PUC edges closer to becoming high-performing organisation-● Certified in ISO 14001 Environment Management Standards


23-December-2011

PUC staff during the closing meeting with BSI’s representatives

PUC’s chief executive officer, Robert Stravens, has described the certification as an important milestone for the organisation.

Commending the team of employees who have put the system in place, Mr Stravens said this EMS has the potential not only to save PUC money but also to motivate the company to keep improving and increasing the level of service it offers.

He also announced that the company is working on establishing a Quality Management System (QMS) to international standards within the organisation. This is the ISO 9001 which specifies requirements for a quality management system where an organisation needs to demonstrate its ability to consistently provide services that meets customer and applicable statutory or regulatory requirements, and aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer needs.

For example once the QMS is in place, clients who call to report a breakdown or complain about an issue will find a difference in the way their calls are attended to.

According to Murielle Albert, an operator working in the call centre at PUC’s headquarters, communication will be improved once the QMS is in place.

She said that at the moment each of them have their own way of working, some do give feed back to clients who complain, others do not, but with the system in place they will all have to follow the same procedure.

Mr Stravens said EMS and QMS are both inter-linked and has called for commitment from all staff and stakeholders for them to work.

The next step now will be for PUC to deliver action plans to meet objectives which employees themselves have set for improvement and undertaking regular performance reviews for continual improvement.

PUC staff who had received competency certificate in ISO 14001 in August 2011 have put their training into practice over the last five months, spreading awareness of the company’s new policy for environmental performance, implement systems and carrying out internal audits.

The result of their efforts has been scrutinised by BSI over the past two weeks.
ISO 14001 is an international standard that specifies a process for controlling and improving an organisation’s environmental performance. It is designed to address the delicate balance between maintaining profitability (cost saving) and reducing environmental impact of an organisation.

Mr Stravens (centre) with the members of PUC’s environment committee

In other words, one can identify aspects of his or her business that negatively impact on the environment and understand the environmental laws that are relevant to his or her situation.

So far, 95% of PUC staff has been covered in the ISO 14001 awareness training.  One of those trained is sewage technologist Derrick Renaud, who has been doing that job for the past 14 years. Mr Renaud believes the EMS will help them to have a better work system ensuring they deliver in a more systematic and accountable way.

“This will do away with the ‘laissez faire’ attitude. Since we are being audited, we become more conscious of the impact our work is having on the environment,” he said, adding that this is the first time in the history of the organisation that they will have in place such a system.

The main facilitator behind this exercise, PUC’s environment manager, Anne Naiken, explained that through awareness, employees were already showing eagerness and concern on how best they could improve on their work activities so as to minimise pollution and impact onto the environment and in some areas, improvement could be noticed within a few days.

Now that PUC has achieved ISO 14001 certification, it should be in a better position to manage its social, environmental and financial risk as it will have in place a system on how to handle water shortage, electrical breakdown, power cut, oil leaks, chlorine gas leakage, fire, sewage overflow, etc.

This certification will also help the organisation to improve operational effectiveness by having a good maintenance schedule.

Since ISO 14001 proposes best approaches when it comes to tackling water leaks, sewage overflow and wastage, PUC should see a reduction in its cost when it comes to dealing with wastage and leakage.

Customers and stakeholders stand to benefit too. Due to prompt and immediate action taken to resolve problem, customers and stakeholders will be more satisfied.

Being certified is only the beginning; the next stage is actually ensuring continual improvement. This, according to Mrs Naiken, will be ensured through objectives and targets, whereby a monitoring system will be put in place to indicate improvement in stages.

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