Cement company's waste arm hits treble top in ISO awards

Published:  03 September, 2009

SOLIHULL: Sapphire Energy Recovery, the waste processing and resource recovery business owned by Lafarge Cement, has gained certification from BSI to three management system standards: quality, environment and health and safety.

Certificates for ISO 9001 (for quality management), ISO 14001 (for environmental compliance) and OHSAS 18001 (for health and safety) were handed out to members of the Sapphire team by BSI representative Colin Rushmere at a recent ceremony held to mark the occasion at Lafarge Cement's head office in Solihull. 

Sapphire is a growing force in the UK waste sector.  It is the UK's leading processor of used tyres, and it also sources and manages the introduction of a range of waste-derived fuels and raw materials for the cement industry. 

The company is fully owned by Lafarge Cement, but for the first time has undergone audits for the quality, environment and health standards as a standalone business.

"Previously we would have come under the umbrella of our parent company when looking to achieve such standards, but as our profile grows in the waste processing and resource recovery sector we felt it was important for our customers to see that we had independent certification," explained Andy Jones, who coordinates health, safety, environmental and quality compliance for Sapphire. 

"We are not aware of any other companies in our sector to hold such high profile certification in all three of the areas that matter most: safety, environment and quality, and we're really proud to have achieved this milestone."

The certifications were awarded following independent reviews from BSI, the National Standards Body of the UK. Audits are done on a two year rolling cycle, during which a series of Sapphire sites underwent spot checks.

"Our last visit showed no non-conformances at all in any of the audit procedures we carried out, which was an excellent performance for a company operating in a high risk area such as waste processing," said Janet Walden, assessor for BSI.  "It's good to see a company not only taking the standards seriously, but incorporating them into their day to day business in way that make doing the right thing in the right way at the right time the natural thing to do."  

Sapphire's sites are also registered to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and regularly monitored by the Environment Agency. 

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