There are simple things we can do without measuring to save money and reduce the impact of our operation on the environment: things like reducing water, paper and energy consumption and reducing waste. In some cases – for example seasonal operators in rented premises – we may not be able to measure everything. However, there are also good reasons for measuring where we can:
- The process of conducting an environmental audit may reveal opportunities to reduce consumption and waste (and costs) of which we were unaware.
- By measuring we are able to demonstrate progress. This is important for the credibility of our efforts and for general morale.
- If you want any kind of certification you will need to show measurements to prove your efforts.
- In some cases – for example compensating for student flights (see Offsetting above) – there is no alternative but to measure.
- Schools may be in a position to involve students in (parts of?) an environmental audit, with educational and motivational benefits. School certification schemes require this.
The following links provide further information:
- Carbon Trust: A practical guide to identifying energy saving opportunities https://www.carbontrust.com/resources/guides/energy-efficiency/energy-surveys/
- ISO 14001 introductory video: ‘The expectation that organisations will steward the environment and perform according to what (their stakeholders) believe is appropriate in a modern organisation.’
- ISO 14001 Checklist: Generic industry checklist that may help ELT organisations in identifying and measuring their environmental impact
- CarbonFootprint.com – free calculators and paid consultancy services: https://www.carbonfootprint.com/
- Green Schools footprint calculators: Various waste and footprint calculators for measuring water, paper, waste, etc.
- Eco Schools Programme: WWF programme aiming to build awareness and good practice in schools, leading to a Green Flag award
- OU free course on how to measure your personal carbon footprint: https://www.open.edu/openlearn/nature-environment/environmental-studies/environment-treading-lightly-on-the-earth/
- The Green Ration Book: Assessing the carbon cost of everyday living