ESOS Audits and their use in ISO 14001:2015
Background to epd-PCS and PL
epd-PCS has been working with Parkwood Leisure since 2009. epd were originally commissioned to implement a bespoke ISO 14001 environmental management system. Following the successful implementation and certification of this we were then asked to further manage the system as this service limited costs for Parkwood Leisure and maximised benefits. Through our service and Parkwood Leisure’s ethical viewpoint they have instilled a positive environmental mentality and always look to improve and reduce environmental impacts through energy reduction.
The new Parkwood Leisure facility at Bristol Hengrove is included in our Environmental management system.
The ESOS process
Epd-PCS was commissioned to carry out the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) assessments for several blue chip companies within a varied range of sectors such as water and wastewater treatment, metal treatment, leisure and grounds management.
Within the Energy and Environmental Management team at epd several of our Specialist Advisors worked with Parkwood Leisure to carry out the ESOS assessments at several high profile locations throughout the UK.
The energy efficiency assessments started with a detailed analysis of each site’s existing consumption data and correlated with product output figures. Site visits were then carried out by our specialist staff, after which site specific solutions were investigated and a separate report with practical detailed industry specific opportunities were prepared for all facilities visited.
The findings were then discussed with facilities managers to understand what measures are achievable, and all of the visit reports were then condensed in an overall ESOS report addressed to the company Board of Directors by our ESOS Lead Assessor.
Luke Pearson manages the Parkwood Leisure environmental management system and helped produced the ESOS reports.
What we found with ESOS and how we used it for ISO 14001
Within the current ISO 14001 environmental management system epd and Parkwood Leisure meet several times throughout the year to discuss the environmental management system and how we can continually improve. We coordinate technical meetings, including energy committee meetings, where representatives include Regional Champions, Internal Auditors and Senior Management all present to discuss potential energy saving measures which will ultimately help cut costs and improve facilities for visitors.
The ESOS reports produced by epd were discussed with the Energy Committee after they were presented to the Board of Directors. This was so that the Energy Committee’s expertise could be used to help deliver on projects that could lead to potential savings.
Generally, the measures identified at site level reached between 8% and 25% savings on current consumption levels if implemented, depending on the current efficiency of the site. The measures range from behaviour changing processes with very little associated costs to high investment measures with returns presented clearly in tables. The involvement of the Energy Committee meant that employees were involved as stakeholders in the project.
What this has to do with ISO14001 you say? Well, quite simply we have embedded the ESOS reports into Parkwood Leisure’s management system through the Energy Committee and ongoing projects. Also, we have set objectives that specifically relate to ESOS.
These include implementing a specific number of ESOS measures identified in the ESOS reports and setting energy reduction targets in relation to the overall energy consumption. All of these are being implemented through our existing ISO 14001 environmental management system without implementing any additional systems to achieve these objectives.
ESOS and upgrading the system to the 2015 standard
The use of the ESOS reports has meant that Parkwood Leisure are continuing to reduce overall energy consumption and are looking at replacing outdated appliances with more energy efficient ones. epd are working with Parkwood Leisure to update their environmental management system to the new 2015 standard, and are now looking at the end of life of all products. These outdated appliances will all be recycled.
As a direct result of the discussions that epd have had with Parkwood Leisure we have identified the use of chemicals in filters as an issue because these are difficult to dispose of and recycle. Consequently, Parkwood Leisure is now investigating the use of Sphagnum moss in pool filters. This Sphagnum moss is placed inside a contact chamber and then interacts with the pool water to treat the water. It reduces organic contamination, stabilises pH and alkalinity, helps diminish scaling and staining by binding metal ions together. Corrosion, disinfection by-products (DBP), and organic contamination are dramatically reduced.
The Sphagnum moss is changed monthly and the old moss can be recycled. Parkwood Leisure are also investigating using a new recycling provider to enable them to recycle the takeaway coffee cups. The process involves separating the plastic and paper layers using an automated process to enable both products to be recycled rather than landfilled.
In conclusion, epd and Parkwood Leisure have worked closely together over several years providing real environmental benefits. However, the recent requirement to implement ESOS audits and the new ISO 14001:2015 has enabled Parkwood Leisure to think outside the normal processes and given them a new drive to continually improve, increase any environment benefits and increase closed loop potential.
This article has been authored by Luke Pearson, Energy and Sustainability Consultant at EPD-Parkwood for use on the NQA Certification Ltd website. EPD-Parkwood is listed as a trusted and valued consultancy organization on NQA’s Associate Consultant Register. To find out more please click here.
Reviewed by: Terry Fisher, NQA Occupational Health & Safety Principal Assessor