Sharon Lashley, founder of Enviro UK Consultants
Sharon Lashley, founder of Enviro UK Consultants, explains what inspired her to turn her long-held passion for the environment into a business helping others to be more sustainable.
What does your business do?
Enviro UK Consultants Ltd is an environmental consultancy helping businesses improve their green credentials including being more energy efficient, accessing renewable energy, making carbon savings, managing their waste responsibly and also ensuring compliance with environmental legislation.
Enviro UK is a registered trainer and training centre for the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) and we offer accredited courses for business to help them manage their waste. We also offer training in environmental sustainability, energy management and renewable energy awareness.
What is the story behind your business? Who launched it, when and what inspired you to do so?
Enviro UK Consultants was launched in July 2013 by Sharon Lashley as a result of a desire to operate as an independent environmental consultant, drive forward environmental change and behaviours and more importantly to operate as sustainably and environmentally as possible - I had always been interested in, and passionate about the environment from the very early stages of my career and indeed my life, always being outdoors appreciating the natural environment.
I trained as an environmentalist many years ago and progressed throughout Practitioner level with my professional standards institute (The Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment - IEMA), I felt that starting up my own business was definitely the direction I wanted to take. I am sure many people would agree starting up a business is a big leap and can be quite scary but I am convinced my passion for sustainability and my determination has made me stronger and even more determined to make a small difference in the world of sustainability.
Tell us about how you’ve invested in sustainability since launching the business? How have you committed to being more sustainable?
From the very early stages of the business start up I invested in training for myself to be a trainer particularly in waste management which was a strong priority for me as an organisation when I started the business.
I really wanted to be able to help businesses improve their waste management whilst making financial savings and ensuring compliance. This, combined with my previous experience in environmental management, education and renewable energy, enabled me to develop a strong range of services to offer my clients in assisting them to improve their own sustainability and green credentials.
My ability to continue offering these services to clients through day to day consultancy and support ensures that I am demonstrating sustainability within my own organisation and also provides me with an amazing network of committed and professional organisations who are all working towards sustainability. Within my own business I invest a lot of time and effort in working sustainably i.e.
We also work with our clients offering support and consultancy in all of the above areas to assist them in making similar transitions towards Sustainability.
How has being sustainable benefited you as a business?
Here at Enviro UK sustainability is a core part of our organisation and is embedded in the way we operate as a business and also the services we offer to other organisations. This activity ensures that we not only demonstrate best practice for our own organisation but we are also able to help our clients work towards their own sustainable development goals (SDG’s). I would like to think that our business is well known and has a good reputation within the sustainability sector.
What has the reaction been from consumers and suppliers, has it made much of a difference to how the business is viewed?
In today’s market place it is becoming increasingly important for organisations to make a commitment to sustainability, particularly when tendering for work.
Being a sustainable company has definitely improved our positioning within the sustainability “market place” and has provided us with lots of opportunities to work with clients, suppliers and also wider communities.
Finally, what would your advice be to a fellow start-up thinking about becoming more sustainable?
Concentrate on the standard sustainability principles and goals such as energy, waste, transport and environmental areas. Sometimes it is not possible for smaller organisations to work immediately towards sustainability standards such as ISO 14001 but it is possible to achieve quick wins through making small changes to how you run your business, i.e. addressing areas such as energy, waste, transport, corporate social responsibility and procurement.
Making the small achievable changes in these areas will also inevitably lead to financial savings, all helping towards achieving overall sustainability.
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