Local Newry based firm PWS Ireland Ltd is the first of eleven companies participating in Invest Northern Ireland’s ‘Building Blocks to a Better Business’ pilot project to receive the ISO14001 accreditation for their Environmental Management System (EMS).
‘Building Blocks to a Better Business’ delivered locally by environmental consultants White Young Green is designed to help small to medium sized businesses achieve BS8555, the new UK standard for the phased implementation of an EMS.
One of the principal aims of BS8555 is to improve a company’s environmental performance, using a number of key indicators to assess the impact they have on their surroundings. To support this process extensive guidance materials and training programmes have been developed to help companies progress along the path of environmental improvement.
Commenting on the programme Alan Neville, Director of Knowledge Management at Invest NI said:
“Businesses today of all sizes are under increasing pressure, from the public, their clients and from current government legislation to minimise the impact they have on the environment. By implementing an effective EMS strategy they can not only meet these obligations but make real cost savings that will improve their competitiveness and increase their profitability.”
The programme is geared towards an individual company’s business experience and completed at a pace most suitable to them. John McAteer, Managing Director from PWS, the first company in Europe to manufacture solar powered portable variable message signs said:
“We found the phased approach of BS 8555 really beneficial. While the final goal was accreditation to ISO 14001 the phases of BS8555 concentrated on developing environmental working standards and tangible environmental performance improvements.
“This was particularly important to us because rather than working towards the final objective of obtaining certification, we worked through each phase to make sure that we obtained the best working practices for our company.”
PWS have already seen major benefits for their company including a 55% reduction in their landfill waste disposal costs, a 15% reduction in electricity costs, a 6% reduction in oil costs and a 200% increase in the income generated from recycling steel and aluminium.