting of ‘Enabling Catalysts’ part of the ‘One Leadership Project’ http://www.enablingcatalysts.com held in Lewes in July 2012 to review how business leaders could share their knowledge based on proven skills in this area.
External work with a business entrepreneurship pathfinder project, supported By the RSA http://www.thersa.org/ was a big part of 2012, with the first presentations made to RSA Fellows in Brighton at the Pub du Vin on the 26th July . This was culmination of 7 months work as part of the RSA Fellow-led project called ‘ The Vital Few’ fitting in nicely with our own CSR programme. The Vital Few_EBCan2
This project aims to help young entrepreneurs in schools throughout the South-East UK. set up their own businesses and mentor them through to successful business outcomes. By the 16th November, we were delivering a business entrepreneurship presentation to The Princes Trust in Eastbourne, helping young entrepreneurs with the basics of setting up a business and pointing out some of the pitfalls.
Our last presentation of 2012 involved a presentation to the highly innovative and rapidly growing civic activism group, http://eastbournecan.com/ on the RSA Vital Few project as the same time as the RSA Executive Steering Group succeeded in it’s mission to secure a ‘Catalyst’ grant from the RSA in October 2012, a successful outcome which only 1 in 20 applicants succeed in achieving.
July and August 2012 saw an in-depth research project to examine the impact of UK data losses on a range of public and private sector organisations, as well as occasionally on individuals directly. The report was produced for confidential shredding and data destruction company -Shredded Neat Limited, based just north of Brighton, United Kingdom
The study showed that the main medium for data loss over the last 20 years was document loss, followed closely by HDD loss, the circumstances leading up to the data loss were evenly spread between theft; accidental loss in transit; insecure storage and poor waste disposal practice, interestingly a significant number of loss incidents were associated with locations where alcohol was available.
In terms of our study fines occurred in 21% of the losses though a significant number of prosecutions are still pending arrival in court, which would lift the likelihood to 30%. The study underestimates the likelihood that an organisation will be fined, since the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) which was responsible for the majority of these, has only had the necessary powers to fine organisations since 2010. The average level of fine imposed by the ICO was £155,000 in a range from £60,000 – £325,000. Other regulatory bodies can impose fines, and the study found a fine of £2,300,000 imposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and another by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) which fined McLaren F1 Team US$100 million.
The total amount of fines levied in the UK for data breaches by the FSA since November 2010 has been seven fines, totalling £7,777,000 and a further 23 fines by the ICO, to a total value of £2,426,000
The study provided a significant support document for the company’s business development plans to demonstrate the need for certifiable, secure data destruction services in the UK.
On the 4th September 2010 a massive earthquake caused substantial damage throughout the city of Christchurch, New Zealand including substantial loss of life.
The aftermath of such events can have long-standing impacts that are not immediately apparent at the time, or shortly after the event. When the earthquake came, it demolished domestic and commercial buildings alike, many of which contained asbestos. Asbestos has been widely used in New Zealand in many buildings and therefore it was a sure bet there was some in the 8,000,000 tonnes of building rubble which resulted from the quake.
ISIS carried out an investigation which reviewed asbestos use in NZ, then using rudimentary data that was available compared this with the typical amounts of asbestos that were released by the collapse of the World Trade Centre on 9/11/2001, which equated to approximately 400 tonnes of asbestos, in 1.5-2.0 million tonnes of building rubble.
The Christchurch wastes are in process of being systematically removed to a landfill at Bottle Lake, Christchurch for safe disposal. Our 2012 study looked at the risks from the release of airborne asbestos fibres based on comparable studies and the potential impact of this in the areas surrounding the landfill and transport routes.
Back in the mid 1990’s our principal was running a small environmental consultancy and had the bright idea that there must be some commercial value in collecting environmental data, in the form of national datasets for it’s own site evaluation processes.
Datasets were acquired and developed into a simple database called ‘ContamiCheck’, the value in the reports was thought to be attractive to solicitors, surveyors and other property professionals to provide basic environmental due diligence on sites they were acquiring or selling for their clients.
The initial reports were very simple, paper delivered assessments of which a few dozen were produced each month. Eventually, this database was taken out from the former business and used as the basis for an ambitious punt at acquiring venture capital to build a new stand alone business.
Metropolitan Venture Partners provided the first tranche of about £650k investment, for the new Company -Groundsure in 2000 and the business launched in 2001.
The Company grew and developed, one of only three key businesses in the fast evolving environmental data market. In April 2007 Emap Ltd announced its acquisition of the entire shareholding capital of GroundSure in a deal valuing the business at around £45 million.
Our principal was recently engaged on an interesting business development opportunity in Libya during this time, spending an initial visit in conjunction with the Middle East Association in Tripoli, but quickly augmenting this with local visits to known Libyan business contacts in country.
At this time, Colonel Gaddafi was still in power, and it was clear there was a vast appetite in Libya for knowledge transfer, reliable and experienced training and specific skills in risk assessment, land contamination and waste management. Visits followed with senior commercial parties and we were on the brink of landing a major opportunity for a series of prestigious presentations to the Oil & Gas Industry. We also established some interesting commercial linkages, which were cemented at one of our meetings in the stunning Roman city of Sabrata, to which we were given sole access for a personal visit one day.
Then the revolution came, and quite rightly all these plans were put on temporary hold whilst we prayed our Libyan friends would be safe. They were, so whilst the new Libya rebuilds itself and its civic institutions we decided to get together with two other companies, Common Resource Ltd and Scientists International Ltd to develop a new platform for Anglo-Libyan co-operation.
The emphasis is on capacity building, bringing together our in-depth knowledge of social and environmental systems to assist in the redevelopment of civic society in Libya.
We have already attracted the interest of a significant number of skilled and experienced environmental and socio-economic scientists, engineers and energy specialists. We are in the process of developing a structure that will allow full participation and involvement in the project. This will be augmented by an ARABIC translation service will facilitate participation by a wide variety of UK and Libyan Businesses, and provide a focus for pre-existing contacts in Libya who already support our project.
We are awaiting the outcome of the July 2012 elections in Libya, as is everyone, and hope that our efforts and energy and the opportunity to develop commercial, social and intellectual links with our friends in Libya will be hugely successful.
One of the more interesting companies formed by our MD back in the 1980’s, was Tecnitas (UK) Limited.
In the mid 80’s he had joined the International Certification Organisation Bureau Veritas S.A., which at the time offered onshore and offshore industrial and marine inspection services, certification and a range of allied surveys.
At this time, Bureau Veritas SA had no environmental scientists, or subsidiaries so our MD suggested to the Group that if he could find fee-paying work in the environmental sector, this could be carried out within the Group, and he would get himself a job.
He did; and early high profile headline projects with the UK Geothermal site at Rosmanowes Quarry in Cornwall, better known as the “Hot Dry Rocks Project” established the fledgling business with its environmental sensitivity mapping skills, all doe by hand then, there was no GIS to fall back on.
The success of the business, both in the UK and overseas led to him setting up a purpose-built business under the aegis of the consultancy arm of Bureau Veritas, called Tecnitas SA, based at the time in La Défense, Paris. This new subsidiary was called Tecnitas (UK) and located in London Bridge, London.
The Company quickly grew on the back of the new Environmental Impact Assessment regulations, and carried ot a number of major projects over the years. The best know of these were pipeline EIA’s, and major surveys and planning statements were prepared for the 238 km long UK ‘Finaline’, a high pressure white oil products line running between the Lindsey Oil refinery in Humberside and the later notorious Buncefield Terminal near Hemel Hempstead, as was as the aviation kerosene line to Manchester International Airport.