Footprint caught up with Dudson chief Executive Officer Max Dudson, who explains the companys philosophy on sustainability and the steps it is taking to manage the impact of production on the external environment.
Dudson recognises that its activities have a real or potential impact on the environment that could affect the quality of life in local communities, both for individuals living within the locality of company operations and further afield. The effects of climate change and the impact of our man-made world on the environment have never been more clearly apparent or well-documented, says Max Dudson, Chief Executive Officer. We have therefore adopted a pro-active approach to managing our activities and any effects of the production process.
Dudson has developed and implemented an Environmental Management System in line with the international standard for Environmental Management BS EN ISO 14001. In doing so, the company has identified eight commitments to ensure that its activities prevent, minimise or control any significant environmental aspects.
These eight commitments can be summarised as follows:
To comply with all relevant environmental legislation and regulations
To prevent pollution
To set objectives/targets and review them in the Management Review, ensuring continual improvement of the Environmental Management System
To identify activities to reduce and/ or eliminate waste to landfill sites, including recycling wherever possible
To increase efficiency in the use of raw materials, energy and other resources
To ensure employees receive relevant training in relation to their role within the Environmental Management System
To communicate the Environmental Policy to all relevant parties
To review the Environmental Policy at the Environmental Management System Management Review to ensure that it continues to meet the requirements of both ISO 14001 and the needs of the company.
At Dudson, we recognise that we have a responsibility to manage the impact of production on the external environment, continues Max Dudson, Our modern manufacturing methods have gone a long way to transform a product that has traditionally been costly to the environment, with resulting reductions in waste production and energy usage throughout the manufacturing process.
Waste streaming programmes have also been implemented and communicated to all employees, which have resulted in a fall in general waste collections of almost 69 per cent since 2005. Recycling initiatives have had a massive impact on fired waste product collections, reducing them by more than 80 per cent over the same period of time. Investment in a new packaging machine means that all cardboard can now be recycled and used as an environmentally friendly packaging material.
The company has also focused on energy consumption, which has been reduced dramatically by using ThermECO* glazes, produced locally by Endeka Ceramics Ltd. 100 per cent lead-free, ThermECO glazes enable Dudson to kiln-fire at lower temperatures, while efficient firing methods ensure the maximum number of items is placed for each fire, reducing the number of fires needed, and therefore reducing the amount of energy consumed.
An Environmental Improvement Team, comprising employees across the business, meets regularly to put forward suggestions and discuss ideas for environmental improvements. Ideas are trialled across departments, and any reduction in waste, energy or water is logged and communicated by the team. No matter how small the initial idea, from reducing the amount of paper used for worksheets, to turning down the thermostat on hot water boilers, every suggestion is given due consideration. Any employee can put forward a suggestion to a team member in their department, or alternatively, use the company suggestion scheme to put their ideas forward.
The team is also responsible for an ongoing auditing programme, to ensure environmental legal compliance, and to highlight where improvements in the companys processes can be made. All findings are reported for discussion at Management Reviews.
The high profile of environmental concerns is having an increasingly significant impact on the purchasing habits of both restaurateurs and hoteliers, states Katie Dudson, Marketing Manager. In January of this year, we launched Evolution, a new body developed with the prime objective of reducing the carbon produced during manufacture. Now, only a few months later, thanks to the positive reception of the market, we have introduced two new colours, Pearl and Jet, to the range.
At Dudson, sustainability has been a core business strategy for many years, and can only become more significant to its future as a business, as concerns for the environment grow. * ThermECO is a trademark of Endeka Ceramics Ltd.