ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT AND WRITING
Compliance audits in industries are used to achieve the following objectives;
++ Maintaining the integrity of the regulatory system administered by industries, i.e. legislation.linces, notices, consents
++ Ensuring credible and robust regulation improving compliance with regulative requirements through public audit reporting, ensuring regulatory activity is open and transparent
++ Ensuring that statutory instruments are robust and are appropriately used to achieve desired environmental and conservation outcomes
++ Ensuring that environmental and conservation regulation is consistent and transparent.
We do industrial external audits and Audit report writing
We also do environmental audit report and industrial audit report
1. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
This section is broken down into the following different areas: waste, water, energy, resource and materials use and procurement. A final ‘other’ section is also included for any additional issues.
All offices contain bins for both general waste and mixed recyclables (plastic bottles, card, cans and paper). On average each desk in the office areas has its own general waste bin and one recycling bin. When the bins are emptied by the LSS cleaners, the bin bags are not disposed of which is good practice and helps to minimize unnecessary waste. Bins are not marked but those for recyclables are generally blue. However in some locations throughout the building it was unclear which bins were for which waste streams.
Consider reducing the number of general waste bins in offices to one or two in order to encourage people to think more carefully about the waste they’re producing.
⦁ Ensure that it’s clear as to which bin collects which waste stream.
⦁ Provide separate bins for glass on each floor to make segregation and collection easier.
⦁ Consider designating the Euro bins for either general waste or recyclables in order to avoid the possibility of cross contamination.
⦁ Further improvements to divert waste from landfill could be made: By segregating hazardous waste streams, more waste will be diverted from landfill.
In order to give a more accurate picture of recycling data, the RSA could set up their own waste monitoring spreadsheet which includes data on other waste streams which are being recycled (glass, WEEE, fluorescent tubes etc.).
Segregating and recycling plastic cups used for water coolers, or removing them altogether and providing reusable glasses.
The waste hierarchy stipulates that before recycling, waste should be reduced and re-used. Consider implementing a ‘reducing waste’ awareness scheme – this could include: re-using single-sided waste paper as notepads/notelets, creating a separate tray in the printer for single-sided waste paper when only printing drafts and encouraging the use of overhead projectors at internal meetings instead of printouts.
Water is used at the RSA for domestic purposes (toilets and sinks) and in the bar and restaurant. Water use is not currently monitored by the RSA and utility bills are based on both estimates and actual readings by the water company. During the audit a sample bill for November was seen which showed consumption to be 314m³ which is roughly equal to 3768m³ per year.
Although benchmarking for the RSA is not straightforward due to the mixed use of the building, Environmental wise gives a benchmark for the catering sector of average use 52.83m³ per employee. Based on approximately 100 staff working in the building, this equates to 37.68m³ per employee, which is better than average. However, it is important to highlight the fact that this does not accurately reflect the mixed use situation at the RSA, and the fact that it is not just members of staff that use water in the building.
A water purification system called Vivreau is installed throughout the building which provides cooled, purified water from the mains system.
The following water saving measures are already in place at the RSA:
⦁ ‘Hippo’ water saving devices have been installed in all toilets.
⦁ New toilets that are installed have a dual flush system in place. Toilets on the public floors are on a refurbishment programme and will be replaced with more water efficient ones.
⦁ Water management systems are in place in the urinals.
Some taps were checked during the audit and were found to be standard taps. Some alternatives include spray taps, which can save about 80% of water and energy used for hand washing, as well as water-saving cartridges for single lever taps.
These work by causing resistance when the lever is lifted, and if a higher flow is needed, the lever can be pushed pass this step.
⦁ Consider carrying out meter readings on a regular basis (e.g. bi-monthly) in order to monitor water usage. Not only will this make checking water bills much easier but will also allow a baseline to be set from which further reductions can be measured, as well as possibly altering the RSA to any leaks.
⦁ Consider installing spray taps or water-saving cartridges in sinks that are still to be refurbished.
⦁ Investigate the feasibility of sub-metering different areas of the building such as a separate meter for the Vaults, in order to give a more accurate picture of water use.
Energy use is a key issue for the RSA, particularly as the type of improvement that can be made is limited as the building is listed.
There are two electricity meters in site, both located on the ground floor, and one of which is half-hourly. The main electricity intake is 250 KVA and supplied by EDF Energy. During the audit a bill for November was seen which showed total consumption of 50809.92 KWh. An additional 50 KVA was installed more recently, and the air-conditioning system runs off this.
This is supplied by British Gas for Business and the November usage was 12538 KWh. The
RSA is billed on a monthly basis, and is mostly based on estimates.
The RSA is aware of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme (see Environmental Legal Register and Compliance Report for further information on this) and as there is a half-hourly meter on site, registration for the scheme will need to be carried out.
Although staff are encouraged to switch off their own lights, monitors and other equipment, the House maintenance team carry out a lock down of the building at the end of every day and will switch off any lights or equipment that have been left on. The main photocopiers are on timer switches, but individual printers in offices are not.
As well as the lighting and heating/cooling systems, the main users of energy in the RSA building are catering facilities (which are a mixture of gas and electric powered) and the lifts.
Typical offices and small meetings rooms on the private floors have two or three fluorescent tube banks, each bank containing two fluorescent tubes. Many of the offices could be sufficiently lit with only one tube in each bank.
Where the light fittings allow, incandescent bulbs have been replaced by low energy bulbs.
Lighting in some areas such as the toilets are controlled by PIR (passive infra-red light) sensors.
The following lighting observations were made during the audit:
Lighting in the Vaults and the Fellows’ library are predominately LEDs and energy saving bulbs.
Spotlights were left on in the Great Room even though the room was not in use. The dome in the roof can be moved across to let in natural daylight.
Lighting in the corridors is not PIR controlled and in some areas, particularly on the private floors, the lighting could be considered as excessive.
1.3.2 Heating and cooling
Boilers in the building are gas fired and there is just one gas meter for the building, located on -1 floor. The main boiler room is located on the top floor and contains the four boilers.
Pipework in the boiler room is well lagged and only the maintenance team can access the room via a security code. The gas supplier is Total and the RSA is billed monthly with the majority of readings being estimates. Consumption in November was 3444.61 KWh.
The main plant room is located on -2 floors, and the control for the Versa temp source heat pump system is located here. There are Versa temp units throughout the building, mostly located on the public floors in the larger meeting and conference rooms.
Offices on the private floors have radiators, all of which are fitted with thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs). These individually switch off the radiator when the desired temperature has been reached.
Due to the fact the building is listed, the original sash windows remain, and these cannot be replaced with more modern double glazed ones. However, it might be possible to fix some temporary window draught excluders which don’t alter the fabric of the building in anyway.
Air conditioning is not present throughout the whole building, only on the public floors. The system is maintained and serviced by external contractors. In the larger conference and meeting rooms, wall-mounted Daikin air-conditioning units are used for heating and cooling.
The temperature settings are not password controlled, although if the rooms are being used for public meetings, the RSA will set the temperature. The main server room for the IT system is located on -2 floors and is cooled 24/7.
In rooms without wall-mounted air-conditioning systems, stand-alone units are provided.
During the audit it was noted that some of these units were left on when the room was not in use.
⦁ Implement a utility monitoring programme:
⦁ Allocate staff to carry out meter readings for electricity, gas and water on a twice-monthly basis;Add monitoring data to spreadsheet so results can be viewed graphically
⦁ Compare with the utility bills meter readings in order to ensure accuracy;
⦁ Use data to establish a baseline from which realistic reduction targets can be set.
⦁ Invest in timer switches on individual printers in offices.
⦁ Consider light-thinning in offices where sufficient light can still be obtained despite removing one of the fluorescent tubes for the fitting.
⦁ Consider installing energy efficient hand dryers in the toilets which are scheduled for refurbishment.
⦁ Ensure that stand alone air-conditioning units are not left on when the room is not in use.
⦁ Investigate the feasibility of using temporary window draught excluders in the offices
1.4 Resource and materials use
The RSA is already carrying out good practice in relation to resource and materials use:
⦁ Photocopiers are set to automatic duplex printing.
⦁ All printers have scrap paper trays next to them.
⦁ The RSA has an approved suppliers list which takes some environmental considerations into account, particularly as regards food suppliers for the catering side of the business. All tea and coffee is fair trade, and all fish comes from sustainable sources.
⦁ Recycled towels and toilet paper are used in the majority of toilets (although recycled toilet paper is not currently used in public toilets).
⦁ Soap and hand lotion in the toilets is bought in bulk and refilled.
⦁ Napkins, plastic cutlery and disposable containers used for takeaways all have recycled content.
⦁ Cardboard boxes are reused where possible or else segregated for recycling.
⦁ Food in the Gerard Bar and Vaults Restaurant is cooked to order, thereby reducing wastage.
⦁ Plastic or paper cups are not provided with the tea and coffee machines and staff have to use their own mugs.
⦁ Paper purchased by the RSA is FSC certified.
⦁ Ink and toner cartridges are sent for recycling.
Each office currently has its own printer, and this issue has already been raised with the management, and is potentially one area where significant savings in paper usage could be made. Each team within the RSA is responsible for their own stationery ordering. Recycled content paper is not currently used as there have been problems in the past with quality and causing the photocopier to jam.
On the private floors, staffs are provided with coffee and tea machines which use individual packets according to the type of drink. Although not providing disposable cups is good practice, the use of individual packets is wasteful. On the catering side, sugar and milk is also provided in disposable packets.
A variety of materials, some of them hazardous are used by the maintenance team and kept in the workshop on -2. LSS provide their own cleaning chemicals which are stored in a locked cupboard along with the COSHH register. LSS are an environmentally proactive company who try to work with their clients and suppliers to instigate environmental initiatives, and who try to use environmentally friendly products where possible.
⦁ Consider adopting and implementing a sustainable procurement policy which takes into account the whole life cycle of a product, and make sure environmental issues are written into tenders when contracting out.
⦁ Further investigate the need for one printer per office and trial using the photocopiers for printing.
⦁ Consider trialing recycled paper again – many recycled brands today, such as
⦁ Evolve, are just as good as virgin paper.
⦁ Consider the environmental performance of external printing companies when making decisions on which company to outsource to. Considerations should be made both in terms of the type of ink that is used and the recycled content of the paper.
⦁ Investigate the feasibility of removing the machines and providing staff with tea and coffee making facilities in the kitchen areas.
⦁ Consider providing sugar and milk in reusable containers rather than disposable ones.
⦁ Trial the use of remanufactured (i.e. refilled) ink and toner cartridges rather than purchasing new ones.
Due to its central London location, all RSA staff either walk, use public transport or cycle to the building. There are no car parking facilities for visitors and the only car parking provided is in the tunnel area for contactors. Also in this area is a bike rack which has recently been expanded to allow more space for bikes and to encourage cycling.
The RSA uses a taxi company called Green Tomatoes, whose fleet is made up solely of the Toyota Prius. Other emissions are offset by tree-planting and investment into energy saving projects.
Trains and aero planes are only used very occasionally by RSA staff and Fellows, and hire cars are never used.
⦁ Consider the use of tele- or video-conferencing for meetings where feasible.
The following other environmental issues were covered during the audit:
⦁ RSA staff do not at present receive any formal environmental training, although some environmental information is included in new starter inductions. Environmental communication takes place via the intranet although there are no designated environmental pages, and as any member of staff can post, it often gets quite cluttered. E-mails and staff noticeboards are also used for environmental communication, although this has not been formalized.
There are no formal contractor control measures in place. When contractors arrive on site to start work they are given a health and safety worksheet, but there are no environmental considerations included.
⦁ There have been some incidents in the past where clients who have hired out the Vaults areas have left difficult waste streams behind, which has created problems for the RSA of how to dispose of it.
⦁ Some noise monitoring has also taken place when new air-conditioning units were installed in the Gerard Bar approximately 1.5 years ago.
⦁ Consider producing some designated ‘environmental’ pages on the intranet to make it easier for staff to find environmental information. If possible a discussion forum could be set up to allow easy internal communications and staff to make suggestions for environmental improvements.
⦁ Environmental training could be formalized and carried out for all staff. It does not have to be too long or onerous, providing it covers key points, particularly in relation to waste so all staff are aware of the legal requirements. At the very least, environmental information should be included in the induction pack.
⦁ It is strongly recommended that environmental information is also given to contractors before they start work on site. It is particularly important for them to be aware of what waste they can dispose on site and where the can dispose of it, and what waste streams they must take away with them.
⦁ It is also important to make clients aware of their obligations in relation to waste. If it is not already, including responsibilities relating to disposal of waste could be included in the contract.
⦁ Consider implementing an environmental management system to incorporate all improvements and monitoring requirements. It does not need to be a complex system certified to any particular standard, merely a way of ensuring that baselines are set and progress is measured.
For a large, multi-faceted organization located in a building which enforces constraints, the
RSA has made good progress at addressing its environmental impact.
However, there is scope for further improvement, particularly in relation to waste minimization and energy monitoring. By implementing a basic environmental management system, current good practice can be formalized and a framework can be set up for monitoring, implementation of action plans and continual improvement.