Environmental information put to the TESS

TESS (The Environmental Skills Store) is a partnership between ECUS (Environmental Consultancy, University of Sheffield) and Pixel Fountain, providing a new integrated approach to environmental information, knowledge and training provision.

TESS is an innovative subscription service giving members a CD-ROM that links to a dedicated web-site. The service is split into four areas:

  • Inform provides information, practical resources and the ability to network with other businesses;
  • ECO (Environmental Consul-tants On-line) allows you to ‘talk’ directly to experts who will help you solve your specific environmental problems, with a turn around time of hours, not days. Consultants will also chair on-line conferences on particular issues;
  • Training is available as cost-effective, flexible Computer Based Training (CBT) Software, providing easy-to-use training programs that can facilitate flexible training. New CBTs will be tailored to member requirements;
  • In addition, the TESS Centre is a physical resource based at the ECUS offices that contains an Intranet and traditional training facilities.

    Potential benefits

    Businesses find it difficult to access environmental information because of the bewildering number of sources and a lack of financial and operational resources to search for this information. TESS will minimise these problems by offering:

    • An up-to-date core of environ-mental information tailored to business needs;
    • A dynamic service to ensure the information is always relevant – TESS will offer reports on the latest legislation, new environ-mental technologies, latest research and so on;
    • Interactive questionnaires that enable future material to meet the exact needs of business;
    • Flexibility via on-line forums that allow companies to ‘meet’ without being in the same place or time frame;
    • Reduction of direct costs like travel and opportunity costs such as loss of productive time;
    • The ability to stop and start research, so a member can still respond to the on-going needs of the company;
    • Sector specific material will be included because the ease of modifying computer files makes this process cost-effective.


    Inform is categorised by issues, business sector and technologies and has a diary facility. Inform contains the latest environmental information in the form of fact sheets, articles, case studies and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Members will find resources such as forms, photographs, spreadsheets etc to use in their business. Inform also allows businesses to network with each other by means of forums, on-line meeting rooms and notice boards. Members will be able to e-mail dedicated environmental consultants about a particular enquiry. An initial number of e-mail units, equivalent to one day of consultancy, will be supplied with the subscription. Additional units can be purchased when required. Responses to ECO enquiries will be monitored and will form the basis of future FAQ’s and articles. Member suggestions will also make sure on-line conferences prove successful.

    Training Programmes

    Greening Your Workforce is aimed at training departments and middle management, providing them with the skills to implement environmental training and communication systems. Greening Your Workforce is designed to ensure all employees are concerned with, and involved in, the environmental perf-ormance of their company.

    Waste Minimisation is aimed at environmental managers, site engineers and anyone involved in waste management in both service and manufacturing sectors. A key tool in the development of an effective waste minimisation programme is the establishment of baseline information on waste generation and handling. This CBT will teach employees how to gather the best information that in turn will enable them to identify opportunities for minimising waste.

    Environmental Site Manage-ment is aimed at all staff within manufacturing industry. All companies have the potential to pollute the environment; Environmental Site Management will provide all staff with the knowledge and skills to reduce the risk to the environment of their everyday operations. It includes materials handling and storage, site drainage, transportation, dealing with emergencies and site maintenance.


    ECUS is a multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy with over 10 years’ experience and 20 full-time members of professional staff. ECUS has earned a reputation as an international centre of excellence in the environmental consultancy.

    Pixel Fountain Ltd is a multimedia house with established credentials for producing large innovative projects. Pixel Fountain has experience in developing training, CD-ROMs, web-sites, simulations and multimedia toolkits for blue-chip clients.

    The Launch of TESS will be in April. The full subscription (including ECO, Inform and Training Programs) is priced at £895.00. Individual parts of the package can be purchased separately, for example the price for the individual training programs starts at £150.00. The partners are offering bespoke versions of TESS to work on members’ Intranets and are looking for corporate sponsors.

    IEM has TESS subscriptions to offer the first 10 companies to return an enquiry card. Note these subscriptions will become active when the service is launched in April.

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