The Environmental Barometer with CO2-meter for entrepreneurs,
A successful internet-tool for improving the environmental achievements of 800 companies in the Netherlands;
An initiative of Stimular Foundation.
Abstract for ERSCP - Aalborg
Adriaan van Engelen (MSc); Marc Herberigs (MSc),
Stimular Foundation, Scheepmakershaven 27c, 3011VA ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands
At this moment the Environmental Barometer is used by more than 500 companies at over 800 locations. The number of users is growing rapidly. The tool was originally designed to encourage SME-companies to register their annual environmental performance and to encourage them to take environmental prevention actions and work on and sustainable development. Short after the introduction of the tool larger companies recognized the value of the Environmental Barometer as well, for monitoring environmental achievements and using the tool for internal en external communication.
The tool can be seen as a new language to communicate between companies and government or between companies and their suppliers and client about environmental issues and working on sustainability. Over 50.000 companies in the Netherlands are potential users who can profit from this tool. Also over one million comparable companies in Europe can improve there environmental management and easily save costs by using this tool.
Since 1998 the Environmental Barometer has been developed and tested with success. Stimular developed the Environmental Barometer from the viewpoint of the entrepreneur, thus making it easy to understand and implement. Co-operation with over 75 sector organizations and local governments during the introduction stage has guaranteed widely acceptance.
At first Stimular Foundation offered the Environmental Barometer as an Excel-program to companies.
Since the release of the film “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore the need for sustainable management and transparency has been growing rapidly. New policies for climate initiatives gave sustainable management an extra boost and industry, retail, NGO's and governmental organizations engaged in a dialogue about environmental issues and sustainable development.
In response to this development Stimular Foundation launched an internet version of the Environmental Barometer in 2007. This was a great improvement for further increasing the scale of use, with limited costs. Within the last two year the amount of barometers used, has risen to a total of 800 active barometers. In 2009 the 1000th user is expected. A variety of companies from different types of industries, retail, health care institutes, governmental organisations etc. use the barometer.
In March of 2008 the CO2-meter, an extra tool in the Environmental Barometer, has been launched by our Prime Minister J.P Balkenende.
The Environment Barometer
The Environment Barometer is a flexible registration management system for companies. It enables the company to register quantitative information about energy, water, waste, hazardous waste, sewage, air-emissions and transport. The total environmental performance is expressed as one environmental score in a graph, a cost graph, and a set of EPI's (Environmental Performance Indicators). The CO2-meter shows the CO2 footprint in a graph of the company.
The Environmental Barometer encourages the company to work on environmental prevention. Many companies show, after using the barometer for 5 years, up to 50% decrease of their environmental impact, in combination with significant cost savings.
In May 2009 an English version of the barometer will be launched.
Involvement of local governments
On one hand local governments are involved as active users of the barometer (over 150 users) and on the other hand the local governments are the perfect stakeholder for setting up projects with local companies.
Based on policies combating climate change and encouraging environmental protection, the environmental department of local governments use the barometer in a wide range of projects. The economical departments see the barometer as a trigger for durable innovation. Companies active with sustainable management show interest in investment in sustainable buildings and installations at new industrial areas.
Advantages of the Environmental Barometer
The advantages of the Environmental Barometer for the business community:
a. Easy environmental registration;
b. A continuous stimulation for environmental innovation and cost savings;
c. Useful for internal communication and strategy development;
d. Useful for business tot business (benchmarking) and business to government communication;
e. Useful for benchmarking between different sections.
The advantages of projects with the barometer for the local government:
a. Easy insight into the environmental achievements of local companies;
b. Insight into the most serious environmental problems in the region, for setting priorities for new local policies;
c. An instrument for easily communicating the environmental achievements of companies to local residents or other stakeholders;
d. The projects encourage the participating companies to pursue a healthy economic development and at the same time decreasing their environmental impact.
The next years the barometer will be extended with new modules. Benchmarks in different sectors will show the affectivity of national en European policy by the facts of registrations.
About Stimular Foundation, Stimulating Sustainable Management at SME
The business community and the governments of the Rotterdam region set up the Foundation Stimular in 1990. During the first ten years Stimular has successfully encouraged small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the region to reduce waste and emissions, to save energy and to protect the environment. Since 2000 Stimular has extended its activities to include Sustainable Management for the SME.
Together with SME companies,
Stimular develops new instruments for Sustainable Management. Research is
mainly directed at the management of SME companies. In this way Stimular
continues to build up knowledge and experience in the areas of waste and
emission prevention, energy saving and environmental conservation.
www.Stimular.nl (in dutch)
www.milieubarometer.nl (in dutch)
Adriaan van Engelen (MSc)
Marc Herberigs (MSc)
T 0031-10 - 238 2828