National Award for Environmental Excellence®

As the understanding of the role that clean, green, beautiful spaces have on health, welfare and the economy continues to grow, our National Award for Environmental Excellence® provides a route map to continuous improvement in environmental management.

A hallmark of best practice, this award has been recognised by Quality Scotland as “supporting organisations to deliver excellence in environmental quality” (Quality Scotland, 2016). It offers a standardised method to assess and benchmark environmental achievements and improvements and helps organisations address a wide range of environmental issues, setting the foundation for an effective and robust environmental management system.


The award criteria

The award is achieved following a series of audits set against five criteria:


Corporate, social responsibility, including charitable giving, staff training opportunities and health and safety policies are some of the elements assessed.

External Environment

External landscaping and standards of building maintenance are considered as part of an assessment of all the external space the organisation owns, manages or controls.

Internal Environment

A review is taken of the practices and the opportunities in place for energy saving, recycling and waste disposal as well as the visual cleanliness and general appearance of the internal working spaces.

Waste Management

Waste policies, practices, plans and procedures are assessed in-terms of appropriateness to the organisation and an assessment of waste management areas.

Community Participation

The engagement with the local community, staff volunteering and charitable giving is reviewed as well as the support and encouragement of local suppliers.

Audits are carried out by trained assessors and a score is given against set criteria which determine whether or not an organisation has achieved the minimum standard for accreditation. It also determines the level of award achieved, either bronze, silver or gold.

A detailed report on the findings together with an action plan of any recommendations for improvements to achieve the next level is then provided. In addition to this, our local environmental quality officers can offer ongoing support during and after the award process including internal training and advice. This enables a focus on continuous improvement to tackle more complex environmental challenges now and in the future.

Over 100 business and 400 housing locations across Scotland have already had their non-carbon related impact independently assessed by our local environmental quality officers. This includes Diageo, Network Rail, ng homes, NHS Tayside, CMAL, the C and C Group and Scottish Widows.

Key benefits of the National Award for Environmental Excellence®

  • Provides a robust foundation for an environmental management system.
  • Fits in with the holistic European Foundation for Quality Management Excellence Model (EFQM).
  • Provides a benchmark of performance and environmental impact both internally and externally.
  • Provides a detailed report and action plan to track improvements.
  • Enables compliance with relevant environmental legislation.
  • Identifies potential cost savings through environmental improvements and efficiencies.
Contact us
Colin Hegarty
LEQ Network Coordinator
Tel: 01786 468239

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