Princess gains ISO 14001...

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Princess gains ISO 14001...

Industry News

It’s the first major European boatbuilder to gain this stringent international environmental-management standard.


The compliance process began with the Plymouth, Devon, UK-based operation carrying out a company-wide investigation into every aspect of its manufacturing activities, products and services; every department within the company’s manufacturing sites and offices assessed all processes that had an environmental impact. That process included analysing the use of materials, noise, emissions, and waste. Areas of particular scrutiny included the lamination process, extraction of dust in the GRP manufacturing areas, paint processes, and carpentry workshops.
Energy management and usage throughout all Princess factories were also subject to a rigorous scrutiny. By identifying where the energy use was highest, the company installed inverter controls to help reduce usage; indeed, the company’s overall carbon footprint is said to have reduced significantly.
The process also included working with suppliers to reduce waste generated from externally supplied goods and services.
Internally, systems have been implemented to ensure waste is better segregated for recycling and a programme of noise reducing measures was introduced; the latter benefits both employees and the local community.
The company philosophy for improving efficiencies is certainly nothing new, particularly within the yachts themselves. Weight reduction programmes to improve vessel performance and consumption have resulted in significant advances over the years − in fact, some of the latest production technology employed has benefitted both the product and much of the ISO 14001 standard’s criteria.
For instance, its increasing use of resin-infusion techniques has massively reduced emissions and odours, while significantly reducing the final product weight.
Achieving compliance with the ISO 14001 standard is not only about meeting these stringent targets, but also about demonstrating a culture of continuous improvement.
Continuous initiatives, such as instruction and awareness training ensuring adoption of new processes and the use of new technology, have already ensured a company-wide acceptance of the environmental management system.
“Our customers can be satisfied that their yachts have been produced in an environmentally acceptable way, our employees benefit from the latest cutting edge standards in manufacturing, and we are supporting our local community with the minimum of noise, waste and emissions,” says managing director Chris Gates. “The entire process took over 12 months to complete, but has ensured we start 2010 with a significant competitive and environmental advantage... Achieving this standard has enhanced environmental awareness throughout the company and has resulted in cost savings and reduction in use of resources...”
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© Phil Draper