Totally Herby

Environmental Policy

 Scottish Law
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Our Environmental Policy

As a family business Elmbronze Ltd - trading as Totally Herby of Scotland - has the luxury of having our environmental policy controlled from the top down. We build this policy into our every activity, from resourcing and manufacturing, through to distribution and supply. This policy is totally integrated with our continual improvement program, which by the nature of a family business has to incorporate lean, i.e. economical policies, and to strive for a standard way of working. This allows us to constantly review our processes, and make improvements and economies at all stages, which in turn maximises use of resources, minimises waste, and allows us to further standardise the way of working, leading to better quality of product. This is a non-stop cycle, we consider all these parts to be totally interdependent, and treat them that way.

Here are some examples of the benefits to us and our customers of having this policy. As well as buying herbs we gather our own bog myrtle, this is a wild harvest though we observe relevant legislation. By consideration of environmental surroundings, we find the crop often increases year by year reducing our time and costs while preserving that environment. During manufacture we use water, both hot and cold, and equipment. We control and minimise the use of energy during this process. To achieve the quality of our products we sometimes have waste. With our standard way of working, and constant research, we can improve our processes and minimise that waste. The high cost of fuel forces us to carefully plan our distribution to minimise travel and therefore the use of fuel. Some of our point of display material is made from recycled material, we collect and reuse it all where possible, and we minimise product packaging or make it useful or recyclable. As well as benefits to the environment this has helped us to reduce overhead costs and keep prices down over the years. This is good for our customers, and us as it makes us more competitive!

Though we are indeed a family company, we make annual efforts to observe other industries in action and learn from their policies, for instance a day visit to a major pharmaceutical company where we saw the benefits of that standard way of working. As we grow, increasingly we are creating operation manuals to preserve the expert knowledge and improve our procedures. This means awareness of our standard way of working, quality, the environment and lean policies is available for operation and education - and discussion and improvement. But we are also aware of the need for Environmental Management Systems under the ISO 14001 standard. While perhaps this is too formal right now for our family business, we will be ready when we grow enough. For our own purposes as much as for interested readers, there is a summary below.

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ISO 14001

Put simply, ISO 14001 provides a mechanism for ensuring that an organisation:
  • thinks about the environment
  • decides what it wants to do
  • works out how to do it
  • actually does it
  • corrects deviations from the plan
  • reviews its directions for the future so that it can do better next time.
Certification for compliance with the standard in the UK is carried out by external certifiers who are formally accredited under a scheme run by UK Accreditation Services (UKAS). ISO 14001 has superseded the British standard, BS 7750, and is strongly supported by DETR for use by business. It can help your organisation to:
  • reduce costs by making the bottom line your top priority
  • reduce energy and use of other resources and minimise waste
  • meet Government and Departmental targets for improved performance
  • ensure compliance with environmental legislation and regulations
  • reduce unforeseen environmental risks eg, escaping fuel into a water course
What are the main elements of ISO 14001 ? There are five:
  • An environmental policy. This should commit you to legislative/regulatory compliance, continual improvement, the prevention of pollution and to appropriate objectives and targets.
  • Planning. This covers a review of environmental aspects. Plus: legal and other requirements; objectives and targets; and the setting up of a management programme to achieve them.
  • Implementation and operation. This includes management structure, training, communications, documentation, operational control and emergency preparedness. It means providing resources for your staff, defining who does what, identifying training needs, communicating effectively and exerting effective control over the activities relevant to your significant environmental impacts.
  • Checking and corrective actions. These are monitoring, corrective action, records and audits. This means: using accurate measurement methods; regularly checking that progress towards objectives and targets is on course; taking action to rectify any non conformance with environmental policy or legal requirements; recording the operation of your EMS; and conducting audits to identify problems and to prove conformity with your requirements.
  • Management Review. This is necessary to close the loop. That is, to ensure that the system continues to be suitable, adequate and effective through changes made in the light of experience.
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