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Cement works Hanson UK has used its ISO50001 certification, achieved in September last year, to take its energy efficiency improvements beyond merely complying with ESOS regulations.

The ISO50001 framework defines the requirements for businesses to develop an energy efficiency policy, targets and objectives and how to both measure and review the results, with the end goal of continual improvement.

Hanson had already achieved both Green Deal and Carbon Trust certification prior to the adoption of ESOS and ISO50001, but Paul Lacey, head of sustainability at Hanson UK, said the company found the certifications were not “robust enough” for a company consuming the amount of electricity Hanson was through its operations.

Speaking at Edie Live yesterday afternoon, Lacey said that buying into the two more comprehensive schemes forced the company to examine precisely where the majority of its energy consumption was coming from, adding that achieving the ISO standard meant going beyond compliance.

Although Hanson first identified the need for ISO certification in 2012 the process started in earnest in September 2014. A month later an independent consultant was appointed to identify gaps in its auditing procedures. The consultant’s report was issued two months after in December that year, highlighting necessary improvements to the company’s formal energy reviews, consumption reports and operational controls.

The first task was to consider where exactly to invest available funds to meet those goals. “Where do we need to put our capital, where do we need to spend our revenues and how can we change our business culture?” Lacey listed as the questions asked at the time.

The culture has been changed by being both more up front and engaging with its staff. A carbon and energy steering group was established which includes Hanson’s chairman and the director of each of its operational divisions.

Annual energy reviews were introduced alongside site surveys which take place every six years, and energy awareness training is delivered to the employees at each site. If any site continually records higher than expected energy consumption, third-party visits are organised to investigate.

The effectiveness of any actions are also compiled, with information and results fed back up to board level through the energy steering group.

A significant introduction has been an ‘opportunities database’ which is published on Hanson’s intranet to be accessed by all employees. All proposed energy efficiency works are published, keeping employees up to speed with their progress ranging from awaiting capital, implemented or abandoned.  

Hanson has also been quick to adopt renewables and is in the process of a phased development of a 12MW on-site solar array at its Ketton cement works in Rutland. When complete, the project will contribute around 10% of the works’ total energy demand.

Hanson’s first audit was concluded in April 2015 and its second in June. In August last year Hanson’s became fully certified under ISO50001, concluding a process that first started nearly three years prior. Not only that, but Lacey believes Hanson to be the first company in its industry to receive ISO50001 across all of its business lines and not just one or two.

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