Issue date: 18 March 2010
The Royal Bath and West of England Society (RBWES) is now one of the greenest agricultural societies in the UK thanks to a partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE). The Society, which runs the annual Royal Bath and West agricultural show at Shepton Mallet, has gained international recognition for its new environmental management system and its commitment to environmental sustainability.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with UWE has resulted in 18 major environmental improvements over the past two years aimed at significant improvement in waste management and recycling rates, reduction in the use of energy, improvements to drainage and a reduction in demand for water.
The Countess of Wessex, President of the Society, was at the Shepton Mallet Showground along with Matt Lomax from UWE and the external accreditation auditors to hear that the Society had reached international environmental standards laid down by ISO 140001. This enables the Society to register with the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), with which only 160 organisations in the UK are currently registered.
Chief Executive Jane Guise said, “We are delighted to be one of the first agricultural societies in the country to have implemented an accredited environmental management system.”
Academic supervisor Gareth White, from UWE's Bristol Business School said, “Meeting these standards demonstrates the Society's commitment to sustainability. They are the culmination of two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with UWE which involved reviewing all energy and waste processes and implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS).”
The project to identify an appropriate EMS to improve the Society's waste and energy systems was carried out by KTP associate Matt Lomax. He said, “I was keen to see the Society succeed in gaining accreditation, so I stayed on for another four months, under the new shorter KTP scheme launched in July 2009, to fully embed the system.
“Working as a KTP Associate gave me the opportunity to undertake great professional development, including gaining Chartered Management Institute membership, IEMA membership, qualifying as an Environmental Assessor and gaining a NEBOSH qualification in Health and Safety.”
Matt is now working as a self employed consultant and currently working at the Society on a project to implement a Facilities Management system.
KTPs are supported by government grants under the KTP programme. The shorter KTP was the third partnership to result from a long-standing relationship between UWE and the Somerset-based charity.
• This Partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships programme (KTP). KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base. KTP is funded by the Technology Strategy Board along with the other government funding organisations. For more information on UWE KTPs visit http://rbi.uwe.ac.uk/Internet/business/ktp.asp
• The EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) is a management tool for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report and improve their environmental performance. EMAS was strengthened by the integration of EN/ISO 14001 as the environmental management system required by EMAS. For more information visit http://ec.europa.eu/environment/emas/index_en.htm