The Environmental Quality Mark Community Interest Company (EQM CIC) is a not-for-profit company that runs the scheme as a social enterprise on behalf of the Peak District National Park Authority and Staffordshire County Council.
The community interest company works closely with the Peak District National Park Authority to maintain the EQM award scheme. The Peak District National Park Authority provides invaluable support to help protect and enhance the values of the EQM award.
Board of directors
Faith Johnson has a background in environmental management and now focuses on supporting and mentoring small businesses to improve their environmental performance and sustainability. She is particularly interested in farming methods that balance food production with conservation and carbon management. She lives on a working upland beef cattle farm in the Peak District and has a small flock of whitefaced woodland sheep of her own.
Martin Hofman has lived in Derbyshire since 2007. He ran Wheeldon Trees Farm Holiday Cottages, near Buxton, with his wife. They received the EQM award for consecutive years up until they moved on from Wheeldon Trees in 2021. He is particularly interested in the challenges presented by preserving the countryside at the same time as maintaining and developing a vibrant local economy.
Simon Smith lives on the border of South Staffordshire and has a background in providing advice to businesses in the tourism sector. He has worked all over the county, as an advisor for Business Link and in membership and business development for Destination Staffordshire. He is also a former project officer for the Staffordshire EQM.
History of the EQM award scheme
In 2001, the Peak District National Park Authority developed the concept of an environmental award scheme.
The concept took shape and became the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark with a focus on celebrating a passion for place and the environment. The original concept focused on farms and tourism businesses in the Peak District, but it soon expanded to include any business or organisation.
A decade later in 2011, the EQM was entirely reviewed and upgraded, and validated by VisitEngland.
The EQM scheme is now run by EQM CIC in both the Peak District and Staffordshire. The scheme is owned and officially awarded by the authorities in these areas - the Peak District National Park Authority and Staffordshire County Council, respectively.
The scheme can be replicated and customised for any destination.
In 2022, EQM CIC launched a nationwide scheme, so that any business or organisation in the UK can apply. We also launched our new carbon tracker tool, which allows businesses to set a net zero goal, record their carbon reductions and monitor their progress.