Green Business Network
Terrapin Ltd manufactures modular buildings for key public sector clients in the UK. Buildings are pre manufactured in their factory and assembled and fitted on-site. The company also manufactures a panel based system for sale or hire.
The drive for ISO14001 came primarily from Terrapin’s Managing Director, Patrick Howlett White, who is committed to the company being morally and ethnically responsible and believes that environmental awareness plays a crucial role in this. But, in addition, achieving certification to the environmental management systems standard also provides a huge business opportunity.
Given that many of the company’s clients are public or government bodies, achieving certification to ISO 14001 had started to become an imperative for Terrapin. Quality Manager Paul Robinson explains: “Having ISO 14001 is increasingly becoming a condition of tendering for government contracts – without it we don’t really stand the chance of getting past the first hurdle.”
So, when the opportunity to take part in the Business Environmental Training Initiative Plus scheme (BETI+) arose, Terrapin jumped at the chance. Paul Robinson benefited from the full BETI+ scheme comprising a one-day CIWM Waste Awareness Certificate Course, a five-day CIEH Level 3 Environmental Management course, BS 8555 workshops, and three days of specialist on-site help to implement the company’s environmental management system. The company achieved ISO 14001 registration at the end of January 2008, less than one year after starting the BETI+ scheme.
Paul is in no doubt that the programme has benefited Terrapin hugely.
“BETI+ has been fantastic. We’ve gone from a point of very little knowledge to achieving ISO 14001 certification in less than twelve months. We’d have struggled to know where to start without it.”Paul Robinson, Quality Manager
Apart from being able to tangibly demonstrate to clients that it is managing its environmental impacts, Terrapin has seen other major rewards from implementing an environmental management system. Amongst these have been significant waste savings; waste to landfill has reduced from 600 to 350 tonnes a year, whilst recycling has increased from 30 to 100 tonnes a year. Not only has this saved the company money, but it has also highlighted where waste is being produced and Terrapin can now take measures to reduce it.
In addition, marketing opportunities have also increased and these culminated in Terrapin beating off strong opposition to win the Environmental Award at the Chamber Business Excellence Awards.
The benefits of training its staff have also been highlighted through the programme and now five staff have received CIWM Waste Awareness Certificate training, and the company is looking to put at least one more candidate through a CIEH Level 3 Environmental Management course. All achievements are celebrated through the Green Team notice boards and through company newsletters.
The on-site visits through the BETI+ programme have not just helped Terrapin to develop and fine-tune its environmental management system, but it also highlighted that objectives need to be set for each department. This helps to ensure staff are involved and feel that they have ownership of the system.
Terrapin are now considering becoming more closely involved with the Green Business Network. “We’ve had an awful lot out of the training and business advice on offer and we’d like to give something back,” says Paul.