Southwire’s Hawesville, KY plant recently recertified its ISO 14001 environmental management system (EMS). This is the fourth year the facility has maintained this certification.
The company’s Kentucky plant is one of four Southwire facilities with an ISO 14001 certification. According to www.iso.org, ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.
Paige Murphy, Southwire’s corporate environmental manager, explained that this certification is important to the Kentucky plant, because it is important to its stakeholders.
“At Southwire, we pride ourselves on meeting the customers’ needs, and, several of our customers require this particular certification in order to submit sales bids. So, we made it a priority to implement this process to demonstrate our commitment to being good stewards of the environment while meeting our customers’ needs in the process.”
In order to receive this certification, Southwire hires an accredited auditing company to come into its facility and do a third-party audit to look for any nonconformances, opportunities to improve and strengths. If any nonconformances are found, the company would have thirty days to make corrections or it would be in jeopardy of losing the certification.
This year, the auditing process looked a little different as both the certification body and Southwire were abiding by COVID-19 protocols. Rather than two auditing representatives coming into the facility, Southwire and the audit firm worked together to create a virtual audit. This consisted of Southwire employees meeting with the audit team virtually for four full days, giving them tours and looks at equipment via technology and hosting virtual meetings with various employees across the plant for interviews to get an inside look on the facility’s commitment to environmental management system.
Mike Johnson, the facility’s quality and environmental manager, has been working at the Kentucky plant since 1998 and, each year, has witnessed the ever-improving commitment that Southwire has to sustainability. However, Johnson explains that this certification was not achieved alone.
“It’s a huge accomplishment for Southwire because, when I began working here, we didn’t have an ISO 14001 system in place,” said Johnson “As years have gone on, we’ve continued to accomplish more and more in the realm of sustainability, and it’s really exciting to be a part of that progress. This would not have been possible without the day-to-day efforts done by everyone at the Kentucky plant, who are keeping our environmental management system efforts a main priority”.
Brian Blair, the Kentucky plant manager, expanded on Johnson’s sentiment that Southwire’s Kentucky plant employees are committed to both their training and execution of Doing Right every day.
To learn more about Southwire’s commitment to sustainability, click here.
“Our folks here in Kentucky play like they practice,” Blair explained. “Their commitment to these efforts demonstrates that the team here is world class from top to bottom. To achieve something like this requires extensive work from all areas of the operation, including production, quality, HR, maintenance and more. I personally count it a blessing to be part of this team.”