Waller Associates Ltd has demonstrated top management support and commitment to their environment programme and after carrying out a baseline assessment of their current situation was awarded STEM: BLUE Level on 21 August 2012. The scheme is backed by Kent County Council by the Sustainability Team co-ordinating the South East Business Carbon Hub to bring together small and medium sized businesses to improve environmental performance. The award recognises businesses that have embraced the decision to adopt environmentally friendly practices and will provide a standard against which companies can benchmark themselves.

Waller Associates have chosen to register for STEM to develop a recognised environmental management system, improve environmental credentials, enhance our reputation and success rates for tenders and quotes, legal compliance and to demonstrate our green and ethical commitments.

Paula Foster attended a workshop and received the award on behalf of Waller Associates Ltd on 21st August.

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At the workshop we looked at the benefits of an environment system, key environmental legislation and how this impacts on the business, existing processes and controls, records, how to carry out walk-round environmental audits, site drainage plans and environmental policies.

Actions Waller Associates Ltd is taking to reduce our carbon footprints include:

  • Segregation of waste into appropriate skips to minimise waste costs, re-use material such as timber, bricks etc. Scheme with local college where they can re-use waste for construction course. Collection of uPVC doors and windows by Veka for their recycling processes.
  • Eco-Driving Training was carried out by our glazing operative/driver where they learnt how to conserve diesel consumption by keeping revs under 2000 rpm, slowing in advance before roundabouts, traffic lights etc. by changing down gears to maintain the 2000 rpm rule. This is being cascaded throughout van fleet drivers.
  • Trial use of paper manufactured from alternative natural supplies (corn)/non-wood source or recycled paper.
  • Implementation of saving measures for energy, water, waste, travel, paper and procurement such as light motion detectors in office and outside yard areas, water savings with installation of dual flush toilets in office, waste segregation, and use of local suppliers within a 20 mile radius where possible.

Waller Associates Ltd is currently looking to progress to STEM: Silver in 2013.

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Last Thursday I was fortunate to be invited to a taster session of the Employment Law Club.

After an initial meet and greet and delicious lunch we had a review of the latest Employment Case Law which highlighted a wide range of employment topics such as holiday entitlement under the Working Time Directive, types and changes to the employment contract, TUPE and discrimination in the workplace.

It was interesting to examine and discuss case law to see common mistakes made by employers and which policies and practices could  have prevented litigation.  We looked at how organisations around the table have tackled similar or related issues and gained a legal and experienced HR professional insight.  We also briefly looked at forthcoming changes in employment legislation.

All in all, I learnt a lot, will incorporate some brilliant ideas into our processes and practices and met some vibrant and interesting people with a wealth of experience and a genuine desire to learn and share.

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