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Rawlinsons has achieved its 75 charitable acts

Category: Business

Date: 23.09.2016

Time: 09:49

Recently I was excited to hear about the remarkable achievements of the Peterborough-based accountancy firm Rawlinsons in their commitment to complete 75 charitable acts in 75 days.

Rawlinsons has recently embarked upon 75 charitable acts to mark the milestone of its 75th anniversary. This involved employees from across the business joining in and bringing together their fundraising talents to raise money for the chosen charities over the course of 75 days throughout summer 2016.

The charities benefitting from this fundraising extravaganza included NSPCC Peterborough Business Support Group; Shine; Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice; Macmillan Cancer Support and the Peterborough Cathedral 900 Appeal.

Whether it was a 75-mile static bike marathon to a human hound race at the city’s greyhound stadium; a cathedral abseil; 75km walk and taking to the water for the annual dragon boat festival, the employees at Rawlinsons fully embraced the challenge. One member of staff with a particularly sweet tooth even took on the task of giving up biscuits and cakes for the whole 75 days – now that’s true commitment!

So what must have seemed like an impossible challenge, when the staff at Rawlinsons first set off on 1st June to raise their initial target figure of £7,500, was soon accomplished. In fact, the team managed to exceed this target by raising a remarkable total of £8,434.15, to include Gift Aid donations. 

As members of PECT’s iiE green business accreditation scheme, Rawlinsons has already achieved its Green Accreditation status, proving its ongoing commitment towards maintaining its environmental credentials. In addition to this, Rawlinsons was awarded overall Outstanding Achiever in the Small Business category at the iiE Green Awards earlier this year.

The 75 Charitable Acts truly goes above and beyond the normal fundraising efforts of many small firms and is a great model for other business to aspire towards. It is a fantastic example for other businesses to be inspired by; in particular those who are looking to improve their corporate social responsibility and give something back to their local community.

Michaela Anthony is the Digital Marketing Apprentice at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT).



Joining the iiE Team

Category: Business

Date: 22.04.2016

Time: 11:05

Hello! My name is Nicola and I am on my fourth week here at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT). My job is to support and grow the green accreditation scheme for businesses Investors in the Environment, otherwise known as iiE. 

I’ve also just secured my first member – Allia Future Business Centre. Allia helps and supports ventures that want to make a positive social or environmental impact. It was interesting to hear about the various projects happening here in Peterborough and I’m pleased to be working with businesses who want to be more sustainable and reduce their impact on the environment.

I have been following PECT closely for the last few years since taking an active interest in my local community and issues regarding the environment. It all began when I was studying a course on Social Science, where I learnt more about our ‘throw away’ consumer society and was overwhelmed to discover how much goes to waste. Here in the UK we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink alone. I also discovered more about the devastating impact things like fossil fuels, the meat industry and deforestation are having on the planet.

This led to me making some personal changes in my life and becoming more conscious of my actions, especially around food and buying habits. Through this process I was introduced to Permaculture and decided to complete the full design certificate. Permaculture is a very creative way of installing ethics and principles into your life to live more sustainably and in harmony with nature.

I took my course in Italy and shortly afterwards I went back to spend some time WWOOF’ing, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. I worked at a meditation centre and farm that produced olive oil. Picking olives in the sunshine amongst the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany was a fantastic experience. I was inspired by the way of life there – people would grow a lot of their own food and make wine, share surplus with neighbours and there was a real sense of community.

Which is a lot like working for PECT! There’s lots of sharing – whether it’s the table of home-baked goods or home-grown produce, the lunches, or fresh juice. It also goes without saying that everyone here is like-minded with a shared goal of helping to protect our planet.  Straight away I knew I’d come to work at the right place.

Nicola Smith is the new Business to Business Sales Executive at iiE.



Big changes will occur, but it starts with you

Category: Business

Date: 31.03.2016

Time: 16:42

Hello, my name is David Knight and I am the Senior Business Support Officer for Investors in the Environment (iiE). iiE is a business scheme that helps companies set up a ‘management system’, which looks after the resources they use and identifies where improvements can be made to reduce them.

The vision of the scheme is to create sustainable businesses, where companies reduce the impact they are having on the environment. Once operational, the system is audited (which is an evidence-based review) and if successful, they are awarded an accreditation to demonstrate that their commitment to reducing the environmental impact has been achieved and they are continually working to make improvements where possible. This may sound technical, or not – depending on your understanding and potentially whether your company has its own Environmental Management System (EMS).

However, my blog today is to consider this: as individuals, we all have the power to make an impact on the environment both positively and negatively. Our decision to recycle, switch a light off, buy eco products or consider fair trade, organic or local produce will all have an effect on the environment and set the standard for our children. There is an ancient proverb that says “We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors. We only borrow it from our children.”

If your company has an Environmental Management System, then you will be told to recycle, switch off lights and equipment, wear warm clothes to keep heating down, print only when necessary, travel by bike, walk or car-share, etc. These small changes and requirements will ultimately have an effect on the amount of resources the company uses, which looks good environmentally, but in essence it will reduce costs, saving the company money. Consider then what you do at home – do you recycle? Do you switch off lights as soon as you leave a room? Do you put on warmer clothes or turn your heating up? Do you only use paper when necessary? Do you think about getting on a bike to see someone or jump in the car?

Businesses have saved thousands of pounds a year by managing their resources. It is true, you will not save this amount as an individual, but by making small changes and considering how you manage your own resources at home, you can still potentially save hundreds of pounds. What is even better is that you will also be making a positive impact on the environment.

What if it is the other way around, if you are already doing everything as an individual? Then consider what your company is doing. Do they have an Environmental Management System and if not, are they managing their resources effectively? If you recycle at home, why don’t you recycle at work and encourage others to do the same. There is a very good possibility that your colleagues feel the same way so act together and encourage the company to do the same.

Businesses are merely a collection of people, working together to deliver a product or service. No matter what industry you are in or which company you work for, as a collection of people, businesses have the power to do some amazing things but only if individuals within the collection act positively. Small actions make a big difference so even as an individual, any small action you do can influence others to do the same. As more individuals are influenced and do the same, big changes will occur; but it starts with you.



Of Mosquitoes, Mandela and Mahatma Ghandhi

Category: Business

Date: 16.02.2016

Time: 12:53

Rob Knowles is MD at Cubet Ltd, an organisation that specialises in helping individuals, teams and organisations to evolve. Cubet Ltd is a member of Investors in the Environment, the national green accreditation scheme for businesses.

Mosquitoes are much in the news at the moment, with the Zika virus in South America. I had cause to have a conversation with somebody recently about a mosquito.

“A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark” – Dante Alighieri.

At the recent Investors in the Environment Awards night I was delighted to receive a Green Award. The event was brilliantly organized and run by Peterborough Environment City Trust. It was an excellent occasion and gave rise to a wonderful networking opportunity.

Whilst chatting with one business owner I asked him what drew him to the event. He replied that apart from the networking opportunity he felt he was “considering doing something green” with his business, but felt that he would be met with resistance, and that he was too small to make a difference.

I challenged this notion, with the adage that you’re never too small to make a difference – if you need proof, try sleeping in a tent with a mosquito. I could see from his body language that he has already resigned himself to the difficulty of this near impossible task, chortling – you don’t know the folks I work with. As tempted as I was to challenge that objection by reminding him he had hired them, I deftly quoted Nelson Mandela that ”It always seems impossible until it is done”. This aphorism had a slight effect – manifested as very slight nod and smile. I quickly followed up with wisdom from Mahatma Ghandi “You must be the change you wish the world to see.”

As for resistance he felt he might meet, he is perfectly correct. It is human nature to resist new things, but with the right amount of thinking and planning the change can be made into the norm. Change is all about the challenging the norm.

As the conversation progressed, he asked what I was doing. I replied I’m sending a tweet, with a message to show how we can challenge the norm.

I further explained that in order to be resilient and adaptable to be able to cope with change, you have to be resilient as an organisation and a person. In order for that to be in place, mindfulness has to be factored in. Before a person can be mindful, I believe that they must understand and be able to manage their own mindsets. 

This approach is often used in my own work with Cubet Ltd where I help companies get more from their employees.



My last day at PECT

Category: Business

Date: 03.09.2015

Time: 15:31

Serena Ward, who volunteered with the business team at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) over the summer, talks about her last day with the organisation.

So today is my final day here in the PECT office as a member of the Investors in the Environment team. I have thoroughly enjoyed my two months here and will be sad to leave! I softened the blow to my colleagues by bringing a rather large chocolate cake into the office.

The longer I’ve been here the more my role and responsibilities have grown. Having started out initially competing admin tasks and data entry I’ve since been calculating carbon footprints, getting in touch with the members and actively sourcing out potential new members for the business! I’ve been very lucky to have been trusted with such responsibilities and been able carry out little projects that have caught my eye.  

The PECT office has been a fabulous place to work and I hope that once I graduate all offices are as nice as here! From Wednesday's lunchtime yoga to the staff bake off challenge, the PECT office is always a hubbub of activity. It’s just a shame I won’t be able to take part in the final of the bake off due to being back at university and unfortunately couldn't actively courier a cake halfway across the country...

Having spent the summer entertaining my colleagues with interesting facts and stories from my university lectures they suggested I host a lunch and learn for the PECT office. I gave a 30 minute presentation covering various points from my degree  - how can we prove climate change is happening? How can we sustainably manage ocean ecosystems? What does it really take to produce an ozone hole? The presentation was concluded with a good discussion on the state of the global environment and whether or not the planet really is doomed!

I’m now heading into my final year at York and it is now my opportunity to start writing my very own dissertation. Continuing on from my time with Investors in the Environment I’m planning to carry out some research into renewable energy opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises. Fingers crossed by May next year I’ll have 8,000 words written! 

However before I head back to the hustle and bustle of university I’ve got the small task of cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats – here’s hoping there aren’t too many big hills…



Joining the team at PECT's Investors in the Environment

Category: Business

Date: 30.07.2015

Time: 11:19

Hello, my name is Serena and I’m the newest member of the business team here at Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) – a Peterborough-based environmental charity that runs projects both locally and nationally.

I am working with the business team who run Investors in the Environment - an accreditation scheme for businesses who want to become more sustainable. I am here for the summer as I’m currently a student at the University of York studying Environmental Science.

I have really enjoyed my studies so far and feel that the surrounding environment is something everyone should take a keen interest in. Having looked in depth at the science behind climate change and the extent to which humanity has taken advantage of the planet I know that we all have shared responsibility to protect what we have and ensure future generations aren’t compromised.

This has led me to an aspiration to one day work within the environment sector. I was aware of Peterborough Environment City Trust’s work having lived in the city myself and so got in touch with Investors in the Environment to see if I could help out over the summer and gain some valuable work experience.

The team help businesses achieve green accreditation through reducing their resource consumption, such as water and electricity, and by introducing environmental management systems. I’m supporting the team on a day-to-day basis and my role includes updating the website, managing social media, updating databases and general admin.

Everyone has been very welcoming and they are a lovely team to be a part of. During my time here I am also hoping to carry out a bit of research for my dissertation, specifically looking at renewable energy opportunities for small businesses.

Outside of studying and work I am a keen rower and have recently competed at the prestigious Henley Women’s Regatta. I have also agreed to take part in a Lands End to John O’Groats bike ride this September so the days I’m not in the office are spent cycling around the Cambridgeshire countryside!

All in all I’ve really enjoyed my first couple of weeks here at PECT and looking forward to seeing what challenges and excitements the next few weeks bring!



The adventures of 'Enviro Girl'

Category: Business

Date: 05.06.2015

Time: 15:30

In November last year Claire Swindale, the Green Champion at Shield Technologies, was awarded Investors in the Environment’s Best Green Champion for 2014 (smaller business category) at the iiE Awards. We caught up with Claire to find out how she had gone from environmentally friendly to ‘Enviro Girl’ in the last three years.

PECT: Well done for winning the Best Green Champion at the IiE awards in November, what achievements enabled you to win the award?

Enviro Girl: Probably the most important achievement is that I have support of every member of our team. Everyone is engaged in the process of becoming a sustainable business and every member of our team share their thoughts and ideas for reducing our impact on the environment. All of this makes the whole process so much easier and the implementation of new processes quick and pain-free!

I believe that for any member working towards a Green iiE award, getting the support of the team is the first and most important step.

We use fantastic tools to communicate with staff and because of this we can get messages to the team quickly and often, and this keeps GREEN at the front of everyone’s minds.

We are almost paperless, a massive achievement for any business. This doesn’t mean we don’t use any paper but we print only when it is absolutely necessary and use less than a ream of paper each year –so far in 2015 we have used less than 150 sheets of paper!

PECT: Why do you think it is important for businesses to be green?

Enviro Girl: Growing an environmentally sustainable business is good for everyone, and it feels great. Knowing that as a business you are reducing your impact on the environment is very powerful for the engagement of your team.

PECT: What’s next for you to implement and why?

Enviro Girl: Since we started working towards green level accreditation in 2012 the business has grown steadily and with this so has our mileage. In fact our mileage, despite our best efforts, has increased over the last two years.

In 2015 our main focus will be on getting our mileage down, and we have introduced a number of initiatives that are so far working well. Every time a member of the team books an appointment to see a customer or complete an on-site job they will first check the calendar to see if anyone else is going in the same direction that week and then they will, where possible, car share with a colleague. 

Training courses are now only attended within the Peterborough area and we are thinking much more strategically about our on-site work. At the end of May 2015, compared to the same period last year, we have reduced mileage by 48%!

PECT: What has been the hardest thing to overcome?

Enviro Girl: Getting started! When we joined I looked at all of the paperwork and what had to be done over and over again before I actually got started. The turning point was the catch-up workshop with iiE I attended two months after we started working towards Green.

PECT: What advice would you give to other businesses looking to start this green journey?

Enviro Girl: There are two things that give you a great start, the first is to get yourself onto one of iiE’s catch-up workshops. If you are new to this, as I was, the workshop will help you to break the process down into bite-size chunks that are easier to manage. Plus remember to use the iiE team, call them and email them with any question no matter how silly you may think it is! The team are always really happy to help you whenever you need it.

The second thing is to get the support of everyone in your business, present this to everyone as an opportunity to grow, save money and help to protect the environment. There is something in it this for everyone no matter what part of the business they work in. Having the support of the whole business will be key to your success.

For more information about joining the Investors in the Environment green accreditation scheme, visit the website at www.iie.uk.com.



Access affordable environmental training for your business

Category: Business

Date: 20.02.2015

Time: 14:28

Katie Greenhalgh, Environmental Consultant for iiE Consultancy, explains how you can access affordable environmental training for your business.

I’m really pleased to let everyone know about a new partnership between the not-for-profit Investors in the Environment Consultancy and Cloud Sustainability. Cloud Sustainability is a leading provider of online training courses and sustainability services and we are now able to offer these at a discounted rate to our business clients.

iiE Consultancy is offering a range of eLearning courses as a cost effective way to develop your or your team’s environmental knowledge at a pace and location that suits you. The majority of courses are certified and cover waste management, energy management, environmental management systems, sustainable procurement, corporate social responsibility and more.

Through the partnership, we are able to offer our businesses 5% off the RRP of most courses and further discounts are available for those businesses wanting to bulk buy courses to train a number of staff. To receive your iiE discount, just remember to enter “iiE5%” when prompted on checkout when you have chosen your course at www.cloudsustainability.com/products.

Training is a vital component of any sustainable organisation, with training records required by many Environmental Management System standards such as ISO14001. Training ensures that staff members have an understanding of environmental topics and can apply these in a business setting – often people don’t think twice about recycling and saving energy at home but when they come to work it’s a different story!

We love the fact that the courses are all online too – less travel means more efficient use of staff time, reduced transport costs and a reduced carbon footprint – extra points in your business travel plan and sustainability strategy!

For more information contact iiE Consultancy on 01733 882549, consultancy@iie.uk.com or visit the website at www.iie.uk.com/consultancy. A brief summary of available courses is listed below:

An Introduction to Waste Legislation – The Journey of Waste - CIWM certified
An Introduction to Managing Healthcare Waste - CIWM certified
Best Practice Management of Healthcare Waste - CIWM certified
Waste Smart Certificate - CIWM certified
Energy Aware - Energy Institute certified
First Steps in Carbon Management - CIWM certified
Introduction to Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility - CIWM certified
Implementing and  auditing Environmental Management Systems - Based on ISO14001 standard
Embedding Sustainable Procurement



My first week

Category: Business

Date: 22.01.2015

Time: 09:47

My name is David Knight and I have recently joined Investors in the Environment (iiE) as the Senior Business Project Support Officer. I am involved in Customer Care, helping our existing members become greener, and assisting them with promotion and marketing, setting up free events and working through and supporting them with their accreditation. I also conduct the audits that are required for them to achieve their certification and green stamp of approval.

I have always worked within the Customer Service industry and enjoy helping members, policyholders or customers with any problems or questions they have. Working in technical roles, I enjoyed reporting, auditing and data management. This fits in nicely with the work I will be involved in with iiE, because I will have the opportunity to create and maintain relationships, offering support within a membership scheme whilst fulfilling my data processing and reporting side.

What makes this all the more exciting is that I will be helping individual businesses, not only help themselves, but also the wider community with its impact on the environment... small individual ripples leading to massive waves of global Green ideals.

The scope of iiE is to manage and run a not-for-profit international accreditation scheme, creating sustainable businesses. We want to set the standard for businesses across the world, providing them with the framework and support to achieve a credible and attainable Environmental Management System, along with promotion and best practices, resulting in more sustainable businesses.

I have had the privilege of working with Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) and iiE in the past and, even still, I am always somewhat taken aback and in awe of their passion for what they do. Working with a number of different businesses and organisations throughout my career, it is always rare to find an organisation that lives and breathes their aims and vision in everything they do. This is clear from the very second you walk in the door and with any of the project officers you speak with, on any of the numerous community, educational and business projects they are involved with. This creates an amazing atmosphere to work in, because everyone is happy to help and support you in any way they can.

I am very much looking forward to the future and working with iiE. I also look forward to hearing from businesses who want to discover more about iiE, so please do contact me on david.knight@iie.uk.com for further information.



We're dreaming of a green Christmas!

Category: Business

Date: 21.11.2014

Time: 14:49

Rawlinsons Love Real Trees!

Last December, the green team at Peterborough’s local accountancy firm Rawlinsons were busy working towards their Investors in the Environment (iiE) Green Accreditation when team member Gemma started looking for new initiatives to boost the office’s green credentials. 

With it being Christmas Gemma started thinking about all those unwanted cards that would be discarded after the festive season and what could be done at Rawlinsons to recycle them for a good cause.

After a bit of research they discovered that Marks and Spencer had been working with the Woodland Trust for a number of years, collecting unwanted Christmas cards and turning them into much needed trees.  The UK is woefully short of trees with only 13% woodland cover compared to the EU average of 37%.  By supporting this scheme it would be helping to plant new woodland – or as Marks and Spencer put it, helping to ‘grow new homes for hundreds of species, from dormice to woodpeckers, beetles to butterflies’.

Marks and Spencer promised that for every 1,000 Christmas cards bought into its stores for recycling in January the Woodland Trust will be able to plant one tree, so in December 2013 Rawlinsons launched an internal ‘Love Real Trees’ campaign to encourage everyone to bring in their unwanted cards after Christmas, with the goal of collecting 1,000 cards, enabling one Rawlinsons tree to be planted!

The campaign received an overwhelming amount of support from the team, who also got their friends, families and business contacts involved, which resulted in an outstanding 3,524 cards being collected, exceeding the original goal by 252%!  If an office with 60 employees can achieve this, just imagine what the larger companies in Peterborough could do too! 

Rawlinson’s goal this year is to beat its previous total, but also to challenge fellow iiE members and Peterborough businesses to introduce the scheme and see what they can achieve. It’s a very rewarding thought that there are now 3 and a half Rawlinsons trees out there somewhere, housing some little dormice and beetles…

What can your company achieve this Christmas-time?

In addition to this, if you're interested in finding out more information about PECT's Forest for Peterborough tree-planting scheme, click here.



New iiE Business Relationship Officer

Category: Business

Date: 20.03.2014

Time: 17:10

Having completed my first week at PECT as a Business Relationship Officer I can honestly say I am thoroughly enjoying my new role and can’t wait to get more involved and to recruit more members to the brilliant Investors in the Environment Scheme.

From my first impressions of the company I can see that my time here will be very varied, already having a diary date for tree planting and a business breakfast to look forward to, and far less structured than the commercial world I am used to. As a native of Peterborough I am excited to be part of a charity that makes a difference in the local community, I will be spending time with all of the project leaders in the next few weeks to find out more about the different schemes such as Greenaversity and the Rivercare Project.

I’m looking forward to learning about living more sustainably having already picked up a few facts such as ‘If everyone lived like an average European we would need 3 planets to live on’, certainly makes you think!! Apart from general awareness on environmental issues a lot of this is all new to me but on a personal level my first week here has definitely made me more ethically self aware and I now question myself as to whether I really need to use so much electricity around the home and to ensure I am using my recycling bags and banning carrier bags from our household. I’m also walking or cycling to and from work, as well as reducing my carbon footprint I’m enjoying the daily exercise. 

I can see huge potential for small and medium businesses becoming accredited with iiE and hope to grow the membership significantly. I strongly believe that Environmental issues should be high up on the agenda of all businesses and I think a ‘Green Champion’ should be as necessary within the work place as a First Aider or Fire Marshall. With the ever changing legislation in Environmental policies and the need for Corporate Social responsibility in the workplace I can see a real need for iiE membership and I’m looking forward to helping small and medium businesses on their green journey.

I have been made to feel most welcome by all of my new colleagues, all of whom are a lot more knowledgeable than myself in all things green.  I’m looking forward to learning from them not to mention more lunch time Yoga in the office!! With the prospect of getting involved in events such as The Green Festival (although I am yet to be persuaded to dress as a bin or a banana in Peterborough Town Centre!) and tree planting in the city I am feeling very excited about my future here at PECT   

Sally Evans
An Eco Warrier in the making


Vikram Thomas, Business Support Officer for iiE

Category: Business

Date: 14.03.2014

Time: 15:01

Hi.  My name is Vikram Thomas and I have recently joined PECT as a Business Support Officer for the Investors in the Environment (iiE) scheme.  I have always had an interest in environmental issues and volunteered as a River Steward in Sheffield before I decided to do my masters in Environmental Management and build my career within the sector.

My role involves supporting  our iiE members through their Green journey, from initial pledge  to accreditation.  I seek to help in any way possible as well as promote them as a Green Business.  I have to remind them of the various benefits available to them and ensure that they make the most out of their membership. 

In the future I will also be conducting on-site audits which is a very exciting prospect for me as I will be able to meet our members face to face as well as get a first hand perspective of their businesses and operations.

I truly believe that iiE is an excellent scheme.  We help businesses improve their environmental performance, make significant financial savings as well as give them a credible Green Stamp of approval to show off on their websites and publications.  Considering that we are relatively low cost, flexible  and provide so much support and promotion, it really is a win-win situation for our members.  This is reflected by the fact that we already have two UK Franchises and are continually expanding every day.

I have had some thoroughly enjoyable conversations with our members.  Most notably with Shield Technologies and Kitchen Range Foods Ltd who both have awesome Green champions.  It’s great to see that more and more people are becoming enthused and proactive about “Greening” their businesses.
It has also been great to meet the team at PECT and find out about all the exciting projects going on and how I can link these in with iiE. 

Recently I took part in Green Leap Day alongside colleagues from PECT.  It was a fun day out where I got the opportunity to plant apple and pear trees as well as help with a bonfire and a raft.  I hope to get outdoors to do more work like this in the future.

With skilled, friendly and enthusiastic people, Peterborough definitely has scope to become the Environment Capital of the UK with PECT leading the way!


Investors in the Environment, Sustainable Business, Green Accreditation