Enims Ltd Environmental Consultancy Takes the lead with BS 42020 certification
In February 2014, enims became one of the first environmental consultancies to achieve BS 42020, the new standard that sets out the Codes of Practice for Biodiversity relating to UK planning and development. The UK government has put in place strategies to protect wild flora and fauna, with the aim to halt overall loss of biodiversity by 2020 in line with the European Biodiversity Strategy and the UN Aichi targets.
BS 42020 provides local authorities, construction and housing developers, planners and architects with a coherent methodology for managing biodiversity.
Founded in 2006, enims is a solution-led environmental consultancy supporting developers to simply and strategically achieve environmental compliance and demonstrate environmental excellence.
"We are environmental consultants with our core business being ecology," says Managing Director Pete Satchell. "We support clients in achieving their planning permission. Early project involvement services give our clients confidence when choosing appropriate sites to develop, and how to mitigate any loss of biodiversity to the current conservation status. With enims’ knowledgeable ecological consultants we collaboratively encourage clients to want to improve biodiversity, smartly designing their projects we can all achieve ‘added value’ to biodiversity."
Why enims chose BS 42020 certification
enims already had ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007 and National Highways Sector Scheme (NHSS18) in place. BS 42020 represents an opportunity to underline enims’ environmental credentials – specifically in ecology and biodiversity.
"It is the first standard that relates to our core business," says Pete Satchell. "We have had ISO 14001 since 2007, but this new standard is the first to relate fully to our everyday ecology work."
BS 42020 Biodiversity Codes of Practices was published in September 2013 and enims started working on integrating the standards into their current IMS immediately.
"It took us 6 months to integrate it fully and add it to our everyday business procedures. All the team got involved with it, from administration staff, to managers, to ecologists, to all of our environmental consultants."
"BS 42020 represents ‘best practice’. This gives our clients confidence that our ecological services meet the recognised British Standards. It also demonstrates to statutory and non-statutory authorities – in particular local planning authorities – that our recommendations are measured against a specific standard that we all understand," adds Pete Satchell.
Why enims chose SGS United Kingdom Ltd to help
enims has worked with SGS since 2006, achieving integrated ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certification in 2007. Later, they added OHSAS 18001 and National Highways Sector Scheme 18 (an environmental, ecology and land-based standard for Highways Agency projects – a major business sector for enims).
"SGS have been with us all the way through. They are very clear on what they can do for us. When they come in to audit us, they are very thorough. This increases our confidence in our processes. They know our business and understand our business aspirations for growth and most importantly they are always there at the end of the phone."
Benefits of the standard
The new standard focuses on biodiversity – allowing enims to demonstrate higher level ecological expertise.
"It will help our business because it demonstrates that we are meeting recognised standards in biodiversity. Previously, we just said we were ecologists. Now we have something our clients are both aware of and are able to measure us by. This gives everyone more confidence in our services."
Using the specific standard as a foundation to our core business enims can position themselves as strategic partners to their strategic partners.
"We aim to be strategic partners to all of our clients. Now when we talk to them we have a robust standard behind us, and this gives us more credibility during discussions."
The new standard raises the bar in the natural environmental marketplace, setting a higher benchmark for all future environmental opportunities.
"We also want our developer clients to achieve this standard, too. We are raising the bar. We want them to understand what we do and what they can gain by achieving the standard as well. Also, we want local authorities to achieve the standard so that we have got a fully standardised level playing field that others can follow our lead in achieving this biodiversity standard and we can all work towards achieving environmental excellence.
Conservation and biodiversity are central to the new standard. We are professionals in our business and the standard sharpens our commercial edge. We understand our business and our clients‘ businesses also. This standard demonstrates we are leading the way in aspects of conservation and biodiversity innovation," says Pete Satchell.
Advice to other organisations wishing to take the BS 42020 journey
Pete Satchell recommends achieving ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 first.
"We run our business on processes and procedures and this new standard integrates into both of these. A large part of BS 42020 is around competency and training. Over time, we have developed and documented processes and invested a lot in our people, which make it easier for us to integrate the new standard."
SGS auditor Amanda Thorpe adds: "The code of practice for the standard is very detailed. It is important to have established procedures in place. enims did a huge amount of work. Ecology is very scientific and enims used modern methods to generate and manage their data – for example, iPads to gather survey data in real time, and photographs for digital mapping. They created excellent audit trails."
SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.