Unlike conventional certification schemes, EcoMerit focuses on performance rather than compliance. Because it is simpler, the full cost is lower.
Conventional certification schemes operate by having an auditor assess the organisation against an extensive set of requirements. The focus is on compliance rather than improvement. Usually this also means employing a consultant to get you ready for the auditor, along with a lot of in-house time and effort. With EcoMerit there is no auditor, and virtually no preparation. An advisor helps identify cost-saving improvements and then helps you meet the simple certification requirements. This provides a framework for further cost-saving improvements, year on year.
You will typically need to set aside half a day for the advisor visit, and then some time finalising your policy and improvement plan. Typically two or three workdays are required to set up. Of course, the actions on the improvement plan will vary from company to company.
The advisor’s visit is quite informal, takes around half a day, and is geared to finding cost saving improvements for you. It should be hosted by someone who is familiar with the running of the organisation, including the arrangements for energy, waste and water. You should have to hand information on your energy waste and water, ideally covering the previous year. Copies of bills are sufficient. Other information on your environmental performance or issues of concern to you would also be helpful.
Absolutely. Everything your advisor sees and all information received is completely confidential. The only performance information made public is the totalled performance figures for all the EcoMerit certificate holders combined. Our Oversight Board does have the right of access to your certification related records for oversight purposes only.
We do not have formal accreditation. Instead, the quality of the EcoMerit certification process is overseen by our independent Partners.
Certification providers often offer a national accreditation as part of their certificate. This means that their auditing systems and their auditors are assessed and qualified under a national scheme. These national schemes generally have mutual recognition, and so you effectively have an international accreditation. EcoMerit is not formally accredited because our focus is on cost savings and performance improvement rather than compliance, and because we wish to keep our costs low. Our requirements are simple and transparent, so auditing (and hence also accreditation) would be an expensive and time-consuming addition – contributing nothing to the service. Instead, we are monitored by our independent partners.
If you require an accredited certification, EcoMerit is not for you. Whatever certification you decide upon, we do strongly recommend that you look closely at your own requirements, and the value for money each option gives.
We believe we have struck the right balance between the cost of participation, the benefits arising, the simplicity of the scheme and its credibility to customers and other interested parties. Modern buyers, whether individuals or organisations, want their suppliers to be environmentally responsible, but they don’t want to pay more as a result. We have never had a client with a customer who hasn’t accepted EcoMerit certification as meeting their purchasing requirements.