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Barloworld Handling makes green gains with "lifting environmental standards" campaign

Barloworld Handling’s "lifting environmental standards" campaign is starting to deliver substantial benefits to the business, with the company’s Midlands Regional Centre at West Bromwich the latest of its sites to be recommended by British Standards Institute (BSI) auditors for the coveted ISO 14001 certification.

ISO 14001 is an internationally-recognised standard for identifying, controlling and improving an organisation’s environmental performance, which Barloworld is targeting as part of its on-going sustainability commitment.

"Of course it feels good to help the planet by running a greener business," says Managing Director Phil Bastow. "But everyone at Barloworld now buys in to the idea that raising environmental standards also helps improve customer relationships by showing that we are taking a lead on these issues. We know that being a sustainability leader can have a positive impact on our bottom line."

West Bromwich is the third of Barloworld’s regional centres to gain the certification, and is looking to emulate big green wins being achieved at Barloworld’s regional centres in Cumbernauld and Warrington, which were certified over the last 18 months. Cumbernauld initially targeted a 5 per cent reduction in waste going to landfill as part of going through the ISO 14001 process, but saw a 21 per cent reduction in the last fiscal year. Warrington reduced its electricity costs by 20 per cent and gas costs by 4.3 per cent over the last fiscal year, thanks to its commitment to ISO 14001.

Targeting all its regional centres for the certification process has encouraged Barloworld to consider every aspect of its business, from the sustainable management of customer relationships, to fuel consumption, to the type of printer cartridges it uses, says Graham Lennon, U.K. Health, Safety and Environmental Manager for Barloworld.

"We have held training sessions for employees on factors such as packaging, waste recycling, and using teleconferencing to cut down on fuel consumption," Lennon says. "Our customers are constantly asking us for our environmental credentials and increasingly this is a requirement for them as part of the tender process. Thanks to our ‘lifting environmental standards’ initiative, we can show our customers we are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our operations."

Barloworld has introduced policy changes such as the introduction of dry mixed recycling and a packaging program encouraging field engineers to flat pack spare parts boxes and send them back to the company’s central warehouse, free of charge. The company has also updated its travel policy with a "Green Travel Annex," featuring information and suggestions to improve travel efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

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