Philips has ambitious environmental goals for 2020. The company aims to be carbon neutral by 2020. Operational processes need to be organised optimally and comply with prevailing legislation as a minimum by then. An Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is therefore on the agenda for ten European manufacturing sites. “Complying with local and European legislation in six different countries requires expertise. Fortunately, we did not have to look far for this expertise,” explains Anoek van Dooremaal, Senior Sustainability Manager for Philips.
Philips is examining whether operational processes meet prevailing environmental requirements in each region. Van Dooremaal: “We have already done this with our North America Asia Pacific sites. I used the experience to devise clear tasking for our European production sites. Although compliance is a local responsibility, we wanted to thoroughly assess whether our ten production sites were compliant with local and European legislation as a second line of defence. In addition, a self-assessment questionnaire had to be produced. The first phase comprised an audit of two of our production sites.”
Lightweight, practical approach
It involves ten sites in the Netherlands, the UK, Romania, Italy, Germany and Austria. “Knowledge of local and European environmental standards was a prerequisite. It did not take long to decide on SGS Search. The company is represented in all countries, is familiar with local legislation and speaks the different languages. In addition, a lightweight and practical approach was proposed, with internal experts and few overhead costs. For us, that was a sign the assignment was well understood.”
Meanwhile, the local and European legislation with which the ten European production sites need to comply has been mapped centrally, a self-assessment questionnaire has been compiled, and two audits have been carried out. “The outcomes were good for us. As expected. No major unexpected issues were brought to light; only areas for improvement. The great benefit of this process is that we have found a partner that can help us get ahead. Communication was effective and that makes it easy to take action. For example, we needed legal expertise in the interim. That was arranged quickly.”
The first phase of this task has been completed. The remaining eight European sites will also be audited in the coming years. “Being more than kind to our environment is a continual process in which Philips invests a great deal of energy. Complying with local and European environmental requirements is not enough. We want to go further than that. We are constantly busy making our operational processes more sustainable. In terms of environmental standards, we now have the support of a partner with foresight,” Van Dooremaal asserts.
More about environmental site assessment.