ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized standard to evaluate an organisation’s environmental management systems, and applies to both the actual running of the business and the products manufactured. In order to gain the accreditation, George Utz was independently audited at its UK operation at Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Preparations for the award have taken some 12 months, and have been driven by Health and Safety, Environmental and Quality Coordinator (HSEQ) Scott Gourlay. The project has covered a number of KPIs, such as environmental management compliance and control, monitoring and measurement of energy usage, strict emergency response procedures, keeping environmental records, correct waste management, and internal communications and training.
Commenting on the award, Scott says “Obviously, we all have a part to play in reducing our carbon footprint to safeguard our environment for the future. Being a plastics manufacturer, there are unique issues we have had to consider, such as controlling environmental impact in the unlikely event of a fire, to controlling all emissions to air, land and water courses. We set ourselves some very tough objectives. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m delighted all our hard work has paid off. We are particularly proud of the fact that we have reduced our energy usage per unit produced by over 4.5% – that’s an £80,000+ saving on our energy bill in the last 12 months.”
General Manager Carsten Diekmann comments “We believe in adopting robust and sustainable environmental policies. Our customers are increasingly requesting information and confirmation of our environmental management systems during contractual negotiations, and of course are always particularly interested in using high quality recycled materials wherever possible.
“George Utz has always taken its environmental responsibilities very seriously, and our achievement of ISO 14001 is a clear demonstration of our commitment to incorporating stringent standards within our day-today operations.
“We have also recently invested in additional storage facilities with the construction of four new silos holding a total of 800 tonnes of bulk raw material – an increase of 130%. We have the facilities for customers to return their old containers to be “chipped up” and the materials re-used to produce new containers or other materials handling equipment. By using recycled polymers, our customers are not only doing their bit for the environment, but also saving on costs – on average, high quality recycled polymers are 30% cheaper than new, with little or no effect on performance.”
George Utz will be exhibiting many of its products at the forthcoming IMHX Exhibition at the NEC in November.
As a UK manufacturer George Utz Ltd has been well known for many years for providing successful and reliable injection-moulded and vacuum formed storage solutions to British and European industry. It offers specialist technical advice about the best products to integrate with existing or new automated systems.