During the last week in September I was accompanying an external auditor as the National Trust in Wales completed the Level 5 external accreditation audit for the Green Dragon Environmental Standard across all Wales properties.
Level 5 is the final step of the Green Dragon Environmental standard and provides organisations with the tools they require to gain validation against ISO14001 – the framework by which organisations develop practices and management operations in order that they can continually improve their environmental impacts.
It was an arduous and thought provoking week which consisted of a full assessment of the National Trust in Wales Environmental management system – structures, responsibilities, guidance, training, legislative compliance, to name but a few aspects.
This was followed up with 4 days of representative site visits to check that we were doing what we said we were doing on the tin! As always, the enthusiasm and committment of Wales staff and volunteers was obvious, showing that as an organisation we really have some amazing people working for us.
This process began in Wales almost 5 years ago as a pilot for the whole National Trust, and due to the success of the EMS in Wales (all of the stuff you have been reading about on the blog, plus an awful lot more) the trustee’s approved the full roll-out across the organisation. This is being developed as we speak.
For Keith and I though, it has acted to highlight more opportunities to expand the scope of Environmental management and continual improvement, as well as celebrate the knowledge, skills and committment of National trust staff in Wales.
“Every journey starts with a single step”.
Oh yes, and we are still having fun!