Pollards press on with raising environmental standards

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Back in 1781, it was the American Revolution in the news rather than the environmental headlines of today and it was in this year that William Pollard & Co. Ltd. was founded.

Thought to be one of the oldest printing companies in the UK and still owned by direct descendants of William Pollard, it is now a highly sophisticated operation using the latest technology and employing around 75 staff.

The company achieved the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 ‘double’ using the ‘ISO in a Box’ system. Allan Moxey is Pollard’s Works Director, responsible for quality, the environment, health and safety and facilities management of its campus, part of which is rented out to other organisations.

“We’d been thinking about ISO 14001 for some time,” said Allan. “When filling in tender documents, there was always the question ‘do you have ISO 14001?’ or ‘do you intend to get ISO 14001?’ Reading between the lines, intending to get it wasn’t good enough. So although we were kind of forced into doing it, we knew we had a duty to raise our environmental standards.”

After speaking with the Equas  consultant, Pollards elected to do both Standards together. “ISO in a Box is tailored to deliver exactly what we need as a business,” said Allan. “We didn’t need to change any of our existing systems – it all slotted together but did make us more efficient. It’s really lived up to expectations and the consultant was an incredible help in keeping me on track. I’d definitely recommend it to any other business.”

Although the printing industry is making real progress in new technologies such as environmentally friendly chemistry, including vegetable-based inks and high spec recycled papers, they’ve not yet been perfected for general use.” There are still some quality issues to be overcome,” explained Allan. “What we are doing now is to ensure we recycle and recover as many of the elements used in the print process as possible such as ink, chemicals, aluminium plates, paper, card, wood and all plastics.”

The new environmental focus has encouraged everyone in the organisation to play their part and the volume of waste has been greatly reduced. “We still have a waste skip on site that is shared by our tenants. Over the last couple of months, we’ve halved the size of the skip and instead of being emptied every week, it’s now every three weeks. The volume going to landfill has been reduced by 80% which saves £400 a month,” said Allan.

“We’re lucky that our tenants share Pollard’s philosophy and have their own recognised Quality and Environmental Standards. In theory, we should be able to dispense with anything going to landfill and that’s our target.”