The UK’s leading producer of paper-based packaging solutions has become the first UK packaging manufacturer to be awarded ISO 14001 certification for its multi-site environment management system (EMS), which measures and documents the company’s environmental impact.

Speaking at an awards ceremony for the initial ten Smurfit Kappa sites to successfully complete their ISO 14001 audit, Clive Bowers, CEO, Smurfit Kappa UK took the opportunity to praise the EMS team leaders present. He commented: “This is a proud day for the whole of Smurfit Kappa UK; it highlights the importance that we as a company place on environmental systems and proves that we are excellent at focusing on key objectives and working, as a team, to achieve our end goal. This accreditation further demonstrates the commitment of Smurfit Kappa to offer its customers the highest levels of certainty regarding sustainability.”

A rolling programme of ISO 14001 certification commenced in March 2010 with ten of Smurfit Kappa’s 24 UK production facilities participating in an independent audit of their environmental management systems and their compliance with environmental legislation. The remaining 14 sites will complete their audits by 31 December 2010 at which point all Smurfit Kappa UK production facilities, including the three recently acquired ‘Mondi’ sites, will be ISO 14001 certified.

Knight International Inspectorate (Kii), the UKAS accredited certification body based at Winnington Hall, Cheshire, carried out the assessments, working closely with individual audit teams at each of the ten locations.

Phillip Knight, principal director of Kii, commented: “This has been a complex and in-depth audit and has been undertaken against Smurfit Kappa’s tight timescale. Its successful completion is a result of the attention to detail that Smurfit Kappa’s employees have devoted to environmental management. The EMS teams have shown considerable commitment in delivering three key disciplines: consistency of interpretation, dedicated audit teams at each site, and the transfer of knowledge and information around the process from site to site and across the audit teams.”

Smurfit Kappa UK is at the forefront of environmental and sustainability initiatives within the UK’s paper-based packaging sector. ISO 14001 supports two other major successes in 2010, which has seen the group awarded Carbon Trust Standard for its integrated approach to reducing its carbon footprint by 11% across all of its UK packaging sites. In addition it has also been awarded the first, organisation-wide, Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) & Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Chain of Custody accreditation for the paper content of its products.

The ISO 14001 accreditation programme was overseen by Nigel Elias, Smurfit Kappa UK HSE manager.

The initial ten production sites audited were:

  • Smurfit Kappa Stalybridge
  • Smurfit Kappa Peterborough
  • Smurfit Kappa Sheetfeeding Jupiter Road, Norwich
  • Smurfit Kappa Sheetfeeding Fishergate, Norwich
  • Smurfit Kappa Sheetfeeding Windrush
  • Smurfit Kappa Lokfast
  • Smurfit Kappa Weston-Super-Mare
  • Smurfit Kappa Yate
  • Smurfit Kappa Gosport
  • Smurfit Kappa Leeds