How an Environmental Management System (EMS) helps create a sustainable business
A Travis Perkins case study

Page 1: Introduction

Today, we are aware of the close links between business growth and protection of the environment. The emphasis is on sustainable development; on creating patterns and practices within industry and commerce that can ensure long-term prosperity, but not at the expense of nature and society. Travis Perkins fully intends to be a sustainable business. To be sustainable, a business needs...
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Page 2: What is an Environmental Management System

An Environmental Management System identifies and establishes a set of rules and practices to help everyone within an organisation to understand and accept how, through their actions, they can best ensure high standards of environmental care.
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Page 3: Why does Travis Perkins need an EMS?

The nature of its business means that Travis Perkins interacts with the environment in many ways. The company intends to minimise its impact on the environment. Travis Perkins has identified four key pressures affecting the organisation in relation to environmental issues. The company had to respond to these pressures in appropriate ways whilst still providing good returns to shareholders.
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Page 4: Legal requirements

Scientists and other experts worldwide have increasingly been concerned about the possible environmental impact of industrial activity. This has led to increasing international pressures for changes in industrial practice. Several inter-governmental conferences have taken place with the aim of creating international agreements. These included the Johannesburg Conference in 2002, and most notably...
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Page 5: Financial pressures

Today, Britain has some of the world's tightest environmental regulations. Complying with these raises firms' costs. As existing landfill sites fill up, firms have to transport waste over greater distances. Also, a rising Landfill Tax is putting pressure on firms to recycle. The Carbon Tax on energy consumption encourages businesses to use less energy.
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Page 6: Market pressures

Consumers influence business activity because they can always buy elsewhere. Environmental criteria are increasingly becoming critical factors in purchasing decisions. For example, many companies will buy only from suppliers that conform with ISO 14001. Several of Travis Perkins' customers now insist that timber comes from sustainable sources, and many invitations to tender for contracts...
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Page 7: Social pressures

Organisations also require a 'licence to operate' from the local community. Citizens today are rarely in favour of anything that is carried to excess including producing noise, odour and dust in residential areas. Forward-looking businesses respond to all of the above pressures and realise that their shareholders will only support them if the firm is building a viable future. Travis Perkins...
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Page 8: Implementing an Environmental Management

Travis Perkins chose ISO 14001 as the basis of its Environmental Management System because this standard: is internationally recognised and respected involves regular independent audits. The Travis Perkins ISO 14001 EMS consists of several linked components. The registers identify around 100 laws with which the company must comply. In addition, an audit of Travis Perkins' activities...
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Page 9: Environmental Improvement Plan

Travis Perkins' Environmental Improvement Plan sets out key actions being taken to deliver continuous improvement in the company's environmental performance. These cover: CO2 emissions electricity use vehicle emissions storage and use of oil use of diesel, petrol and gas discharges to drains water storage and use of timber treatment chemicals purchase and sale of products...
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Page 10: Action Lists and Responsibilities

These set out the actions and responsibilities of particular employees. The Environmental Policy obliges all employees to 'ensure high standards of environmental care'. On a day-to-day level this means: observing all relevant legislation seeking to prevent pollution looking for ways to make continuous improvements.
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Page 11: Performance indicators

It is vital to set measurable targets so that performance can be monitored and ongoing adjustments made. Travis Perkins has set itself ambitious targets for measurable improvement under a number of headings.
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Page 12: Costs and benefits of introducing the Environmental Management System

Complying with ISO 14001 does have some costs as the standard is rigorous and requires clear, effective actions. For example, to be accredited with the award, an organisation has to demonstrate that all employees understand the principles to which they should be working. These principles, set out in a manual, have to be communicated effectively to all staff. However, Travis Perkins knew that...
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Page 13: Internal and external communication

A successful EMS depends on good communication. Travis Perkins has sought to create a culture of improvement within the organisation based on everyone taking responsibility for Environmental Management.   Every employee has seen a training video, supported by an internal newsletter. The Environmental Policy is displayed in all work areas. Display boards and training materials are geared to...
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Page 14: Conclusion

Under the title 'Business in the Environment', Business in the Community produces an indicator of companies' environmental credentials in the FTSE 350. Since developing its EMS, in one year, Travis Perkins has moved from 10th out of 13 to 4th out of 18 in the building materials sector. The company continues to benchmark against the best standards in industry and its aim is to remain within...
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