Focus Environmental Consultants
This award was sponsored by:
Focus is an independent company that consistently punches well above its weight in delivering the highest-quality outcomes. Exemplar projects include New Community Hospital where Focus managed substantive ecological constraints inherent within the 2.19ha scheme, including land functionally-linked to the nearby ‘Bat SACs’, hazel dormice and reptiles. The scheme establishes a net increase of 90 trees, 700m2 of scrub (c.36.8% increase) and 130m of species-rich hedgerow. The design further incorporates bird, bat and dormouse boxes and habitat enhancement for reptiles.
Since 2018, Focus have partnered with Ramboll to deliver a major development at Redditch Gateway, where GCN represented a significant ecological constraint. As an important infrastructure project, work progressed throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, and safe working methods were developed to allow ongoing development. The scheme incorporates 3 new ponds, traditional orchard creation, native woodland planting, species-rich hedgerows, wildflower meadows and wildlife boxes. GCN monitoring commenced in 2021, confirming that the meta-population has increased from small to medium. Focus educates its clients on good practice to deliver sustainable development. It has delivered free face-to-face ‘Ecology Briefings’ since 2018, which have received excellent feedback.
Staff take paid days off for voluntary activities, with recent examples including local public bird ringing demonstrations as well as internationally-important schemes like ‘Operation Baltic’.
Focus is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has implemented several practical initiatives to achieve this including:
- Development of a bespoke travel calculation tool. This identifies the most appropriate surveyors for a job based on minimising travel and mileage costs. Local surveyors are identified to assist with surveys. The tool also facilitates ride-sharing and minimising the carbon footprint for a given job.
- Significant steps to reduce its carbon footprint by:
- Replacing 66 inefficient bulb-panels with 35 energy-efficient LED lights.
- Fitting additional switches to allow greater control of lighting.
- Nominating a ‘Carbon Champion’ who actively enforces the policy by reminding staff to turn off unused lights and energy-draining devices.
- Improving the thermal efficiency of its office by fitting radiator-reflector foils, reflecting heat and thus reducing the energy required to heat the office.
- Focus only require staff to attend the office two days per week, significantly reducing unnecessary travel to the office.
- Encouraging virtual meetings with clients to reduce the collective carbon footprint.
- The company’s pool-van was selected for its excellent fuel efficiency to minimise the company’s carbon footprint during surveys.
- Focus utilises its social media platforms to inform and encourage its followers to reduce their carbon footprint.
- Focus donates to causes that combat fight climate change and offset carbon emissions.
A recent CIEEM Registered Practices Audit confirmed a ‘GREEN’ grading across all areas, which confirms the strong commitment that Focus makes to the welfare and personal development of staff. Training combines in-house and external events to deliver the >30hrs of CPD required by CIEEM and helps staff reach their professional goals.
Focus have recently committed to the long-term development of senior staff through ‘Impact Leadership Coaching’.
Key outcomes have included increased resilience, heightened self-awareness and emotional intelligence, improved problem-solving and solution-focus and momentum. The coaching delivers sustainable long-term results through the creation of a bespoke, effective leadership blueprint. Three members of the team have now successfully completed this professional development programme.
We will be posting further information on each of the 2023 Awards Winners over on our blog.