For Integrated Design Limited (IDL), green is more than just the Fastlane brand colour. Having achieved ISO 14001:2015, the Environmental Management System (EMS), being as green as possible and a responsible manufacturer is crucial to IDL’s business practices. Stephen Keeping, IDL’s HSEQ Manager, explains why this environmental credential is so important to the pedestrian entrance control manufacturer, and what it means for customers.
“IDL achieved ISO 9001 for its quality control in 1997 and, recognising how much modern business affects the environment both locally and globally, obtaining the environmental certification was the next logical step,” comments Stephen. “Although there are a number of environmental management standards available, we believe ISO 14001 is the most comprehensive one and it is recognised by our global customers. Continually looking to improve our working practices, we have recently transitioned from ISO 14001:2004 to ISO 14001:2015, ahead of the September 2018 deadline.”
The benefits for customers
Recognising how important this accreditation is for both the organisation and its customers, Stephen highlights some of the benefits: “With sustainable and ethical business practices being high on the agenda for many of the organisations which use our products, knowing that the Fastlane turnstiles installed to protect their staff and assets have been carefully designed with the environment in mind is an important selling point. Implementing ISO 14001:2015 has also helped us to further reduce waste and improve resource efficiency, maintaining affordability for our customers, which is always appreciated,” continues Stephen.
Creating a safer environment for staff and visitors
The company has always been respectful of the environment, long before any legal requirements were introduced, so when it came to implementing ISO 14001:2015, very little needed changing. “Fastlane designs have always been created with a focus on getting the most amount of product from the least amount of material, so there was very little room to improve efficiency here,” explains Stephen.
However, working towards the standard requires a company to review all of its activities thoroughly, so other areas for improvement were identified. “We’ve been able to alter a number of manufacturing processes with positive effects,” adds Stephen. “Improving our working practices and controlling waste have been the easiest ways for us to make a difference. We’ve removed over 60% of the chemicals we previously used which has not only made the workplace safer for staff and visitors, but has also drastically reduced harmful waste, which is much better for the environment. Our electronics are also RoHS-compliant and lead-free, but we were doing that before we started the ISO process.”
For an environmental management system to be effective, the lifecycle of all products and processes must be considered. “Our aim in designing our products not only includes creating low energy consumption units with minimal maintenance activities, but also means assembling them in such a way that they are easily dismantled into their constituent parts for recycling,” Stephen continues.
Continual improvement is a priority
IDL’s current priorities are focused on reducing the amount of the planet’s natural resources it uses. “We’ve already upgraded a substantial proportion of our lighting to low-energy units and installed insulated false ceilings and automatic flushers in our lavatories. Everything is manufactured in the UK and we use local suppliers to source all of our metals, which means we keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. However, there is always room for improvement, so we’ve recently been looking into using recycled metals in our production,” explains Stephen.
A team effort
Stephen is the appointed HSEQ Manager, but the responsibility for implementing ISO 14001:2015 falls to everyone within the business. Stephen comments: “Ensuring that our EMS is correctly implemented involves all of IDL’s staff, and even our suppliers, to varying degrees. Led by our senior management team, every employee and supplier is expected to pitch in where they can. With the issue of environmental protection being so widespread, we’ve had no resistance obtaining backing from everyone involved.”
Just because IDL has achieved ISO 14001:2015 accreditation, doesn’t mean the good work stops there. “The written procedures we must follow and the records we have to keep are ongoing, allowing us to see how we interact with the environment, review the situation and either maintain or continually improve our activities. Making our processes more efficient and environmentally friendly will continue to be a priority for IDL, and it’s something I’m proud to champion on behalf of the company,” concludes Stephen.