Guidance information for Self Assessment

How does the Self Assessment work?

The Self Assessment is made up of 24 questions, called ‘Requirements’. To achieve a successful accreditation, you will need to fulfil a mixture of requirements termed ‘Core Requirements’ and ‘Operational Requirements’. There are three levels of Green Accord Accreditation and the number of ‘core and operational requirements’ needed to achieve them is set out below. See How the levels work?

Self Assessment questions are in numerical order, starting with ‘Core Requirements’, and by ticking the box alongside each question you are confirming that your company can comply with each requirement. As you tick the various requirements, the Self Assessment will automatically display the level of Green Accord accreditation achieved. This allows you to decide the level most suitable for your company.

Guidance is provided for all Requirements, with links to websites providing additional expert information and help to introduce new practices. This can assist you in obtaining a higher level of accreditation where applicable to your size of business.

Once you are satisfied that you have achieved the required level you need, you can progress your application by uploading the supporting evidence required for each requirement. It is essential that you provide the correct evidence and this matches that clarified below each requirement. The evidence provided must relate solely to the question applied for (i.e. do not attach large documents where the evidence is hidden amongst surplus information).

Payment is necessary to submit you assessment for verification and covers the cost of a full and robust audit of the information you provide.

What are the different levels of Green Accord?

There are three levels of accreditation available to your company, Select, Superior and Premier. The levels are used to acknowledge the environmental practices of individual companies and to ensure all sizes of business can achieve Green Accord Accreditation, therefore making the scheme inclusive.

In addition, the different levels of accreditation are designed to encourage businesses to strive for higher levels of accreditation and introduce more sustainable practices to further reduce their environmental impact. All levels of accreditation are valid for two years.

What are Core Requirements?

Core requirements are considered essential practices (Questions 1 to 7). The number of core questions you choose will dictate the level of Green Accord you can achieve. Your level of Green Accord is illustrated, in the ‘group section’, under the question number as below.

What are Operational Requirements?

Operational Requirements are those outside of Core Requirements, and there are 17 questions, allowing you to choose those you are able to comply with in order to achieve the required level you wish to attain.

Operational Requirements are split into the following categories:

  • Waste
  • Energy and Water
  • Transport and Equipment
  • Procurement

The different categories of Operational Requirements are identified in the ‘group section’, below the question number, for example ‘Waste’.

How the levels work?

The number of questions (requirements) you tick and have the required evidence to support will dictate the level of Green Accord you achieve.

Level Core Requirements Operational Requirements
(waste, energy/water, transport/equipment, procurement/business)
Generally achievable by*
Questions 1 & 2 5 or more questions from 8 to 24 SME's or smaller
Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5 6 or more questions from 8 to 24 Medium size businesses
Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 11 or more questions from 8 to 24 Large businesses with an EMS in place
* This is only a guide

The Self Assessment is designed to be used by all types and size of business. Not all requirements will be suitable for every type of company. However, as above there are 17 requirements outside of the Core Requirements, providing scope for you to choose those most suitable to your business.

Accreditation and Auditing

Once submitted your application will be sent to an auditor who will review your application. The following charges for accreditation apply:

The Fee covers a robust audit of the assessment valid for 2 years and a certificate/media to promote environmental excellence.

Notification of your accreditation is sent by email and you will be required to log into your Green Accord Account to accept the level awarded.

Size Charge
Fewer than 5 employees £100 + vat
5 to 250 employees £200 + vat
Over 250 employees £500 + vat

What if my submission is not successful?

If you have not achieved the level you applied for you will receive an email asking you to log into your account. There you will be able to view the Requirements not approved and feedback from the auditor. You are advised to submit new or extended evidence for the questions you did not pass, to allow a second amended audit to be carried out at no extra cost.

In cases where Superior (yellow apple) or Premier (green apple) status is applied for, you can resubmit your original application, as above, or if awarded a level below that applied for, you can simply accept that level and secure your accreditation.

Any further submissions or applications will incur a new payment as this will be classed as a new submission.