Them and Us
30 October 2013
Hello, my name’s Eva and I’m responsible for maintaining our Environmental Management System for ISO14001:2004. I also manage our ISO9001:2008 certification for Quality Management. Both of these certifications are very important to Virgin Media as they protect existing revenue streams and help us generate new opportunities for business.
If you are like me, you probably have a general understanding of environmental issues, whether you have an opinion on wind farms or not, have heard about recovering energy from waste, studied Hydro Electric Power (HEP) at school (yes, I know that may be a while ago!!) and you may also have a view about how these issues impact you and your family directly.
Living in Hampshire, I’m very clear about how to recycle at home, I have massive wheelie bins for general waste and recycling at home, plus a glass box, green bags for garden waste and a fabulous recycling centre down the road in Petersfield for just about everything else! It’s easy to do and I know what’s expected. That is firmly in the Us category.
But that’s home – what about work?
Well, I think it’s fair to say this bit often falls into the “Them” category. – i.e. It’s someone else’s responsibility and someone else will do what’s necessary. Or perhaps more often than not it just comes down to apathy - “sorry what was the question again?”!
Yes, like many other businesses Virgin Media has a facilities team who have the responsibility to help cover off the basics, but this is not the job of one team. Core to our business model is ensuring that everyone, no matter what their role is, has a part to play in taking responsibility for the way we operate and the impacts this has on the environment in which we operate.
Responsible environmental management is not just a “CSR” exercise either; its core to our commercial success. Improving our energy efficiency means fewer carbon emissions and therefore less carbon tax to pay. Driving up our recycling figures means reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and improvements in this area alone have saved our business over £400,000 between 2009 and 2011.
Many of our new B2B contracts are also reliant on maintaining an Environmental Management System which is compliant and independently certified to ISO14001:2004. This certification along with sound sustainability management practices helps secure thousands of pounds worth of new business every year.
Maintaining this accreditation is reliant on all of Us being aware of the policies we have in place and doing our bit when it comes to helping manage our environmental impacts at work. You don’t have to grow a beard, turn green or cycle to work (unless you really want to!) but you do need to take responsibility for what you do in order that we all – Us – can succeed.