Social responsibility and saving money
In 2004 we identified the need to adopt a structured approach to environmental management activities for both commercial and social responsibility reasons.
To facilitate this, we identified the Green Dragon Environmental Standard as the most appropriate for the business and implementation began in 2004. The advantage of the green dragon standard in comparison to ISO 14001 was that we could gain accreditation in stages (levels 1 to 5) and when you have reached level 5 you have achieved a standard equivalent to ISO 14001.
By 2005 we had achieved accreditation to Level 4, followed by Level 5 in 2006 which has been successfully retained in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Initiatives identified were the creation and the implementation of dedicated environmental objectives to be targeted and measured year on year. These included a reduction in CO² emission, consideration of reducing hazardous chemical use on site, thus reducing hazardous waste for disposal, continual monitoring and, where possible, reduction in consumption of fuel, water and waste going to landfill, along with an improvement in environmental awareness and activities with employees.
Through energy saving initiatives such as delayed start up times and reduced cycle times for ovens and process tanks, EQC have reduced CO² emissions by almost 10% from 2007 to 2008 with an overall reduction of more than 20% since 2005.
As a powder coater, the largest waste stream is waste powder generated by the spray process. This is currently generating in excess of 15 tonnes per annum, which is disposed of, through a licensed waste carrier, to landfill costing almost £3,000 per year. In line with the company’s objectives to reduce waste to landfill wherever possible, EQC has sourced a recycle opportunity for waste powder which will reduce this waste to landfill by 100% and will reduce disposal costs by approximately 50%.