Here are a few of the comments that have been made about our Ecoskill courses and Secos services work.
Matthew Gardiner, Dundee
“A fantastic, thought-provoking course that has really opened my eyes on the commercial opportunities available within the green economy. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or intrapreneur, then you should definitely check this course out.”
Ina Dimireva, Economic Development Officer, Opportunity Peterborough
“Taking the Ecoskill course changed my way of thinking. In every environmental challenge I now see an opportunity to make a difference by creating my own business solution. I would strongly recommend this course because it is highly motivating and inspiring!”
“The course is a fantastic way to learn about the demand for green businesses and the opportunities that go with it. It provides good practical steps to form realistic business ideas and gives insights into other successful green businesses. Above all it is fun and inspiring!”
Fiona Forbes, GIS and Planning Assistant Project Officer, North Northants, Joint Planning Unit, East Northamptonshire Council
“I started this course as I was in need of some direction for my career and coming up with a business idea in the environmental sector seemed like a great way to do this.
I really enjoyed completing the Ecoskill course. It allowed me to see environmental issues from a business perspective, which is something I had never considered before, and this empowered me to create a business idea that would not only be viable, but also help the environment.
I really liked how a large range of different media was used within the course to provide you with the information, and with the course being in bite sized chunks, it made it really easy to complete. This was especially important as I was completing it whilst juggling many commitments including full time employment, so it allowed me to dip in and out of the course when I had time to spare.”
“So, what do I think of this ecoskill course? I think it is very good and I will tell you why. Good design and interesting, memorable content is what makes good e-learning. The course is interesting, very interesting. Reading the course is enjoyable, fascinating and not a chore. I highly doubt the average person knows even a fraction of the content there on the green economy.
Rupert Abel Managing Director
RJA Learning Ltd
Ecoskill sponsored the NACUE Varsity Pitch green business award 2012. This is one of 7 categories in the competition seeking out the most promising entrepreneurial business from NACUEs members. The prize for the winner of the grand final is a cheque for £10,000.
David Young, Head of Commercial at NACUE said
“We’re delighted to be working with Ecoskill. Their courses provide a fantastic toolset for graduates to either set themselves up in business or set themselves apart from their peers in an increasingly competitive job market.”
NACUE – National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs
Hanna Plant, Education & Learning Coordinator for Change Agents UK (a charity driving sustainability related employment and training opportunities for graduates) said, “this course is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to create their own business or social enterprise. It’s a great tool to enhance employability in the sustainability sector and beyond and I am sure this innovative programme will make an impact for both its students and the sector as a whole.”
Two Saints Ltd is a Registered Provider Housing Association working with people who are excluded from mainstream society on a number of levels, but most obviously are experiencing acute housing difficulties to the point of homelessness.
What did Secos do?
For the organisation:
Secos calculated the organisation’s carbon footprint and reviewed and advised upon the new, draft sustainability policy, including recommendations on targets.
For one specfic multi-occupancy property:
- Calculated the Carbon Footprint
- Performed a detailed baseline assessment
- Installed an energy monitor meter from which we collected and analysed the data looking for exceptions, trends and patterns
- Initiated the engagement of staff and residents in the sustainability agenda which led to a programme being put in place
- Identified costs and benefits of relevant energy efficiency and energy generation measures and made recommendations on priorities. These included insulation, heat pumps, biomass boilers, solar PV, solar thermal water heating, upgrades to lighting, paint systems, appliances and floor coverings.
- Examined carbon emissions, energy use, water use, transport and waste arising
Comments from Two Saints:
As part of our strategic review of the business, we decided to embrace the sustainability agenda, supporting, as it does, the organisation’s values. We also believe that this policy initiative will give better value for money to our Clients and to our organisation, and supports other initiatives including the development of community, education, and training.
Two Saints believes that improving the long-term sustainability of our homes can be combined with generating a greater sense of self-sufficiency and independence, and will support Clients in making better value for money choices. Clients will also be able to better understand their choices and consumption patterns, and what effect this has on their personal wellbeing, surroundings and neighbourhoods.
SECOS was able to help Two Saints to develop our Sustainability Policy, and then offer a practical approach to implementing our vision. Their team developed a baseline assessment of Two Saints’ energy use, both organisation-wide, and then in a specific service, and helped us to develop an action plan with clear targets for the future. The implementation plan includes ideas for engaging Clients, and sets out methods for attaining an overall reduction in the cost of running services.
SECOS and Two Saints believed from the outset that Clients might wish to see some personal incentives before becoming involved, and we developed an approach to reducing personal service charges for Clients which would follow on from the use of sustainable technologies.
We agreed to launch a Pilot in the Test Valley area, and this is underway. SECOS was able to provide an extensive range of technical advice and know-how, with their final report to us a fantastic training resource which will support our sustainability work into the future. They came to management meetings, and were always available during the project.
We found the Directors of SECOS, who are both clearly versed in science and methodology, to be very far from remote intellectuals, and immediately took to the culture of our organisation, and were able to engage our Clients like true housing professionals.
We feel that engaging SECOS was exactly what we needed to move this agenda forward at Two Saints, and we would certainly recommend others in our sector to work alongside Richard Boothman and Peter Richardson, if they have the opportunity.
Operations Director, Two Saints Ltd.
The mission of the Winchester Business School is to develop responsible business leaders.
It offers foundation, undergraduate and postgradute degrees. Until recently the school offered 3 postgraduate courses
- MSc Business Management,
- Master Business Adminstation MBA
- MA in Managing Contemporary Global Issues.
Recently a 4th degree, an MSc in Sustainable Business, was validated and is now offered.
What did Secos do?
Secos worked with the business school to review and comment on the prospectus for the MSc in Sustainable Business.
Comments from the University of Winchester Business School
I just wanted to share with you that on the 13th of October (2011) the validation panel has recommended MSc Sustainable Business for validation in the university.
I would like to thank you for your input by providing the external consultation review. It was very helpful and certainly contributed to the external validity of the programme.
In the course of November, I will be finalising the documents and we hope to recruit students for weekend programme starting in January 2012.
Dr. Natalia Yakovleva,
University of Winchester
Emwsorth Village Hall
I really appreciate you both giving your time to carry out the energy efficiency assessment, it was a pleasure to meet you. Thankyou for such a thorough, detailed and comprehensive report. It has given me, as it will the committee, much food for thought. I do hope we will be able to implement all of your recommendations
Laurance Kent, Emsworth Village Hall.