ISO14051: Turning waste to gold with ISO standard for environmental management accounting

With the proposed demise of Site Waste Management Plans SWMP under the ‘Greenest Government Ever’ red tape plans, could a new-ish ISO standard that puts costs to the impacts identified under ISO 14001 provide direction, guidance or framework for construction to measure and improve material and energy waste?

The standard, ISO 14051:2011, Environmental management — Material flow cost accounting — assists organizations to better understand the environmental and financial consequences of their material and energy use practices, so that they can identify opportunities for improvement.

The standard uses MFCA, Material flow cost accounting,  which is “applicable to any organisation that uses materials and energy, regardless of their products, services, size, structure, location, and existing management and accounting systems”

MFCA could be applied on a business wide basis across all projects, understanding material, energy and resource inputs, processing and outputs, as well as on a project basis adopting a SWMP format combined with a Carbon plan driven by ConstructCO2 could indeed turn waste into gold.

Background Reading:

Constructing Excellence SWMP position

ISO turn waste into gold  

Measure, Understand and Improve Construction Carbons

Bhutan’s ecosystem and green wealth is worth nu 700bn a year

As the UK calls on countries to start green accounting, putting value to nature, biodiversity and ecosystems, Sonam Pelden writing recently in Bhutan Business recently gives a fascinating insight into the country’s Gross National Happiness accounting system. Based not only on the market economy but also natural, social, cultural and human wealth, demonstration perhaps that a triple bottom line economy can work at national levels. A demonstration also then of NSR National Social Responsibility?

A new study on Initial Estimate of Value of Ecosystem Services in Bhutan revealed that the country’s ecosystem is worth more than Nu 700bn a year, much higher than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nu 72.3bn a year.

The staggering value of the ecosystem in Bhutan was arrived at to come up with a new national accounting system apart from the GDP. The accounting system, based on Gross National Happiness (GNH), would not only count what market economy produces but also consider natural, social, cultural and human wealth. Benefits are in terms of clean air, healthy soil, recreation and other values.

Recognising the value and importance of forests, not just as market value but as environment and social value is a key component. Something we here in the UK need to heed …

Bhutan’s constitution mandates the country to preserve a minimum of 60% forest coverage for all time to come. Today, Bhutan has total forest coverage of 74.5%.

Sonam and Business Bhutan are on twitter at @sonampelden and @business_bhutan

FIT Changes and affect on large scale solar PV installations

Notes from #govtoday Sustainable Community event from Oris session talking large scale solar PV installations

Consequences of recent changes to #FIT’s particularly on multi installation include …

job losses,

lack of confidence in sector

stock write offs,

lost investment in training and skills transfers,

Lost investment in community based training initiatives,

Missed opportunity in battle against fuel poverty

Mistrust from private investors which could well affect future initiatives

Industry a victim of its own success – boom and bust

Industry opinion

Support cuts in line with falling PV prices

Early cut of period before end of consultation unexpected unreasonable and draconian

Returns on HA investments already marginal – so why reduce further?

Investment is a business – without it fighting fuel poverty would not be realised


Cohesive and strong industry lobbying expected …