Environmental certification is now a reality!
In reward for much hard work, confirmation came just a few days ago, on 28 September: SAMIRO is a ISO 14001:2015 certified company.
But what does achievement of this objective actually mean?
Barbara Valsecchi, Environmental Management Officer at SANMIRO, responsible for the long complex procedure leading to certification, explains.
“Basically, this standard defines an “Environmental management system” as an integral part of the company’s management system, characterised by the development and implementation of a precise policy with identification of specific objectives regarding the nature of the company’s business, its products and services, as well as its operating conditions.”
SANMIRO has made a truly unusual choice, one still very uncommon among companies in the moulding of thermosetting materials sector.
Where did this desire to prioritise the environment come from?
“It’s true, this is a fairly unusual choice for a company that works with chemicals, not something you usually associate with sustainability. SANMIRO has however been moving in this direction for a long while now, with installation of our first photovoltaic panels for the production of clean energy 7 years ago, followed by a series of big investments into optimisation with a view to saving energy. The big turning point,” Barbara explains, “came with our ECO+ line, the first GREEN line produced using PEFC-certified wood flour. While initially this was an intuition, with ECO+ we realised that attention to the environment could not be limited solely to our product, it had to involve our entire company system.”
The road was already mapped out therefore?
“Yes, absolutely. What’s more, the procedure for obtaining certification meant we really capitalised on all the efforts and investments made in the past, creating a real internal environmental management system.”
Which means what exactly, Barbara?
“There are many aspects, often not easily perceived from outside. Suffice to think however that, on the energy front, we produce about 20% of our annual requirements autonomously. Heat for all the offices, and soon one of our divisions too, comes from a heat recovery process. Last but not least, thanks to a bespoke system, we manage to reuse all our production waste, which we have been recovering for more than 10 years now. This was one of our first investments! This is no small thing. Unlike plastics, thermosetting materials cannot, in fact, normally be recovered during the production process and excess from the production processes is actually thrown away. SANMIRO instead manages to recover and reuse all this waste with obvious savings in raw materials, thanks to a specifically designed system.”
In other words, you have an actual system in place?
“That’s right, a coded system that each year will be checked and evaluated by a certifying body.”
Is ISO14001:2015 Certification also an economic choice?
“Absolutely. It has many positive aspects, and not just economic, among its advantages.
- Improved image perceived by interested parties for our huge commitment to environmental protection.
- Certification is a tool for management of risks linked to the supply chain. Failure to fulfil environmental obligations can, in fact, lead to supplies being blocked by the competent authorities due to the risk of environmental crime.
- It means we can submit public tenders.
- It represents a reduction in management costs through rationalisation of our use of raw materials, a reduction in waste and emissions, and lower energy costs.
- Lower insurance premiums.
- Protection of the environment and responsible use of resources.
- Our employees are always updated and informed about environmental sustainability.
These are just some of the benefits that certification brings. What perhaps counts more than any other aspect is the path of awareness that a company has decided to take. A big investment,” Barbara ends by saying, “that however makes us very proud, because as the slogan says: “There is no Planet B.”