Conisbee are a medium sized practice of Consulting Structural and Civil Engineers and have been based in Barnsbury since 1989. The company is only the second ISEP member to achieved Gold Level Certification and are a wonderful example of exemplary environmental business practice achieved without complex monitoring systems or expensive kit!
Their approach has been to measure their impact, set measurable environmental targets and systematically review their progress. They also work closely with suppliers, staff and tenants to widen their positive impact and are committed to positive social sustainability through their apprenticeships and work placements that provide opportunities for local young people.
Setting objectives & targets
Conisbee joined ISEP back when it launched in 2007, when the Partnership offered a focus for the company’s energy efficiency ambitions. The company signed up to the Partnership’s group target of 15% reduction in 3 years and exceeded it , cutting carbon by 23% by the end of 2010 and saving £2400 per year in reduced energy costs . Since 2010 the company has committed to a 2% year on year carbon reduction target in line with a 40% reduction by 2020.
Simple systems and processes
Whole office energy use is measured by regularly reading the meters on site and this information is recorded on a simple spreadsheet. More detailed measurement is done of specific appliances and pieces of equipment to track their energy use.
A sustainability team with the responsibility for strategy and for implementing change
The company has a simple but effective environmental management system which was certified to ISO14001 in 2010. There is a framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives which must be measurable, time specific and be assigned to a named person who is responsible for them. Progress is reported on at quarterly sustainability meetings and at quarterly whole office meetings
The company has made significant energy and carbon savings through a systematic approach to energy measurement, energy control, behaviour change and targeted investment in new technology. Their ISO 14001 accreditation which they achieved in 2010 helped to further focus the work.
Key actions the company has taken to reduce their energy use;
- Setting up a sustainability team with the responsibility for strategy and for implementing change
- Measurement of every appliance, fitting and piece of equipment in terms of energy use
- New heating controls and thermostats on each floor.
- Behaviour change initiatives – a ‘Switch off’ campaign takes place bi annually, in June and December.
- New technology is chosen with a view to improved energy performance e.g. Virtualised servers, new energy efficient photocopiers etc
- Old compact fluorescent lights gradually being replaced with new LED lights.
- On transport we use encourage low carbon transport – cycling and if required electric taxis
Going forward whilst many of the ‘easy wins’ have already been implemented they are confident they can continue to make savings through their robust management systems, replacing equipment with more energy efficient technology and by taking opportunities to improve the building fabric.
Impact beyond the business
Conisbee’s work to tackle their environmental footprint and that of their staff, suppliers and tenants is complimented by their social sustainability work. The company has employed two local apprentices/trainees, on a permanent basis, via the Islington Business and Employment Support Team supporting them through day release at University and college.
Tim Attwood, Director at Conisbee said
“We are delighted to receive the gold award for our work, especially from ISEP, who rightly demand real action on energy saving to qualify for certification. Over the last 8 years the ISEP has been a constant source of good ideas, encouragement and helpful advice on carbon saving and how to do it in the real world. As we move on and into more significant carbon reduction, the expertise and the ability to share the journey with other ISEP members will be invaluable.”
Could your business GO GOLD?
ISEP’s Green Certification Gold Level is awarded to organisations that are demonstrating exemplary environmental business practice. Gold businesses are proactively engaging with the community and demonstrating a genuine commitment to sharing their knowledge and expertise with other organisations. Submit a certification application and your business could be awarded a Bronze, Silver or Gold level award.