The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark Application

About EQM

What is the EQM?
The concept of an Environmental Quality Mark was developed by the Peak District National Park Authority in 2001. The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (PDEQM) started off as a replicable, place-based environmental quality mark for farms and tourism businesses in the Peak District. In 2011 it was reviewed and renewed and then validated by Visit England. The new scheme can be customised for any destination.
The EQM is a place based environmental quality mark that enables any businesses to demonstrate how they use and enhance the place in a sustainable way, to increase the fulfilment of customers. It is a way that businesses can demonstrate not only how they are running good, sustainable businesses, reducing their negative impact on the environment and supporting their communities but also influencing customers' behaviour, engagement and knowledge.
The new EQM is built as follows:
  • Foundation principles (informed by most up to date, best sustainable practise)
  • Audits and ongoing improvement
  • From the principles come the questions (to enable businesses to showcase what they are doing)
  • To accompany the questions is the guidance (the route to ever improving ‘wise growth')
  • The guidance is developed from the best practice of real businesses
The Principles:
  • Participating organisations (businesses)
  • Local Environment
  • Global Environment
  • People and communities
  • Scheme owners

Participating Organisations (businesses):
  • Improving businesses quality, turnover, profitability and customer satisfaction, encouraging customers to feel, taste, touch, smell, see and say "This is a very special place we need to treasure it”
  • Customer service is at the centre of businesses and services
  • The EQM activities are based around customer experience from start to finish
  • The EQM activities should enable the customer to: have more fun, wish to repeat the experience and to get better value
  • The business involves the customer through communication, marketing, promotion and education to enable the customer to be the best sales person
  • The scheme enables the business to be more profitable
  • The scheme enables the business to be more efficient with their resources
  • The scheme enables networking, learning together, supporting and trading with each other
People and Communities:
  • The scheme will enable the business to enhance people's lives locally and globally and will ensure that:
  • The business supports their community
    Conducts responsible employment of local people
  • Uses ethical employment standards
  • Supports local charities
  • Supports global charities
  • The business networks with like minded businesses, recognising their networks
  • The business purchases locally, responsibly and with due care to global communities
Local Environment:
  • The scheme will enable the reduction of the negative impact of businesses on the local environment and will enable the business to enhance the local environment, and will ensure that:
  • The business invests in the local environment
  • The business protects and shares the valued characteristics of the Peak District
  • The business manages their visual impact sensitively, in line with planning regulations, and with due regard to the valued characteristics
Global Environment:
  • The scheme will enable the reduction of the negative impact of businesses on the global environment and will ensure:
  • Legal compliance
  • Carbon reduction
  • Efficient energy management
  • Efficient water management
  • Efficient waste management
  • Responsible transport choices
  • Responsible purchasing: bulk, seasonal, local, recycled
  • Supplier screening – assessing suppliers': employment, environmental, animal welfare and ethical standards
The Scheme Owner:
  • The owner is authoritative and official, building participants' confidence in a long term, consistent and respected scheme.
  • The owner is customer and business focussed
  • The owner is inclusive
  • The owner enables responsibility and empowerment of officers and participants
  • The owner celebrates the scheme and participants

Before You Start
Before starting your application you may find it helpful to see an overview of the questions and guidance. Click on the following links for further information:
This will give you an idea of things to think about and the range of questions.
This explains the review process and development of the EQM for any destination.
This is a collection of real EQM business actions, to give your business ideas, it will be updated every year.

What happens when you submit your application?
  1. Applicant completes and submits application.
  2. When applicant and Project Officer (PO) are content that the application and action plan are complete the PO will visit the applicant's site.
  3. The PO will ‘mark' the application, assessing each action in section 2 against the five criteria: business, global environment, local environment, people and communities and 'destination special'.
  4. If the number of points per criterion are even, the application will be deemed to be balanced and meeting the scheme's objectives.
  5. A report will be generated from the website with a recommendation from the PO.
  6. The PO will present the application to the EQM award panel for a decision and a citation.
  7. The PO will convey the award panel's decision and recommendations to the applicant.
  8. The award holder's data form can be updated with new achievements and their action plan progress.
  9. After 12 months the PO will contact the award holder to review action plan progress and trigger the update of the award.
  10. The award holder's data form will be updated by them every year.
  11. Every two years the PO will conduct a monitoring visit.
  12. Any disputes or irregularities will dealt with in compliance with the scheme owner's complaints procedure.
  13. In addition the award panel will, on the recommendation of the PO, select winners for a range of annual awards.