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Environmental management systems - Ross-Shire Engineering

Ross-Shire Engineering

Ross-Shire Engineering operate from Muir of Ord in the Scottish Highlands and Cumbernauld near Glasgow, and offer clients a range of water technology, oil and gas, hydro, industrial and electrical turn-key engineering and fabrication services.

The company achieved certification to the Environmental Management System (EMS) Standard ISO 14001 in 2014, building on their existing Quality and Health & Safety Management Systems.

Ross-shire Engineering have since become one of the first companies to be certified to the new 2015 Standard for ISO 14001 and Stephen Webb, Quality and Environmental Manager offers his thoughts on what an EMS means for the company and their experience of the ISO 14001 transition process.

Why did you choose to implement an EMS?

"Our decision to implement an EMS was partly client driven and the need to be able to clearly demonstrate good environmental management when tendering for and also while carrying out work for some of our larger clients such as Scottish Water and within the oil and gas industry. In addition, there was also a desire to gain a better understanding of our environmental risks and quantify consumption of key utilities and waste in order to identify areas for reduction and potential savings".

How did you develop the system?

"We already had accredited Quality and Health & Safety management systems in place, so adding an Environmental element was fairly straightforward as we used some existing templates and procedures as the starting point. Over time the three management systems have become much more integrated to reduce duplication of procedures and documents. The EMS was developed in-house with some key staff attending EMS auditor training. When identifying our legislative requirements NetRegs was a very useful source of information and assisted in the development of our legalisation register and also in understanding our compliance obligations".

What are the benefits?

"Operating an EMS helps support the tender process with clients, we have documentation and evidence in place to support Pre-Qualification Questionnaires and ensure the client's pre-tender and project environmental requirements are met. Apart from helping us to be successful in winning new and repeat business with clients, operating an EMS has encouraged us to analyse our utility consumption and waste production and identify areas where costs can be reduced. Directors receive monthly reports regarding energy use and waste production. Access to this information has resulted in improved waste segregation initiatives that have increased our recycling rates to 77%, Energy efficient investment has included a wood fuel boiler, underfloor heating, LED lighting and solar panels being installed as part of a newly built works unit. The installation of solar PV roof panels on existing buildings are due to payback well within the 6 years predicated".

"We have also just been audited as a supplier within the utility sector and received 100% scores in all areas (Quality, Health & Safety, Environment and Corporate and Social Responsibility) demonstrating that our management systems are working across all areas, and something that is of interest to our clients."

Do you have any tips for companies moving over to the new ISO 14001:2015 Standard?

"Senior Management commitment from the start is vital for a successful EMS as well as addressing the new leadership criteria in ISO 14001:2015.

In fulfilling the Standard requirements of "Context" and "Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties" we made a list so that we could consider and engage with a full range of stakeholders, including clients, employees, our supply chain, competitors and both personal and business residents in close proximity to our workshops and yard. Any significant risks such as single source suppliers / high risk suppliers or opportunities such as technological or process advances were then entered into our corporate register for further investigation to mitigate risk and develop opportunities.

After tackling the requirements above, we found that the other changes required fell in to place. We are fortunate that our products are almost completely recyclable. Our fabricated items are primarily made from steel with ancillary equipment installations and cabling also being recyclable, which helped to ensure we met the lifecycle considerations required within ISO 14001".


You can also search for good practice case studies on the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre (EREK)

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