The topic of environment is taken very seriously at AS-Schneider. Therefore, we have undergone the voluntary environmental audit according to the strict requirements of ISO 14001 certification. AS-Schneider was tested for three days – and subsequently honoured with the certification.
Established structures as a challenge
The environmental audit was carried out in autumn by TÜV Süd [German Association for Technical Inspection for Southern Germany]. All operating procedures and concepts in our company were extensively checked and reviewed. Only companies with a verifiable environment-oriented management receive ISO 14001 certification.
For us, the biggest problem with this certification was that we own older buildings with modern production facilities. Plants, processes and facilities – everything has grown according to our respective needs. There was no talk of ISO certifications at the time. Many of these structures had to be adapted and partially restructured in order to meet the certification requirements.
Our management system was also reviewed to see if it ensures compliance with legal, official and contractual requirements and meets the requirements of ISO 14001. This included reviewing whether or not we had set environmental targets and actually implemented them in practice.
We received four suggestions for improvement, which were implemented in the medium term: For example, less white bleached printer paper is to be used, and information or documentation that is available on the intranet should not be additionally reproduced and distributed in paper form. Our goal for the future, however, is even higher: We want to create more digital processes to reduce paper consumption as a whole.
Recertification in 3 years
The Environmental Certificate is valid for three years. Due to the similarities in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, we will strive for a combined audit in the future. At the same time, an annual monitoring audit for the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 will take place. After three years, there will be a repeat audit for recertification for a further three years. By merging the two audits, we will be able to reduce the effort involved in preparing and conducting them. This also gives us an economic advantage over holding separate audits.
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