Environment Agency launches free system to streamline waste reporting process

By Anita Jaynes on 29 January, 2014

A free online system that will save Wiltshire businesses time and money by transforming the way they record the waste they produce is launched today by a partnership of waste industry and government bodies led by the Environment Agency. Electronic duty of care – or ‘edoc’ – is expected to save organisations across the country a combined total of £8m a year by providing a modern electronic alternative to burdensome paperwork .

All UK businesses are required to produce waste transfer notes, which describe their waste and who they pass it on to. edoc aims to replace the current paper-based system, which requires around 50 million waste transfer notes to be stored in filing cabinets across the UK. These need to be kept for a minimum of two years – and around 23 million are produced every year.

edoc was designed and built by IPL, a consultancy and IT solutions provider based in Bath. The software enables businesses to create, share, review, edit, sign and store waste transfer notes via a secure and easy-to-use online portal, eradicating the need for paper copies, and improving the quality of audit and reporting data by providing an overview of who has performed what action on a given waste transfer note.

The system will help businesses keep on top of their waste transfer notes by sending email alerts to users when they need to review, edit or sign one off. As well as the online portal, edoc has been built to enable businesses to link it with their existing waste management systems directly.

The data being collected will also enable national governments to build a comprehensive view of the waste being produced by UK businesses, saving a potential £1m a year of public money spent on business waste surveys.

Mat Crocker, Head of Illegals and Waste at the Environment Agency, said: “For businesses to make the switch from paper to edoc, it was critical that we develop a system that is easy to adopt. IPL’s agile approach to development has been key to this. It allowed us to roll out edoc in a staged way, gathering feedback from an extensive group of potential end users as we went. As a result, we’ve been able to enhance the design and functionality of the system based on real user experience. The end product is a truly user-focused system, something we could not have achieved with a more conventional approach to software development.”

Paul Jobbins, CEO at IPL, added: “edoc is one of those rare systems that offers a genuine benefit to every UK business, regardless of its size. It’s free, it’s easy to use and we can all get started today, thereby wiping out what can be a significant overhead and enabling companies to focus more on our core business.

“I’m delighted we’ve delivered such an important project on time, and within the budget we were set.”

edoc is available at www.edoconline.co.uk.