Our new data monitoring programme has been launched for all our members across all regulations - here we run through the benefits you can expect to see.
In January, our data analyst Fergus published an article about the Environment Agency’s packaging monitoring plan, and what this increased scrutiny on data accuracy meant for our members. The EA are still very much prioritising data accuracy, and this has arguably become even more important as business activities alter and fluctuate.
Comprehensive monitoring process
We have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all our members are collecting their packaging, WEEE and batteries data as accurately as possible. We have built a comprehensive monitoring process which includes clarifying your processes and suggesting improvements we think need to be made to increase accuracy. We will work with you to implement these improvements moving forward, indeed, many of you may have already been contacted by your designated account manager or our friendly data analysts.
As much as we enjoy catching up with our members, this isn’t just about us having a good chat (although we do hope this will be part of it!) - as a compliance scheme, we take on a legal responsibility to ensure that we are confident that all data we submit to the EA on our members’ behalf is a true reflection of waste being placed on the market.
Equally, our members have a legal obligation to submit correct data to us. With the EA increasing stringency on standards they set for data accuracy, and carrying out more audits on producers across the UK, it is increasingly important for our members to make sure their processes are sound and accurate, and importantly to do this sooner rather than later.
This is where our monitoring process comes in.
Five ways you will benefit
Although the EA’s plans mainly centre around packaging producers, we are ensuring that all our members are kept updated with EA standards, so we can ensure data is accurately reported across the board. This is important as the data your report informs recycling and collection targets across all three regulations; the more accurate your data is, the more realistic and achievable these targets will be.
We know that often data collection and compliance is only a small part of your daily job and may only crop up on an annual basis. Our monitoring process will help you identify areas which need addressing within your data collection processes ahead of the 2021 compliance year, which will ultimately increase your internal efficiencies and improve your own processes, ensuring your data is more accurately collected when the next submission period comes around.
Our monitoring process also involves us asking questions about your business, so we will be able to identify if there are any areas you are not complying in, but need to be. Things like not being registered as a WEEE or Batteries producer when you place EEE/batteries onto the market, not declaring when packaging is imported or not registering a subsidiary as part of your packaging submission could all be picked up by the EA, who could take subsequent action.
By carrying out our thorough monitoring process, we will be able to identify if any of these areas are being overlooked, and get you registered and reporting correctly to ensure you are fully compliant.
As the EA have publicly said they will be carrying out more auditing themselves, we are keen that all our members are prepared for this. By carrying out this monitoring, identifying areas for improvement and following through on these actions, we can ensure that our members have accurate and transparent processes in place so that you can feel confident should the EA have any queries for you.
As well as increasing confidence in your data accuracy, we will also be able to work on questions that might crop up during submission periods. By putting the work in ahead of the data submission period, you will be able to save answering multiple questions at the time of submission, and the (often inevitable) back and forth between you and your account manager, especially during the packaging submission!
What you can expect
So, what are we doing to carry out this all-important monitoring? We’ve taken some really important steps since the beginning of the year and our new monitoring process officially began a few months ago. So far, we’ve had really positive feedback from the members we’ve monitored.
Our account managers and designated data analysts are carrying out the monitoring, which will involve around an hour-long conversation, thoroughly going over various aspects of data collection.
The outcome of this monitoring will be a formal report, which will lay out your data collection processes, and identify any improvements that need to be made moving forward, with deadlines. Your account manager will work with you on these moving forward.
We’ve also created a new position within our team, specifically for the purpose of carrying out monitoring with our members and making sure our data processes are accurate throughout. We’re excited to welcome Matthew Young to the Ecosurety team as an auditor.
Matthew previously worked for a law firm in Bath, where he coordinated all auditing activity. He has also has a huge passion for generating positive change in the environment, ever since his primary school days when he met Ken Livingstone as part of a recycling initiative in London - so we are confident our monitoring is in good hands!
If you have any queries about our monitoring process or would like to know when you will be being monitored, please do contact your account manager.
Victoria is a key member of our client services team, working hard to help our members meet all their compliance deadlines and data requirements. She has previously worked in events marketing and the charity sector, helping to fundraise for Alzheimer’s and dementia causes across the UK and abroad.