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Guiding Businesses to Discover Sustainable Opportunities by Working in Partnership

About SOS Who we are and what we do

Sustainable Opportunity Solutions (SOS) is an Edinburgh based organisation dedicated to helping you explore how sustainable opportunities can benefit your business. We believe that sustainability and competiveness can not only co-exist within your business model, but that achieving one can help you realise the other. We don’t believe in green washing, but we do believe that sustainable thinking can be good for your business as well as the planet. It’s all a matter of balance – and we’re here to help you get that balance right. We don’t preach and we don’t judge, instead we act as your guide, working in partnership with you to help you achieve business benefits via sustainable business management. We want to help you – and your team – discover how your decisions can impact on the planet and how a few simple changes can make a difference to everything from your carbon footprint to your bottom line. We believe that to get the best return on investment, organisations need to make corporate responsibility a key strategic objective. We understand that many businesses want to do just that, but simply don’t know where to start. We know from experience that many businesses already have the know-how they need to make these changes; they simply need a guide to help them turn good intentions into good business. And that’s where we can help.

Why us? •

We offer credible, professional advice that works in the real world – which explains why our early clients are still working with us today.

We apply our expertise in accountancy and environmental management to all your business areas and we explore all the options to find the best solution for your business.

We’ll keep you on track – we know that change doesn’t happen overnight and that the journey to a more sustainable way of working can take time. Our energy and positive approach can help you stay focused and our training can help motivate your team – after all, things happen faster when everyone’s on board.

We’re with you for the long haul – even after an initial project is implemented, we’ll keep in touch so that your business benefits from our expertise in the future; from advice on new developments to helping you indentify new opportunities, we’re here to help.

SOS – here to help you indentify sustainable opportunities, and get the most from them

Development of environmental management systems What we can do for you

We act as your business’s sustainability guide – our aim is to empower you to apply your existing expertise so that you get the best business benefits from your environmental management system (EMS). We will work in partnership with your business to help you implement your EMS under ISO14001:2004. If you prefer to work towards this more gradually, we can work with you on ACORN scheme accreditation, ACORN is a six step way of working towards ISO14001:2004, where each stage is recognised, showing your journey towards final accreditation.

Our approach Gap Analysis

Build your EMS

Monitor & Audit

Achieve EMS Accreditation

Continued Support

Working in Partnership to build your teams’ know-how

Throughout the process we: • Keep things cost effective by identifying the capabilities of your business and the systems used and then advising where we can fill in any gaps •

Help you recognise and implement savings

Provide training so that EMS can be implemented smoothly and efficiently

Guide you through the EMS accreditation, so you achieve it first time!

Plus, to help ensure ongoing EMS benefits – and better value to your business – we offer Continual Improvement Maintenance. This means that we: • Challenge you – helping you stay abreast of new regulations and setting objectives that keep you ahead of the competition •

Help you see the savings by monitoring performance and analysing data

Keep you on the right track by carrying out internal audits and legislation compliance assessments

Identify and supervise interns and post graduate students to hone their skills and to help you assess new opportunities with low risk

Don’t take our word for it...

Paul’s approach to working in partnership ensured that he understood our specific needs, his guidance ensured that our capabilities were developed as part of EMS. A clear sign of his effectiveness is that we obtained certification a month ahead of plan, under budget and were comfortable to proceed with the final audit without his supervision.” D McDicken, Operations Director, GHI Contracts Limited

Empowering your business, maximizing your ROI

Carbon management Helping you make the most of your EMS investment

Effective carbon management can benefit your business – we’ll show you how. We’ll also help ensure that you get the best value and ROI on your EMS, and that you’re fully prepared for any accreditation you wish to work towards.

Carbon management can save you money

Wasting resources doesn’t just impact on the environment; it can damage your business’s bottom line. We can create a bespoke carbon management policy for your business, including guidelines on how to implement it, which can help you reduce waste and costs.

Keeping track of carbon

We’ve developed bespoke carbon monitoring tools to help you record and monitor the carbon impact of business travel and events, and to help you keep track of your company’s energy consumption. We can even train your staff to maintain your carbon data so you’re not dependent on us.

Helping you prepare for accreditation

Using EMS to help reduce your business’s carbon impact can benefit your business in some unexpected ways. Recognition from Business in the Community’s Mayday network or accreditation from the Carbon Trust Standard can really boost your business, as many companies actively seek credible carbon management from their prospective suppliers. As such, promoting your EMS success can be a real boost to your business. We’ll help you submit the necessary information for these valuable accreditations. It’s all part of our partnership with you.

Credible carbon commentary

We can help you communicate your carbon position to your stakeholders (and others) in a clear, concise way. The reports are written in easy to understand everyday business language and explain your objectives, methods and the performance of your carbon management practices.

Don’t take our word for it... We have been working with SOS and Paul for over three years. Paul has expertly guided our sustainable business practice through successful accreditation to ISO14001 and beyond, in particular with our carbon management and reporting. We value Paul’s balanced and his fresh thinking allows us to respond to new business opportunities. Whenever we call SOS their impartial guidance is always prompt, professional and personable. Guidance that puts our business first. And importantly we are witnessing a return on investment from our sustainable business journey with SOS as our guide.” K Ogilvy, Administration Director, Castle Group Scotland Ltd

Helping you get the most from effective carbon management

Sustainability awareness training Inspirational training and clear communication

To make the most of your sustainable business practices, you need to get the message to your staff and stakeholders, but not everyone is up-to-speed with environmental matters – and that’s were we can help. We can help your team see sustainable business in action, helping them understand how it can benefit them and your business. We can even help you get the message out to clients, customers, suppliers and regulators, helping ensure your business gets the recognition it deserves.

Training for board members and employees

We don’t preach some sort of eco-message, we teach your team how sustainability works in real life. We focus on how sustainability benefits your business, not on statistics and figures. It’s about real world examples that people can relate to. We aim to inform and inspire your team to embrace your new practices – and understand why, and how, they will benefit the business. In our first three years we inspired over 600 employees from a range of sectors to get on board. We understand that not everyone in your team will be responsible for, or familiar with, EMS and environmental issues. That’s why our training is designed to help put everything in a context that’s relevant to them, it’s all about connecting EMS with what employees do.

We don’t preach some sort of eco-message, we teach your team how sustainability works in real life.

We encourage open discussion in our sessions and can include online assessment or employee self-assessment of every day sustainability impacts. Our clients have observed a noticeable change after using our employee self-assessment training module. We can even organise field trips to some of the waste-management sites, wind farms and local biodiversity sites we work with, helping your team see positive environmental practices in action.

Getting the message across

Understanding how your employees perceive your business’s environmental impact and view your sustainable business practices can make a real difference to your EMS. We can create and conduct online surveys to help you gather and analyse this information. Keeping your staff and stakeholders informed can help them embrace EMS and your wider corporate responsibility goals. We can help you create articles for your newsletters. We can even help you with customer tenders, award applications, accreditation applications or external communications, by helping extract relevant and creditable performance data from your EMS.

Don’t take our word for it... SOS has been delivering environmental awareness training to our new recruits for over four years now. The feedback after every course has been excellent and this is down to Paul’s manner, knowledge and enthusiasm in delivering the training material. The content of the course and field trips is thought provoking and helps equip our people to answer questions from customers about real life environmental issues such as waste, water and energy management and carbon offsetting. With a growing team we continually invest our people and with SOS expertise our refresher-training course keeps our people engaged and enthused about the environmental agenda. The self-assessment really helped our people understand their daily impacts and what positive actions they can take to help save money and the planet! Beyond the training, I always value Paul’s professional and objective guidance across a range of sustainability issues.” Gaynor Wood, Head Of Service, KFIS & The Green Insurance Company, KFFS

Inspiring your employees so that they inspire others to do business with you

Sustainable business travel plan assessment and optimisation Optimising your Carbon Reduction Plan for Business Travel

We apply a full-cost accounting approach to help your organisation optimize the financial returns of your carbon reduction plan. Our full-cost accounting tool helps you answer the three key questions that can help you to maximize the ROI of your sustainable travel plan. •

What financial savings can be made by reducing our business travel footprint?

How can we best allocate our carbon budget and how will this impact the carbon and financial returns?

What additional savings can we gain by achieving the optimal plan?

Our sustainable travel assessment tool helps answer these questions. It’s easy to use and because you set the parameters for the optimal plan you can: •

Simply configure it with the relevant travel data for your main business areas – this can be by office, location or department

Allocate carbon budgets that reflect your goals and the travel needs of your business

Work with those responsible for carbon budgets to set their reduction goals

Define the assumptions for productivity across different modes, staff profiles and overheads, and areas of your business.

Connecting carbon with financial savings

By applying our accountancy and environmental expertise we use full cost accounting methodology to your business data to provide valuable business intelligence that helps you understand your business travel activities. The tool gives you a series of dashboards for every area of your business, each dashboard shows you: • Where travel and subsistence cost savings can be made •

Where productivity could be made by switching travel modes

How changing travel patterns could save your business money

Where carbon savings can be achieved

KPIs relating to the financial savings that carbon saving could achieve – which can help your business become more efficient and resilient

Providing the intelligence to help your business link carbon considerations with business benefits.

The tool’s automatic analysis provides you with: • The data you need to strengthen the business case for a sustainable travel programme that’s right for your business •

Actual performance data which enables you to monitor the carbon and financial impacts of any shortfall against your goals, so you can quickly correct things and get back on track

The information you need to engage your teams across the business and encourage them to build a carbon plan the meets your corporate goals

The world’s changing – so are the ways you can plan your travel

To maintain and deliver sustainable travel performance you need an easy and efficient way to make decisions at the planning stage. Our optimization tool helps you assess the business case for your organisation’s travel and balance it against environmental objectives. Optimizing business travel can be a challenge, especially in a world that sometimes seems to change overnight. And that’s where the SOS comes intotravel its own. SOS is developing travelHUB™ so you can create a dynamic travel policy that reflects the needs of your business right now. ™

SOS in action

Our aim is to help our clients demonstrate a real business case for sustainable travel management, and that’s exactly what we did for Natural England, who commissioned us to look at their actual performance against their optimal travel plan.

The case study for this project highlights: • How 20% of savings related to productivity gains •

How £1,800 was returned for every tonne of carbon saved

How travelling efficiently saved them £2.1m over a four year period

Don’t take our word for it... Using SOS’s sustainable travel tool we benefited from a comprehensive analysis of our business travel. SOS work has helped us to robustly connect our carbon reduction achievements to the financial benefits across our diverse organisation. This connection is essential to ensure that travel management and decisions view carbon and cost impacts in a balanced way. The results of this project provide valuable data intelligence for wider education and engagement in sustainable travel management.” Paul Hinds, Head of Sustainability at Natural England

SOS travelHUB™ – a new generation of travel planning tools, designed to fit the needs of your business

A track record of achievement •

In just three years, SOS training has inspired over 600 people to embark on a sustainable journey.

One of our clients was among the first ever Scottish SMEs to achieve The Carbon Trust Standard in 2008.

One hundred percent of the business we guide towards ISO14001 EMS certification and reaccreditation achieve it first time.

SOS is an approved member of the MAYDAY Network. •

Our construction clients have diverted 90% of their waste from landfill, thanks to our guidance and input.

SOS MD, Paul Adderley, received the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship Award for 200910.

Industry Awards for the SOS travelHUB™ approach to sustainable travel

Who We Work With Our Environmental Management and Training clients include:

Our Sustainable Travel Clients and Partners include:

SOS is supported by:

Sustainable Opportunity Solutions Limited 0845 475 1275



Connecting Carbon Sense with Business Benefits

connecting your travellers




to corporate goals



Connecting Carbon Sense with Business Benefits

There are many ways to travel. There are many ways to do business. But which work best for your business?


The challenge of sustainable business travel

Sales want to go to Frankfurt to promote your company’s product. Marketing have multiple meetings in Birmingham, but none of them are on the same day. Meanwhile, your product development people seem to be spending more time in airports than your office. With numerous individual travellers making numerous individual decisions, business travel can be hard to manage. Each traveller has their own agenda – which often conflicts with corporate goals. Factor in employee well being and environmental commitments, and things become even more challenging.

Business travel is not just the price of the ticket

It can be impossible to get everyone in the company to comply with travel policy – making ROI difficult to achieve. And when you consider that business travel can cost your company more than just money, it’s vital that you engage your travellers and encourage them to make smarter decisions that benefit them – and maximize ROI. Productivity, employee well being and, of course, your carbon impact can all be adversely affected by the fact many staff feel they need to travel to build your business. It all adds up – and it can all cost your company money. But in the fast-moving world of business it’s all too easy for your company’s travellers to go with what they know and carry on travelling the way they always have.

A straightforward solution…

You know deep down that there’s a better way of working, but working out the alternatives can seem so daunting that it never gets actioned. That’s where SOS’s award-winning travelHUB™ tool can help. This easy to use online tool helps you: •

Connect corporate strategy with traveller behaviour

Discover hidden efficiencies in a cost and carbon constrained economy

Balance profits with carbon considerations

Maintain traveller behavior to deliver greater ROI

travelHUB™ gives you the big picture, taking into account the many modes of transport required for each doorto-door journey, and providing you with a unique list of options with detailed information based on a range of criteria chosen by you.


people profits

connecting your travellers

to corporate goals

travel Why choosetravel


travelHUB™ can help you do more than reduce your carbon footprint – it can help you identify more efficient or cost effective travel plans.

travelHUB™ can: • Help your business structure its sustainable travel programme to save money and time due to faster decisions •

Enable you to identify the most effective travel options for the journey

Give you the information you need to save time, money and employee stress, as well as carbon emissions

Give you a range of travel options that will work for your business, based on criteria that matter to you

Plan the journey door-to-door – a unique feature that makes planning easier and every aspect of the journey easy to evaluate against your cost and carbon goals

Let you make the decision that works for you – the results are entirely impartial, it’s all about information for your business trip, not a moralising guilt trip

Enable you to communicate performance to internal and external stakeholders in a way that works for you

Educate travellers about different ways to travel – or not

Make travel

work for you

We know that the road to sustainable travel can seem long and daunting – what works for one company may not work for yours. That’s why we’re continually developing travelHUB™ from our demo version so that it’s always adaptable to the unique needs of your business. You set the parameters that are relevant to your goals and travelHUB™ supplies the information you need to structure a travel policy that works for you. travelHUB™ enables you to work across all areas of your business (be it a department, a geographic site or area of the business – it’s your journey, it’s up to you). travelHUB™ lets you allocate carbon and carbon budgets that reflect the real world needs of different staff and it lets you select the indicators you want to evaluate for your business travel. travelHUB™ puts you in charge – it’s about providing information for your travellers to use to your business’s advantage, and helping your company move towards a more sustainable travel culture at a pace that’s right for your business.

travelHUB™ – the next generation of travel tools, connecting traveller decisions with business goals.

travel travel

At the forefront of your business travel planning


travelHUB™ resides at the front end of your business travel management system, helping achieve maximum behavioural change by showing travellers who are pre-booking their journey the best travel options open to them.

Corporate Sustainable Travel Policy


travelHUB™ Dynamic Evaluation Tool


Online Booking Tool

QA and Booking Fulfillment

Offline Booking Agent Non Contracted Travel

Corporate Systems

Management Information

With travelHUB™ you can even factor in often ignored elements – such as personal car use – of your externally managed travel programme.

Structure and Functionality - It’s about what’s right for your business With travelHUB™ you drive the process. Using a menu wizard, structure the system, decide which impacts you want it to evaluate and set the assessment criteria that are right for your business, and travelHUB™ efficiently assesses a range of door-to-door travel options, rating them against the factors that matter most to you.


Organisation Structure

travelHUB™ Dynamic Evaluation Tool

Sustainability Indicators





London Office




Multiple Modes

Be it carbon or cost, well being or productivity, travelHUB™ enables you to see quickly and easily what the real cost of each journey could be.

travelHUB™ – the flexibility to create a sustainable travel plan – and maximum ROI – at a speed that works for your business.


Dynamic Cost Indicator Opt for lowest price possible fares or baseline data for a range of door-to-door travel options. travelHUB™ can reflect live cost budgets when it assesses journey options, so cost control is achieved pre-trip, enabling travellers to choose the option that best fits their budget. Carbon Allocation You’ve worked out your corporate carbon budget with the help of the SOS Carbon Optimization tool – now you can set the allowances for departments, sites or even individual employees. Dynamic Carbon Indicator travelHUB™ will help you work within what’s left of your carbon budget or apply the carbon intensity measure (CO2eg/km) for the whole journey, based on the latest DEFRA carbon-reporting guidelines. travelHUBTM can efficiently simplify the numerous feasible routes, making it easy to select the optimum one. Personal cars and grey fleet carbon travelHUB™ enables you to apply traveller specific carbon factors for employees who use their own car for business travel. Productivity indicator Business travel can impact on productivity – travelHUB™ lets you see how travel time or modes of transport can impact on productivity. It even lets you assign staff costs. Well being indicator Travel can impact on employee well being – examine the impacts of time spent travelling, transfer time and modes of transport on your workforce.

You decide which impacts to evaluate. You select the criteria that matter to your business. Travelhub does everything else.

travel travel

Sustainable Journey Planner

Using Google Maps to help travellers select their start point and destination, the planner shows travellers how car sharing or combining appointments could cut financial and carbon costs. By factoring in the option of more meetings per trip, travelHUB™ shows travellers how better planning could help achieve the best ROI.


Optimum Travel Options

travelHUB™ provides travellers with journey plans that include the main modes of transport for each doorto-door route option. This can then be balanced against factors such as sustainability, carbon budgets, cost saving or productivity to choose the travel option that works best for your needs. For organisations that reimburse personal car mileage with different claim rates depending on the feasibility of public transport options, travelHUB™ provides an effective ranking. This enables travel managers to efficiently approve travel expenses. Our work has identified that savings of 5% on a large organisation’s mileage claims can be achieved.

travelHUB™ – connecting carbon sense and business benefits to empower travellers to make informed decisions.

travel travel

Sustainable Dashboard



Enables users to see at a glance how their performance compares to business goals. Facilitates quick and easy benchmarking across the business or across the team. travelHUB™ benchmarks the sustainable travel index for the business and employees against your chosen indicators. It enables you to see what’s motivating behavior so you can target communications accordingly. Dynamic gauges for Cost and Carbon let travellers easily monitor their budgets, and quickly compare them across their organization. travelHUB™ records the estimated traveller productivity savings, showing the accumulations for the relevant business area and the organistation as a whole. travelHUB™ helps you balance business needs with business goals: it can help travellers see the best options – and their benefits – helping them better plan their travel and increase cost and carbon savings. It can give the business an unexpected boost by helping improve productivity. Whichever way you look at it, travelHUB™ can make great business sense, and help your business find more beneficial ways of working.

travelHUB™ Facilitating carbon trading between your teams

Dynamic carbon budgets showing each traveller their total carbon footprint and remaining balance, can help organisations implement carbon trading. Administrators can easily reflect the carbon allowances traded.

travelHUB™ records the estimated traveller productivity savings, showing the accumulations for the relevant business area and the organistation as a whole.


travelHUB™ - the facts speak for themselves

A world-beating travel tool • In 2009, SOS beat global competition to win the Business Travel Show CSR Innovation Award for the concept that lead to the creation of travelHUB™. •

SOS received the best innovative idea in the Institute of Travel and Meetings’ Enter the Dragons competition 2009.

SOS MD, Paul Adderley, received the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship Award in 2009-10 for the travelHUB™ concept.

Our Sustainable Travel Clients and Partners include:

SOS travelHUB™ why not start your sustainable travel journey today? Contact us for a demonstration and see how travelHUB™ could benefit your business. Sustainable Opportunity Solutions Limited 0845 475 1275

SOS Scotland/TravelHUB  
SOS Scotland/TravelHUB  

Guiding Businesses to Discover Sustainable Opportunities by Working in Partnership brochure, logos and icons (except the SOS logo) desgined...