Beerenberg has for a number of years been certified under ISO 14001, a recognised standard for environmental management. Sustainability is also one of the company’s strategic focus areas and has been a subject for improvement for some time. “For 2021 we have chosen three focus areas for the group. They are identifying working methods to support sustainable development, adopting new technologies to reduce our environmental footprint, and developing environmental data sheets for our products,” says Linda Aumo from the HSEQ department. She also heads up the cross-disciplinary team.
Identifying working methods
Linda Aumo appreciates the benefits of the new team taking a cross-disciplinary approach. Its members have been recruited from projects, the product department, marketing and other units.
“It is obvious that this way of working sharpens the focus and impact across the business compared with a team made up solely of environmental specialists.”
One initiative already underway is an investigation into the company’s working methods in the surface treatment segment.
“The company has identified its environmental footprint in relation to CO2 emissions and microplastics. We have also looked at the impact of different working methods on the workers tasked with carrying out the operations. We are trying to get on top of it and to choose the best solutions for the natural environment while mitigating impact and other negative consequences,” says Linda Aumo.
Exploiting new technology
Another initiative is looking at how the company can exploit new technology.
“Here, too, we have a number of ongoing projects such as the SpiderJet and Icarus robots which collect waste in a closed system. We have now adopted these tools on our surface treatment projects. We are also looking into electrification and reuse along with other courses of action. In this and all other areas we would really like to receive tips and suggestions from our employees across the organisation,” Aumo explains.
Beerenberg’s Benarx® product range will also make a contribution when it comes to sustainability.
“We are in the process of creating environmental impact data sheets to describe the environmental benefits of the products.”
Highlighting good initiatives
One of the objectives of the team is to help give the company a comprehensive overview of all its ongoing sustainability initiatives.
“Beerenberg is working on a number of installations and plants across a large geographical area. It can be difficult for someone working on a particular project to know about all the good work taking place on other projects within the company. The environmental team therefore wishes to highlight good initiatives that have been introduced on individual projects so that other projects can learn and consider whether they should be introducing something similar.”
One example of a good initiative cited by Aumo is how a team leader reported that there was no need to include plastic lids when ordering plastic buckets since the lids were always thrown away anyway. This very simple move has helped reduce plastic use at Beerenberg. These seemingly minor things are important because they both help the environment and reduce costs.
“We are potentially looking at the whole range of measures that could reduce our environmental footprint,” says Linda Aumo.